|It's all in the details.
Photo courtesy of Maison RIKA.
Fashion is the epitome of romanticism. Not the "romanticism" you see in glossy Hollywood films but the type nurtured by Wordsworth and Keats; where imagination rules over logic, individualism is celebrated, spontaneity is embraced and the past is frequently revisited. Fashion encourages self-expression and constructs identity by marrying goods with intangible ideologies. Our closets house our deepest desires and most shallow thoughts, cultivating identity through style, colour, texture and brand.
Luxury fashion brand RIKA understands romanticised individuality. The RIKA woman is edgy, sentimental and independent. The brand was founded in 2005 by Swedish born, stylist-turned-designer, Ulrika Lundgren. Working as a fashion and interior stylist around the globe, Lundgren, "developed a strong personal taste, always looking for really special, unique pieces." RIKA's "really special, unique" piece was born in Menorca, Spain, where Lundgren hired a local craftsman to make her a prop bag. The tote, embellished with the RIKA star, is now the brand's trademark and denotes what RIKA is all about: "A star reminds us of that vintage touch-of-Hollywood class as much as of a contemporary hue of rock 'n' roll…," Lundgren explains. Its allure has drawn in many, including high-profile style icons Carine Roitfeld, Alexa Chung and Scarlett Johansson, who have fallen for RIKA's romantic yet edgy approach.
The brand itself is comprised of the RIKA fashion collection, a bi-yearly RIKA magazine, and RIKA boutique located in Amsterdam's Leidseplein neighbourhood. But recently, RIKA expanded into a more intimate arena: a guesthouse. Maison RIKA is an extension of the RIKA dream and opened in November 2011, a stone's throw from the RIKA boutique. The guesthouse is a cosy space that Lundgren decorated and styled to her own personal tastes, similar to the "simple, classical with a twist [style]," found in the RIKA collection, she points out.
The first floor, referred to as the Gallery Boutique, contains carefully selected goods for sale and hosts "pop up" fashion, music and art events, while the top floor consists of two guest spaces which overlook the Canal Herengracht. "It was fun to decorate the rooms. I wanted guests to feel like they were sleeping over at a friend's house. I picked up things from markets in Paris, Antwerp, and Amsterdam," elaborates Lundgren. Maison RIKA hones the same edgy, chic look as the clothes and her attention to detail in styling is shown in the guest space. "We painted the window panels black, as well as the old wooden floors. We made velvet curtains in black and then broke up the colour with pillows, flowers, and art on the walls." The guest space is a fusion of local and international, of comfort and edge, of simplicity and complexity.
Lundgren's love for detail is accompanied by her passion for quality and she seeks out only the best materials and staff. She works with decorators, designers, painters and artists, such as San Ming and John Derian, from all around the world. Her art director is in New York City, editors are in London, and stylist in Paris. RIKA's brand, although cosmopolitan and increasingly global, focuses on celebrating authenticity and individuality. Lundgren encourages works of various Amsterdam street artists, and artists who are visiting, to display their art in the RIKA boutique window. Maison RIKA also carries goods that further complement the brand: Astier de Villate scented candles, Maison Michel headbands and Summerbird organic chocolates, to name a few.
|One of Maison RIKA's two guest rooms.
Photo courtesy of Maison RIKA.
The addition of the guesthouse to the fashion collection, boutique, and magazine has extended RIKA's identity. It signifies to its client that RIKA isn't simply a brand; it's a lifestyle. Lundgren has created a safe and beautiful space where patrons can dream, covet, and submerge into their desires. Above all, this hybrid business model exudes romanticism; what's more enjoyable than waking up in style? After all, the ability, to sleep with a brand that identifies with you, is rare.
Determined Lundgren has high hopes for RIKA; she lets her passion and instinct drive the brand forward. "When I get an idea, I make it happen," she laughs.
Oude Spiegelstraat 12
1016 BM Amsterdam
+31 20 330 1112
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