Meet Erika Astrid, the young creative fusing soft aesthetics and surrealism

The German-born artist and photographer is one-to-watch.

German-born and raised, NYC-based Erika Astrid is the next-gen fashion photographer to know – interested in the space where her images meet the realm of abstract art. “Painting is a major outlet for me, and an inventive tool within my photography,” Erika says. “I believe the energy of a photo shoot lends itself to the images. I want to capture the true complexity and emotional state of my models, and ultimately myself. I am attracted to breaking the archetype and expanding our idea of beauty.” Erika’s latest creation sees put her own artful twist on Sony’s first ever fashion timepiece (see below); producing a limited-edition design for the newly launched FES Watch U. HUNGER caught up with the emerging tastemaker to watch to talk reimagined femininity and image-making in the digital age.

Why did you want to be involved in Sony’s project? Talk us through your design and process?

I love being involved in anything creative, so when HUNGER asked me if I wanted to be part of this, I immediately said yes. I thought it was a cool concept, different from all the smart watches that makes us more addicted to be connected to a screen instead of people in real life. The FES watch is more about art and also a cool conversation starter in REAL LIFE.

When did you first fall in love with photography?

I have always been interested in photography but was too afraid to just start it. In Germany you need a degree for everything. No one just does something without going to school for it. And being creative is not a real job there either. When I moved to the states 7 years ago I still had my clothing label but was growing tired of it, I was already looking for something else without even realizing it. When I couldn’t find anyone to shoot my collection (because it was a small ass town), I just started shooting myself and immediately fell in love with it and haven’t stopped ever since.

Gif: Courtesy of Sony / Erika Astrid's limited-edition design for the Sony FES Watch U

Where do you take inspiration from? How would you describe your photography style? 

I take inspiration from every day life – how I feel, colors, shapes, nature, mythology. I love spiritual imagery, old movies. Anything can inspire me but I can’t go looking for it. I also love collaborating with my team and come up with ideas together. I love Wes Anderson’s colors and eye for details [and] Johnny Cash’s music inspires me. People tell me I have a style but I wouldn’t know how to describe it. Maybe feminine and weird. Ha. I like weird – weird poses, shapes, moods…

How do you feel photography has evolved in the age of Instagram?

Everything changes, nothing is stagnant and like anything it has it’s pros and cons. I think it’s great that people are being discovered and booked through IG and don’t necessary need an agency anymore, so that’s great. I even heard Juergen Teller uses his iPhone for shoots now. Why not, use whatever you want to express yourself. I love that side of social media.

Erika Astrid's limited-edition design for the Sony FES Watch U / Image: Courtesy of Sony

Which Instagram accounts do you love and why?

My cat, @willywonkacat. And meme accounts, [like] @dankartdirectormemes + @unemployed_hairdresser – no explanation needed.

What would you like to shoot more in the future?

I would love to shoot more campaigns and I have some dream magazines I want to shoot for but as long as I can stay true to myself and it feels right, I am open to do anything 🙂


Erika Astrid with her limited-edition design for the Sony FES Watch U / Image: Courtesy of Sony

The new FES Watch U is available now in the UK, Italy, France, Germany and Spain. It is available in silver or black and is priced at approximately £529 and £699 respectively. Find out more here and check out a selection of styles in our gallery below available to buy via Erika on Instagram @erikaastrid.

In partnership with 

Main imageCourtesy of Sony
TextEmma Firth