Erika’s journey began in Youngstown, Ohio where she grew up with her parents and sister. At a young age she was encouraged by her family to be the creative, independent, and unique free spirit which she remains today. Erika spent endless hours of her childhood playing dress up in her grandmother’s vintage slips and jewelry. This experience, along with many others, led to a love of fashion and fueled her dream of becoming a designer. After graduating high school she took the first step in pursuing her dream by studying fashion at Philadelphia University and studying abroad in Florence, Italy. After graduation, Erika decided to follow her dreams and head west seaking the individuality, freedom, and magic in Hollywood. Since pursuing her career in the industry, she has worked with such high fashion names as Betsey Johnson, Baby Phat, Nanette Lepore, True Religion, and Christian Audigier.
Along the way her and O’Neal McKnight’s path crossed. For over 20 years, O'Neal has been a fixture in the entertainment industry from being a dancer, celebrity stylist, to creating, producing and starring in his own TV show, Kosher Soul. O’Neal has worked with the likes of Jessica Alba, Penelope Cruz, Joy Bryant, Kanye West, Diddy, Jermaine Dupri, Usher, Robin Thicke, and his late cousin Andre Harrel to name a few. O’Neals love for styling and fashion has shown through in some of our favorite music videos, movies, and commercials. O’Neal is a seasoned personality able to adapt in any situation- from dancer, stylist, actor and producer. When O’Neal puts on the hat it tends to fit.
Fast forward to 2021...
Erika chose to follow her own path and founded Black Cake Clothing- a lifestyle brand that aspires to inspire, guide, and motivate women to live a thrilling life. In recent years, Black Cake's Zodiac Massage Candles have become the spotlight of the brand. High in demand, these candles celebrate your zodiac sign by revealing inspiring sex positions that fit your astrologic sign. Erika hand drew the sultry illustrations that adorn the candles.
O’Neal is the business director of Gushcloud, the number one marketing agency in Asia. As well as bridging the gap between east and west, Gushcloud's mission is to create tomorrow’s positive influence by representing and managing the top digital talents on social media. Gushcloud assists some of the top talents across the globe including Cedric The Entertainer, Reggie Couz and Aliya Janell. On top of that, O'Neal's charm and witty personality shines on The Cray, a podcast he hosts along with Rob Weiss and Shawn Chase. The Cray aims to explore all things Zeitgeist: culture, arts, fashion, sports and entertainment.
During the pandemic in 2020, O’Neal came up with the vision to start a female swimsuit brand and called on Erika for her advice. She loved the concept so much that she quickly became O'Neal's next business partner and Neon Sunset was born! With their individual talents in the fashion, entertainment, and marketing industries they became the ultimate dream team.
Created in Los Angeles, the Neon Sunset brand is rooted deep in the city's lifestyle. Neon Sunset embodies Los Angeles' retro streetwear vibe and uniquely blends it with the California fun in the sun attitude. With Neon Sunset, everyday should be a beach day!