We ask Julia Rose what gives Ricia the wow factor. We find out how circumstances led to the creation of Ricia and learn more about their stunning timeless designs, quality fabrics, ballet and boobs……
Describe Ricia in 5 words? Elegant high-end occasion wear.
What can breastfeeding parents expect from Ricia? Women can expect to feel special as soon as they receive a box from Ricia. This isn’t any online shopping experience, Ricia has the ‘wow’ factor that sets us apart from other brands. Women feel amazing in our clothes, they’re comfortable yet classy and the fact that you can breastfeed in them so easily is a fabulous feature, but you can wear the gorgeous garments long after your breastfeeding journey ends.
How does the quality of your garments stand out from other brands? Quality is at the forefront of my mind when we designed our pieces as making a mum feel a million dollars is what we’re all about. All of our pieces are hand made in London, and every detail from the stitching to the buttons we choose are of the highest quality. The fabrics range from lovely soft jersey to gorgeous silks because I don’t think women should have to wear cheap materials just because there’s a chance of breastmilk spills!
Can you explain more about the beautiful fabrics you choose? Our fabrics are sourced from mills in Italy, Switzerland, and France. Using European based mills is definitely important to the brand’s ethos as EU regulations and working conditions/pay is not something I would waver from. The materials feel incredible, and definitely need to be seen and touched to be appreciated. The colour palette is quite muted with a couple of bright colours thrown in for fun, but I find it keeps an elegance and classic style lasting longer.
Where does Ricia sit amongst the breastfeeding clothing market? Ricia is definitely at the higher end of the market. I’m aware that the tops and dresses are expensive, but its completely reflective of the quality and care that is taken with each garment.
Why choose Ricia for your breastfeeding occasion wear? Ricia will make you feel fantastic. I felt awful when I was breastfeeding and I was so sick of all my clothes, I just wanted to feel nice for one day!
We hear you have a new outfit rental option, how does that work? Yes! I’m so excited to have launched #rentRICIA! It’s a wonderful way to make the pieces more affordable while also being much better for the planet. Simply rent any top for £30 or dress for £45, keep it for a week and then send it back after your event! I have each piece cleaned ready for the next customer.
How does the style of Ricia clothing allow for easy and comfortable breastfeeding? All of our tops lift from the bottom up creating discreet breastfeeding if thats what you want. I know a lot of women feel uncomfortable being bare chested at the dinner table , so I wanted to make it comfortable for everyone. The openings in the top are central, not to the side, so you don’t have to squeeze your boob out of any uncomfortable openings. Also they’re long enough that you can get your whole boob out if you want.
What is the ethos and ethics of your brand? Ricia is all about making women feel amazing while breastfeeding easily. When I say easily, I mean not feeling like they need to move to another room or bathroom to feed. I absolutely hate hearing stories of women feeling embarrassed or missing out because they want to feed their baby. The idea behind the designs is to offer discreet feeding, and if I can encourage and give confidence to just one woman to breastfeed in public that would be a huge victory for me. I only employ women designers, pattern cutters, and seamstresses along the way, women who understand what it means to be a breastfeeding mum.
How did Ricia come about? I remember it SO clearly. I was sat on my sofa, six months pregnant with my second baby, shopping online for something nice to wear to my brothers wedding. My little boy was going to be two months at the wedding, and I was hoping to be breastfeeding. I couldn’t find ANYTHING I liked online, and there was no way I was going to drag my toddler to the shops with me. I was also a newly single mum without a career I could go back to and I was starting to really stress about what I was going to do financially after the baby arrived! So I decided right there and then that I was going to start my own clothing line, an elegant high end option for a special occasion. I set up meetings with designers and consultants in London and went from there! It was so exciting and wonderful to have a project and something to focus on from what was going on behind the scenes. My mother passed away the year before, and I think that inspired me to grab the bull by the horns and not leave anything for “another time.”
Tell us a bit about you and your background? I was born in England, but grew up in San Francisco. I moved back to England when I was 18 to study and travel and now I’m definitely here to stay! My two passions while growing up were ballet and fashion, I was either at the dance studio or shopping mall. I studied Photography at university and got my Masters in Acting so I’ve always been a creative! I loved working as an actor, but found it impossible once I had my first baby to make it to those last minute auditions and casting calls. Working in fashion was a natural step for me and I’ve loved every minute!
Describe your own personal style? I would describe my personal style as quite classic with a modern twist. I do love a trend, but I have limits with how outlandish I’m willing to go! Lets just say I’m into puff sleeves and high waisted trousers.
What is your favourite piece in your collection? The Quinn top, for sure. Its so gorgeous and I love how versatile it is. It can be worn with a pair of jeans or tucked into a skirt, love it.
What do you feel has been Ricia’s greatest achievement so far? Looking back at the short amount of time Ricia has been around, I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved! Ricia won Smallish Magazine’s “Best Breastfeeding Brand” award which was amazing!
Tell us one thing people probably don’t know about you?! Hmmm, I only have one boob that works! It totally overcompensates for the other flat one when I’m breastfeeding and grows 5 times the size!
What inspires you to design your clothing? The amazing mothers around me who constantly put themselves second and their babies first. Oh, and the fact that I couldn’t wear a SINGLE thing in my wardrobe when I had my baby…that was a shock!
What do you think breastfeeding mums are looking for? On a day to day basis, comfort. But I hear so many women looking for something to make themselves feel like “their old self” which is what my designs strive to do. I want my clothes to make women feel like their fabulous self without having to cut out style.
What are your thoughts on the breastfeeding fashion available to mums? There is a huge boom of breastfeeding fashion available which is really exciting! I was quite bored and uninspired when I was breastfeeding with what was available, but thanks to social media I’m finding loads of new brands that all want to help mums feel great in better breastfeeding fashion.
Who’s style and which brands do you look to for inspiration? I love Whistles and Reiss and I hope that love of design and quality shows in Ricia.
What can we expect from Ricia for A/W? Because of the classic designs of Ricia along with our eco friendly ethos, we won’t be making new seasonal collections every year. The wonderful thing about our customers is there are always new breastfeeding mums, so our dresses can be loved throughout the years!
What is the Ricia mission and hopes for the future? I really hope Ricia grows as a brand and is the first name on people’s lips when suggesting an option for a wedding, or special occasion. And of course as soon as I can I’ll be making more sizes!
What does the future hold for Ricia? I would love to open a shop! I want to create a space where new mums feel comfortable to bring their children, breastfeed in public, and treat themselves to something new!
Finally any advice you want to offer breastfeeding mums? Please just make sure you give yourself the credit you deserve for being an absolute super mama.
I want my clothes to make women feel like their fabulous self without having to cut out style.
We have three of Ricia’s most popular and beautiful outfits for you below, also check out their website for more breastfeeding friendly occasion wear!
A little black dress is a must have and this breastfeeding friendly dress is stunning. The wide strap and cold shoulder detail keep it functional yet fun, while the waved layering and silk material create effortless sophistication and easy nursing access with the jersey feeding element. The garments are made with a woman’s post-pregnancy body in mind and extra room around the ribs, hips, and bust.
This stunning layered top is perfect for parties, occasions and work too with a layered design and delicate wave detail. The gorgeous fabric means it can be dressed up with trousers or a skirt or keep it casual and pair with jeans.
This fabulous 100% silk dress is elegant and practical. The wide strap design covers nursing bras, while the waved top and slits on both sides of the skirt create a feminine silhouette. Perfect for weddings, events, or dressed down for the day with your favourite flats.