Here’s To The End Of Fashion’s Social-Media “Voices”

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Update: As we speculated yesterday, Erika Bearman, aka @OscarPRGirl, confirmed today that she has left her full-time role at Oscar de la Renta to consult, and Oscar de la Renta will be one of her clients. The Twitter account will be run by Bearman's team in her absence. Additionally, Aliza Licht did not personally wipe out the @DKNY account, and she clarified the curious case of the missing tweets a bit: "DKNY is heading into an exciting new creative direction, starting with the upcoming September show. We are grateful for the community's support these past six years and hope they stay tuned for this newly consolidated DKNY digital universe...Going forward for any personal or book related tweets, I'm just around the corner @AlizaLicht. DKNY PR GIRL is all grown up!" Today, @DKNY disappeared from the Twittersphere, with every single tweet posted to the account since 2009 erased, reports Mashable. It wasn’t the handle’s many followers (538,000, if you’re wondering) or even the brand itself that makes this a big deal: For the past six years, the account was operated by Donna Karan International’s SVP of global communications, Aliza Licht, under the name “DKNY PR Girl.” She kept her identity a secret while voraciously tweeting a mix of tidbits about working at Donna Karan HQ as well as about the minutiae of her life as a fabulous fashion-industry gal in NYC. The account was enough of a hit that Licht wrote a book billed as a “mentorship in 288 pages,” titled Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media, largely written because of DKNY PR Girl’s success. Licht has been doing publicity for the book for the past few months (with press on the career-help guide running as recently as yesterday). There have been tumultuous changes at Donna Karan in recent times — the hiring of a new CEO, Caroline Brown, and the farewell of Karan herself. But why would Licht wipe out six years of social-media gold? Big social-media personalities also developed at other luxury houses and department stores. For four years, Bergdorf Goodman’s Twitter account was run by its social-media manager, Cannon Hodge, who made the ultra-luxe department store more approachable to the masses. She left her Bergdorf’s post in March 2014 to become a freelance consultant. Oscar de la Renta’s Twitter account, @OscarPRGIrl, has been run by its SVP of global communications, Erika Bearman, for years. Like Licht, she’s an executive pumping up the brand and creating a whole social-media persona in the process, though Bearman did not obscure her identity. It’s been rumored that Bearman will be leaving the brand shortly (some have speculated that she’s already gone). The disappearance of @DKNY seems to signal the end of the social-media “voice” or ambassador for luxury fashion names. It was once a pretty sexy gig (enough to write a how-to book off of, more or less), but maybe that’s a thing of the past. Honestly, it’s not that surprising. Social media has shifted considerably in the past few years from a Twitter-centric environment to excitement about (and converts to) much more visuals-obsessed platforms. Back in the day, Twitter felt very personal and off the cuff. Now, there's a string preference for visually skewed options, such as Snapchat and Instagram, that aim to humanize a brand in a way that's even more transparent than Twitter was. As of now, those voices just don't exist on those platforms, and the door is wide-open for a personality as powerful as Licht. There isn't a DKNY PR Girl for Snapchat...yet.

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