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My Story

Ernst Reiko is a fashion house that was established in 1968 by my colorful and Avant guard parents. My mother attended a Halston fashion show with a  friend and the designer himself saw her sitting in the audience and admired the unique, hand-dyed and painted dress worn by Reiko, my mom. Intrigued by her design, he immediately invited her to bring samples to his office.  Halston ordered every textile design she showed for his new line, and a soulful and rich collaboration began!  My parents were encouraged to start their own line and Ernst Reiko quickly took off and Reiko’s mostly one of a kind couture designs were in high demand by New York socialites and worldwide celebrities alike, as well as major retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bonwit Teller and Martha's of Park Avenue which was a speciality boutique for the high society women of New York.

Creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit are definitely in my DNA. I studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York and was always drawn to art and design work. After school, I went on to manage studios and produce photo and video shoots in exotic locations working for a renowned photographer. Shortly after, I found love, had 2 boys, and raising them was my absolute joy. During this time, I continued to feel the strong pull towards design and created a jewelry line, “Oscar & Nancy,” which was fabricated in my kitchen! Fashion magazines like InStyle, Harpers Bazaar, and Elle, showcased Oscar & Nancy jewelry, and soon after, it was carried by prominent retailers such as Henri Bendel’s, Barney’s, Nordstrom's, Anthropologie, Harvey Nichols, and Mitsukoshi.

After the success of my jewelry line, I was ready to start the next chapter in my life, always with warm memories and nostalgia for my parents’ life’s passion, the rebirth of Ernst Reiko was a natural next chapter.

As I approached 50, as a single woman again, feeling fearless and empowered, I searched for cool clothing that would make me feel sexy and, at the same time be comfortable and be in line with a woman approaching 50.  Like my mom, I've always loved dresses, and so, I set out to create styles that celebrate and embrace the unique spirit and body ... of every woman.

Today’s Ernst Reiko line includes a sophisticated take on cool, comfortable age defying style, in drapable silhouettes, using art-inspired,  textured, limited-edition fabrics paying homage to Ernst Reiko's original, glamorous and beloved founders!  

I hope you feel beautiful in my designs!



Erika Ehrman-Repola