For the longest time, Erica Pelosini Leeman, the pint-sized style star known for her eclectic fashion mix, always thought of herself as a New Yorker—dressed to the nines, wearing statement heels, riding downtown in a yellow taxi, and strutting about Fifth Avenue with an effortless urban attitude.
This all changed in 2014, when she walked into the pristine surroundings of Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, where The Last Sitting’s famous set and Marilyn Monroe’s beauty were immortalised by photographer Bert Stern for Vogue in 1962. After a six-month stay here, the allure of LA had become undeniable, and Erica realised that she wanted to call LA home. Perhaps, the modern-day Hotel Bel-Air helped sell the California dream with its pink stucco façade, glistening swan lake, the Wolfgang Puck restaurant, and sensuous interiors restored by Alexandra Champalimaud. “The synergy between the arts and film industry here is so infectious,” Erica muses. “Spending my childhood between the historical centre of Florence and the Italian countryside, I have a penchant for the big city life, while still being close to the sea.”
When Erica isn’t walking the streets of Milan and Paris in any one of her over-2,000-pair designer shoe collection, from Brian Atwood to Nicholas Kirkwood, the tan skinned beauty lives a high-end automobile-centric life, with an obsession for vintage cars. “The first I’ve ever driven was a Ferrari Testarossa. Now, I love taking a spin in my 1967 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Pagoda along the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway. Top down, clear skies … it doesn’t get better than this anywhere else,” she insists.