Paradox frames the design aesthetic in Ricarda : chaos and order, bohemian and purist, masculine and feminine
German born Ricarda Loecker spent her formative years in Dusseldorf, where she developed a passionate appreciation of art, design and workmanship. She was apprenticed as a tailor before entering the Dusseldorf Fashion School. Bauhaus, Dada, and the American pop art of the sixties formed Ricarda’s aesthetic. A strong eye for form and colour guided deeper art studies at the renowned Kunstakademie Dusseldorf. The radical installation artist Joseph Beuys reputed for extreme rebellion and progressive ideas was a strong attraction for Ricarda.
During her time studying art in Munich, Ricarda established her fashion label RICARDA LÖCKER. The label was recognised for its androgynous feel and luxurious designs. “The touch and feel of particular fabrics is always a strong impulse for my imagination.” She designed the collections, personally selected and sourced the materials from the fabric fairs of Italy and France, controlled her own production and sales to avantgarde boutiques in Europe. (1970-1985)
Her business eventually employed seventy people. Commercial and fashion world success achieved, Ricarda found herself driven to find opportunities to develop other aspects of her life. Australia offered attractive opposites: from the highly man made environments of European cities to the wilderness of the Australian outback, from the highly charged business life to the freedom of alternative life-stylers. Excited by these possibilities she and her young family moved to Western Australia in 1985. She continued her European design career from the other side of the world. She was employed as a freelance designer by Strenesse Gabriele Strehle and returned to Germany several times a year to develop and guide the design process for each Strenesse collection for five years.
A period of intense personal creativity followed in which Ricarda cared for her children, became a potter (porcelain) and a gardener – creating a unique house and garden on the South Coast of Western Australia.
Ricarda re-entered the fashion world as a retailer in 2002. She wanted to set a new standard of sophistication and quality for her loved rural town. Her idea was a concept store combining fine design in fashion and home-wares. The success of this venture soon led to the development of two retail stores in Perth (Claremont + Subiaco) and the eStore.
Although the project was initially solo, Ricarda’s business has been enriched by the shared vision she has with her two daughters Pauline and Brenda. Both had worked with reputed fashion companies in Germany before undertaking Australian degrees in business management and marketing. These three are now constantly refining their retail concept, traveling extensively, and bringing a unique mix of traditional and emerging International and National brands into the beautiful disorder of their RICARDA spaces.