We Chat to Erika Heynatz, OCRF Ambassador for Witchery’s White Shirt 2012 Campaign

| 26 March , 2012 | Reply

Witchery has announced the launch of the 2012 White Shirt Campaign, with the aim of raising funds and awareness for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) with Erika Heynatz as the face of the campaign.

In Australia, one woman dies every 10 hours from Ovarian Cancer. With diagnosis usually in the late stages of the disease, the chance for survival is low. The funds raised from the 2012 White Shirt Campaign will assist the OCRF in their research endeavours to find an early detection test to fight this insidious disease and change this devastating statistic forever.

This year, Witchery have created eight shirts for women and two shirts for men. The womenswear range features an elegantly structured tux shirt, a relaxed tailored boyfriend shirt, and a detailed broderie blouse. The menswear range features a classic white shirt with a fine self stripe and an everyday v-neck tee. Supporting the white shirt collection, Witchery has produced a silver gift collection for men and women encompassing a silver jewellery for women and a silver bow tie and tie for men.

On OCRF White Shirt Day – Saturday May 19, 2012 – Australians will be urged to unite and wear a white shirt to position the spotlight on this dreadful disease and show support to all.

We spoke to the glamboyant Erika Heynatz about her new role and all things Erika:

Sassi: How and why did you get involved in the White Shirt Campaign?

Erika: I\’ve been working in the fashion industry as a model for almost 15 years. It\’s something of a long running joke that in the midst of any tension or drama in the fashion industry, one known for taking itself very seriously at times, that someone will always say “Oh for God\’s sake, it\’s FASHION, it\’s not like you\’re saving lives or anything”. Case in point – clearly I\’m no blonde brain surgeon. However this is a time when I can actually step up and say that my involvement in this campaign as ambassador is assisting the Ovarian Cancer Foundations life saving goal to find an early detection test for Ovarian Cancer. I love Witchery\’s campaign philosophy of life changing fashion, fashion changing lives. The impact on awareness this media has, is very powerful, so it\’s a real honour to be involved. It is a truly unique charity, where 100% profits go directly to the cause, making the strength of any contribution by way of purchase even more potent.

Sassi: What message would you love everyone to take away from this campaign?

Erika: In Australia, one woman dies from ovarian cancer every 10 hours. Ovarian cancer is an insidious disease that has few symptoms and no early detection test. This is an opportunity to make not only a stylish, but an empowered consumer choice. Pledge your support to this worthy cause by purchasing a white shirt from this year\’s stunning capsule collection. On Saturday May 19, 2012, unite and wear a white shirt and get behind the OCRF and their quest to find an early detection test.

Sassi: What do you love about Australian Fashion and working with Australian brands?

Erika:  Witchery is an iconic fashion retailer, with strong industry and community roots, especially through their charity initiatives. Through Witchery\’s long standing time campaign, the white shirt has become a powerful symbol for OCRF\’s lifesaving goal. Witchery is nurturing the future of Australian fashion and creating opportunity for the industry\’s emerging talent with the inaugural Witchery White Shirt Design Award, in a dynamic collaboration with the respected Whitehouse Institute of Design. Second year fashion design students will be able to enter the Witchery Design Award by designing a white shirt intended for the 2013 Witchery White Shirt Campaign for OCRF. The winner gets a 3 month internship at Witchery, which is a fantastic opportunity.

Sassi: What do you love about being Erika Heynatz?

Erika:  I\’m lucky in love after five years of marriage, I live by the ocean, I have the most inspiring, wonderful friends, I\’m really fit and healthy, I am achieving goals that I have set for myself and feel excited and challenged by my professional opportunities, I\’m learning the play the ukulele and I have my first trip to Paris booked in June.

Sassi: What are your top five tips on staying fit and healthy?


  1. Get in touch with nature – worship the sun in small doses, get fresh air, appreciate and explore the world outside.
  2. Still the mind, meditate& even if it is 5 minutes of quiet focused breathing.
  3. Celebrate food, create meals from clean, pure ingredients that are as much of a pleasure to look at, touch, smell and share as well as taste. Get nourishment from every mouthful with mindful eating.
  4. Challenge your body, try different things and feel invigorated by constantly pushing through new boundaries.
  5. Adopt positive body talk and feel the difference. Marvel at the magnificent machine it is.

Sassi: What are your five things you can\’t leave the house without?


  1. Verve (spirit, enthusiasm!)
  2. Scent – if you smell good, you feel good! I love earthy warm fragrances. Currently wearing Tom Ford White Patchouli. Essential oils are great in the handbag to clear the head or ease the nerves during the day. I like a little Aveda Blue Oil Balancing concentrate.
  3. Black LV Lockit Handbag with the entire Harvey Norman World Kitchen Sink Collection packed into it!
  4. Music – I like to burn a playlist for the day, or the month. It\’s an instant mood elevator, motivator or sometimes necessary distractor on the go. I often need to rock my own world.
  5. Snacks – I have an insatiable appetite (and serious ADD when the blood sugar drops) so I\’m always packing delicious treats. Nuts, fruit, eggs, tins of tuna, protein bars

Sassi: Favourite book that changed you?

Erika: We moved around a lot when I was growing up, and I was often restless at night as a result. My mother had the audio book (or good ol cassette back in those days) with Richard Burton narrating my favourite book, The Little Prince. I listened to it every night for years. The story, the most famous work of the French aristocrat writer, poet and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, makes profound and idealistic observations about life and human nature. I loved the characters and relished the idea of seeing with the heart.

Sassi: How do you try and create that elusive ‘balance’ in your life?

Erika: I try to listen to my body, nourish it by eating good clean food, making sure I enjoy the hunting, gathering and sharing part of it as well. Lots of exercise, plenty of genuine play time, as well as quiet, restful time. I try to be present, connected and curious about the people in my life, they are the true indicators of a happy and balanced life for me.

Sassi: What’s coming up for you this year? Anything you can share that we can look forward to?

Erika:  I have recently won one of the lead roles in the Australian version of the international box office smash turned Broadway musical, Legally Blonde (Ed – check out the website here). Finally, I get to experience the truest taste of live performance! With production beginning in August, I will take on the character of Brooke Wyndham, an exercise queen convicted of murdering her husband with a skipping rope. I love a blonde joke as much as the next person, and I relish the opportunity to inject humor into an empowered story that challenges any preconceptions about beauty and brains. I\’m so incredibly excited about doing live musical theatre, it\’s absolutely one of my longest held professional desires.

Last year I was cast as German Jazz singer, Elsa Lichtman, in L.A. Noire by Rockstar Games. Shot in Los Angeles, L.A Noire is an interactive detective story set in the classic noir period of the late 1940’s that blends cinema and gaming to a level which saw it\’s inclusion in the prestigious New York Tribeca film festival. The game received global exposure, and earned me a nomination for Best Supporting actress in the Annual NAVGTR Awards, I think it\’s like the Oscars of the computer geek world!

To date, Witchery have raised over $3 million for the OCRF. These funds have enabled the appointment of two fulltime, dedicated OCRF research scientists—Witchery Research Fellow Dr Adam Rainczuk, and Witchery-Madison Research Fellow Jyothsna Rao.

Witchery\’s White Shirt collection is available in Witchery stores throughout Australia and New Zealand and online at witchery.com.au from April 18th 2012.

Support the cause through their Facebook page: Witchery White Shirt Campaign and visit OCRF\’s website for more information: www.ocrf.com.au.

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