The OG Influencer: Erica Bowes.
Words: Mandy P.
2007 brings to mind unforgettable fashion trends and the inception of Tumblr, it would grow to become every alternative teenager’s obsession. This was the case for influencer and photographer, Erika Bowes. At the young age of 15, she had gone from your average teenage girl, sharing pictures with her friends for fun to an increasingly popular Tumblr girl being regularly inundated with messages asking for advice.
The 23 year old was unaware of the impact she would have on Tumblr but took this in her stride and grew up before the internet’s eyes. Her heritage of half Japanese and Half British origin would be cited by her as one of the reasons she started her blog, the lack of representation for girls who looked like her. It’s no surprise then that Erika was able to become an icon in the Tumblr community with even those admiring her creating fan accounts, purely to post pictures of her. She was a part of a generation of girls who used it as a medium to take pictures of themselves to show off their outfits and creative interests, her outfits were modelled from charity shop clothes in Newcastle which added to the niche-type character of her blog.
Since then, she has broadened her career scope from fashion to photography, her growth from a tumblr igirl to a women taking her craft seriously is evidenced through the changing of her Tumblr name from ‘poisonedcandyfloss’ to ‘Erika Bowes’. Her enterprises would see her going on to co-found Sukeban magazine with her friend Yuki, a self proclaimed ‘multidisciplinary artist’ and designer. It came into fruition when Erika and Yuki noticed the absence of inclusivity for POC and the difficulty in young artists gaining exposure for their work. True to their message, the magazine offers a diverse catalog of individuals, ranging in ethnicity, age and even gender.
Yuki doesn’t seem to be the only who dabbles in photography, Erika has engaged in photography projects, her recent project seems to be with American Apparel, photographing with AA’s infamous nude colours. Her instagram does not show a particular stylistic approach, however it’s clear that in her photography she conveys a narrative where girls wear outfits that make them stand out, it’s not just in the outfits but also in other characteristic features like hair and piercings. Her photography is a testament to her message to showcase girls outside of society’s mainstream lens.