Interview  •  Membres Mode - Luxe

INTERVIEW : Riikka Ikäheimo, Riikka Couture

1. First, would you like to tell us about yourself and your career?

First of all, I want to say huge thank you for wanting to share my story and making this interview. I feel very honoured.

My name is Riikka Ikäheimo and I own a fashion label called Riikka Couture.

I have made dresses to artists like Britney Spears and Bebe Rexha. I have made gowns to events like Cannes Film festivals, Amfar gala and in Finland Presidential Indepencence day reception. My dresses have been seen in magazines like Vanity Fair, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Daily Mail.

I’m completely self-taught fashion designer and I have build my whole career without any education, just a dream in my heart and dedication in my mind.

It’s been amazing adventure and I’m very grateful for life giving me a journey like this.

Now I own an atélje in Helsinki and my brand is sold in stores all around Finland through retailers, like Stockmann.


2. How would you describe your creative style and what elements or influences do you bring to your designs?

I love old Hollywood, Paris and jazz.

I love glamour and kindness going hand in hand and creating dresses that make women feel confident and happy.

My whole career begun when I started to see dresses in my dreams after high school.

I never thought I would become a fashion designer or entrepreneur, but I followed my intuition and realized creating dresses was my passion and destiny in this life. 

I moved with one way ticket to Paris 2012 and found this amazing crystal lace fabric, that became my signature look. I still create from that fabric and it has made my brand very well known in Finland.

I love beautiful moments in life, people and old glamour of Paris. Those things have always been a huge inspiration for me. I love style more than trends, and I love when people feel confident on what they are wearing. There’s something magical in it.

I love shiny things and feminine cuts. Dresses are my passion.


3. Where do you find inspiration for your design work? Do you have any values or rituals that help you to create something new?

I create from the dreams I see. I create from the moments I experience, the people I meet and the happiness I feel.

My dresses are like diaries to me, only I can read them. Each dress has been created from many memories that have come ti my way.

I don’t make collections; I create unique pieces. 

I try to avoid fast fashion and I want to create timeless gowns and unique pieces.

My company also does dress rental, and we have shop for second hand dresses, which has grown to be huge business in Finland.

My values are definitely kindness, creating timeless pieces and also boosting women’s confidence and making dresses where they can feel happiness and little magic of life.


4. You have participated in Paris Fashion Week, what was it like to be a Finnish designer there?

It was amazing experience. My brand got good publicity and I have been asked to come again with a new collection.

I will come again, but I want to make it in the right moment.

Paris is the city for fashion, and it was an honour to be selected to show my brand at the PFW 2018. I learned a lot about the industry, I learned what happens behind the scenes and also, I was able to grow my business through the experience and take things forward.


5. Do you feel that being Finnish has any benefits in your field?

Yes and no. My designs are not typical Scandinavian style pieces and I have always walked my own way.

But I do know having Finnish determination ”sisu” has helped me a lot. Not giving up, being modest, being raised by loving parents and being able to grow up in Finland has definitely affected me as a person and I think that has made a difference for sure. 

Not so much that the Finnish nationality would open doors, but the mentality we Finnish have has definitely been a game changer.

My parents taught me kindness and always follow my heart and vision. To do good to others while I chase my dreams and to make sure I live through happiness has been very important keys to have.

I do appreciate Finnish culture, design and what our country represents in the world, but my brand is something different than the famous Scandinavian look.


6. How do you think the French and the Finnish cultures differ in the fashion world? And are there any similarities?

I believe the famous Parisien chic and Finnish simplicity have a lot of similarities.

But still I would not put these two in the same box. Simplicity but different.

I love the French style and how anyone can find themselves in the fashion world here.

You just need to look from the right place.

Here style is connected with the mood and with the personality. Not to the weather or the trends. Here people find themselves and fashion is expressing that. One summer I saw a girl with a fur hat, small dress, and cowboy boots in the middle of the summer, and she was looking amazing! It was a perfect reminder of the French style: dress who you are, not what the season is.

Also, it’s so important to remember fashion was born in France. France has legendary brands here and fashion is a part of the culture. You can’t never compare Paris fashion to anything in the world. It’s a game on its own.

So, I don’t think we can really compare that to the Finnish style in any way.


7. What is your advice to young people who dream of entering the fashion world?

Always believe in your dreams! It’s all possible, but only if you act on it.

You don’t need to be perfect to start, life will build you as well as your dream as you go.

Be creative with your designs, but also with the way you build your company! 

There are no mistakes, but there will be a lot of must takes. Meaning: every failure has an important lesson or a message. Respect those moments as much as the good ones.

Always do good to others and have respect to everyone you meet during your journey.

And most importantly, start today. Not tomorrow, today!


More information on Riikka and her company here:



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