Erin and Sarah Whitaker, who co-founded Parker Whitaker Productions, have helped bolster and enhance Los Angeles fashion industry’s national image as maverick talented designer producer protégé’s of Art Hearts Fashion founder Erik Rosete, having augmented his platforms’ image at not only this month’s LA Fashion Week but also at New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and have made a name for themselves as very respected dynamic duo within the fashion industry.
Erik Rosete, repeatedly emphasizes the dynamic duo’s worth by saying, “They are my girls! They are my rock and they are the only ones that I trust, or feel is responsible enough to allow access to my baby, which is Art Hearts Fashion. They are intelligent enough and responsible enough to know what to do.”
Maurice: What are the keys to your success and what does one have to do to acquire the necessary skills to replicate your achievements?
Erin: The key to our success is Sarah. There is no way that I can do what I do without her. She has the answers to everything and we are always available. I rely on her and I couldn’t ask for a better partner. She is such a big support for me. She is the reason that I have made such strides in the industry. We have always had such a passion for this type of work. Sarah is the key. The best way to learn is to get your hands dirty and interning with us. You start at the bottom–volunteer— but you can work your way up. The best way to learn is by being there. I forced my way into it and be punctual, have dedication, communication and have persistence. I also made sure that I was irreplaceable.
Sarah: That’s so nice!
Maurice: What did you do before you started doing this?
Erin: I was writing. That was what I studied in college. So I was writing for a makeup company and a political website. And then I kinda saw Sarah. She was working on fashion week. And I wanted to start writing about fashion. So then I started writing for a different platform, about the shows and doing all of their press releases. And a that’s kinda like how I started working.
Sarah: Before this I was doing other types of events–5 k run walks. I worked with a nonprofit for 5 years. Then I got into event production and then I started to realize that I had a lot of strength but I realized that something was missing and I realized it was fashion so I started doing a lot fashion shows.
Maurice: What exactly are the duties of producers? Erik is the designer and producer of this bunch, yes?
Erin: Sarah handles things that I am not good at and I handle things she is not good at . Sarah and I work really well together. Sarah handles all of the logistics –A to Z– and is in contact with the designers non stop. Right?”
Sarah: “Yes I would say so”
Erin: I handle things that are more of PR and the media. So together it really forms this good foundation that we are able to build on. We spend time with each designer and we really make sure that we are able to answer all of their questions because all new designers have questions about their guest list or their models. so we take those questions and make them feel secure and we are ALWAYS available. If they call one of us then they can talk to both of us. We are probably always together. If there’s something they need, or unsure, something they want to bring up or do something totally new we’re able to answer those questions and help them. We are really open to them being open and creative and then we let them know we are there and we know why they are there–to make their show successful and comfortable and there’s a point to all of this.
Maurice: Do you produce shows in Milan, and other countries as well?
Erin: Well, we are working up to London, and as you know we just wrapped up the final week of The New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. So, we got to close the tents. Our models took the final runway at this momentous occasion. Yeah!! We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to close that show of The Mercedes-Benz fashion Week.
Maurice: This may seem like a crazy question, but why is it closing. why can’t it keep going on and continue to perpetuate?
Erin: Well it is going on but not in New York, Mercedes-Benz is no longer the sponsor. Mercedes-Benz made that decision to pull out after 5 years.
Maurice: Are you going to do your own thing too?
Erin: Long, long ago, we stared volunteering with a passion to produce shows and building knowledge and last May -June 2014, we launched our own brand. We are doing the same thing we were doing before but now we can structure it the way we want and work with companies we want to work with.
Sarah: We have been able to branch out. We do film premieres. We launched our own nail polish line. Lots of fun things now.
Maurice: Diversification, right?
Maurice: Are you leaning to do what Erik does on a full-time basis. It sounds like it?
Sarah: We do it with Erik on a full-time basis. We worked on this show — The W Hollywood — and but in between seasons we work on other things such as fundraisers, what ever it is. We’ve done some Lions Gate premieres as well.
Erin: We are diversifying!
Marina BerBeryan: (to Sarah & Erin) Please do keep up the fantastic work that you’ve been doing because you make us very happy!
Sarah & Erin: Thank you . We do it for you guys.
Erin: It’s about the community. It’s about Los Angeles. It’s about building this city into the next fashion mecca, because the talent is here and you need a platform and we are that platform.
Marina BerBeryan: “What do you think of Tom Ford coming to LA?”
Erin: It’s a huge, huge step!
Sarah: We are making strides in the right direction him coming here is amazing. It sets the tone.
Maurice: How did you meet Marina BerBeryan?
Sarah: How did we meet Marina? She was attending all of the shows of fashion week, and we started talking and we loved what she was doing and we just kind of formed this relationship.
To learn more about Parker Whitaker Productions visit www.parkerwhitaker.com