We Chat To Rika's Designer!

21 March 2011

There's just something about cool, Swedish labels that make us not only want to wear them but live in their world too! Rika is one of them and luckily for us, its designer Ulrika Lundgren, has created a just-as-cool magazine, perfect for daydreaming about being a Rika girl. Who exactly is the Rika girl? We caught up with Ulrika right after the party in Paris to celebrate the magazine's just-released 4th issue, to find out. Notepads at the ready, ladies!

Grazia Daily: Hi Ulrika and congrats on both the S/S'11 collection and launching the new issue of Rika magazine! You've had a party to celebrate both in Paris, how was it?

Ulrika Lundgren: It was just magical! We celebrated the launch of the 4th issue of Rika Magazine together with Masion Michel's Laetitia Crahay and the 'Prince of Paris' Andre Saraiva at La Fidelite. We had our last launch there as well and the location is just so cool. I wanted a place that's not a classic club, more like a personal intimate location to create a Rika world and to spread the spirit. La Fidelite proved to be perfect as you can have both: great music, life performance and conversations. Irina decided to play with her band Operation Juliette as well as Robinson and Theo. It was amazing that so many people came to celebrate with us; Gaia Repossi, Andreas Kronthaler, Leigh Leyark, Melanie Laurent...

Grazia Daily: You chose five girls for this fourth issue; Irina Lazareanu, Alison Mosshart, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Valentine Fillol-Cordier and Tara Jean. Was it easy deciding on whom to feature and did you have these girls in your mind already?

Ulrika Lundgren: I decided to feature all the girls from the main fashion stories as all of them turned out so beautifully and different. Its just a great way to thank the girls and to show their variety and differences. Irina is just such an amazing and beautiful girl. When I saw her scrapbook for the very first time and actually read her poetry I knew we needed to feature it in the next issue to show another side of her. She is so energetic and always shares this amazing energy of hers. Then again, when she is on stage performing her own songs and covers she is fascinating and shows another Irina- again! We meet up at Cafe de Fleur for a drink, it doesnt matter where or what its always easy with her.

Alison is a very interesting girl to me. Her musical talent is mind-blowing wether it is with The Kills or Dead Weather with Jack White. I love her newly released single Satellite from the new Kills album. I like her roughness and her rock'n'roll attitude on stage. Then when you meet her she is very humble and shy. I met her at the Portobello Hotel in London where Lina Scheynius shot her for the magazine. No allures, no special treatment, just a simple girl!

I was very curious about Annabelle. I have been working closely with Andre and when I finally met his girlfriend in person I knew why he is crazy about her. She is just so cute and sweet. She has a nice style, which I could identify with and that is why I asked her to be in the issue. She is busy with a lot of different stuff and that's what is so attractive. She is a hybrid.

Valentine is just such a cool cat. Busy as a creative consultant, stylist, dj and model. she has such a different look and style then the other girls. We put Valentine in collaboration with Ami Sioux who shot her in a very Beat Generation-inspired story. I like the dialogue with my teams instead of just telling them what to do. Valentine is just magical!

Tara Jean was picked by Olivier Zahm as she reflected the Rika girl perfectly to him. We planned this Easy Rider story for her and when I met her in the Purple office she told us that she and her father are crazy about motorcycles which was a great connection with perfect instinct.

Grazia Daily: You're already close to Irina, How did you first meet and could you tell us who else did you work with for this issue and most importantly, whether you had fun?

Ulrika Lundgren: I met Irina when we created issue no 3. Marc Hom shot her and Anouck Lepere and when I came to the shoot we instantly connected. We've worked with so many amazing people on this issue; Coco Young who writes a very cool blog and is the 'muse' of Ryan McGinley, Olivia Bee is a 16-year-old photographer from Portland who shoots campaigns for Nike and Converse and Indigo Clark wrote two beautiful stories - a homage to On The Road by Jack Kerouack and an interview with Laetitia Crahay. Helena Christensen has been contributing to the magazine since the start and I love her work, its very dark and artsy. Creating this issue was  an amazing experience.

Grazia Daily: The S/S'11 looks amazing! When you start each collection, do you have a particular set of inspirations in mind or do you design for yourself and what you'd like to have in your wardrobe? What's the key piece of the collection and what have you not stopped wearing since you designed it?

Ulrika Lundgren: It's a mixture of both. I have a specific idea/theme in my head and combine this with my own personal style and what I want to wear. I want to create pieces that I can wear from one season to the other and mix-and-match these with other pieces. For S/S1'1 I've introduced two new prints which I'm in love with- the splash print in yellow, pinkish, black mix and the flower print in blue and greens combined with black. I like mixing the very playful romantic pieces with harder black leather. I personally love the Perdita leather jacket. By now I have a good stock on leather jackets which are my little obsession. Oh, and the Eva skirt is amazing- it's a long black skirt with a bit of a fish tail- so flattering and cool, a perfect mix: bohemian and rock'n'roll.



We agree - the perfect mix!

-- Kiki Georgiou


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