Deadly Denim and Funk n Soul 97 designers team up for fashion event

Deadly Denim designer Rebecca Rickard debuted at New York Fashion Week this year and will soon have her clothes featured on the catwalks in Paris. Image supplied.

Deadly Denim designer Rebecca Rickard debuted at New York Fashion Week this year and will soon have her clothes featured on the catwalks in Paris. Image supplied.

Two years ago a hobbyist fashion designer from Peppermint Grove Beach was making her runway debut at Perth Fashion Festival's Indigenous Runway show.

This year, the Deadly Denim creator Rebecca Rickard has celebrated her debut at New York's Fashion Week and is about to see her designs strutted down the catwalk in Paris.

While the global pandemic meant Ms Rickard could not attend the events in person, she said what started off as a hobby had now taken centre stage.

"I did not really expect it to take off like it has, I have never run a business before or a label," she said.

"I had no idea how much I would enjoy it."

Ms Rickard creates clothing from recycled denim with textile that has been designed by Aboriginal artists.

"So many opportunities have come out of it that I would never have thought for myself, especially being an emerging designer featured in New York Fashion Week," she said.

"It has also opened a lot of doors locally."

Ms Rickard has been invited to schools, women's prisons and communities to talk about her label and road to success, as well as having her designs featured in magazines and television programs.

She also recently relocated to Perth to grow her business and teamed up with another designer Tia Semi from Funk n Soul 97 to collaborate on a number of initiatives.

The pair are putting together a runway event at the Fremantle Festival 10 Nights in Port which will showcase Aboriginal, Maori and Pacific Islander culture through fashion and dance.

Funk n Soul 97 designer Tia Semi teams up with Deadly Denim designer Rebecca Rickard to showcase their work at 10 Nights in Port. Images supplied.

Funk n Soul 97 designer Tia Semi teams up with Deadly Denim designer Rebecca Rickard to showcase their work at 10 Nights in Port. Images supplied.

Ms Semi is deaf, has cerebral palsy and congenital cytomegalovirus. She got into fashion design and modelling after opportunities presented to her when she left school were less than fulfilling.

One of her support workers saw an ad looking for models at Eco Fashion Week Australia, after auditioning they wanted Ms Semi on their team which sparked her love of design.

Speaking on behalf of Ms Semi, her mum Gina said Tia learned through Eco Fashion about doing things from scratch.

"Her father is Samoan, she was getting fabric and painting on tribal patterns, which are based on his tattoos," she said.

"Tia gets ideas for her clothes designs from Pinterest and collaborates with another person to create patterns, then off she goes.

"Tia loves being on stage, she is like another person, she gets quite confident and loves being seen like everybody else."

Since starting her own label Ms Semi has been invited to Cairns, New Zealand and Brisbane to take part in Indigenous and Pacific fashion shows.

Designers Ms Semi and Rickard have teamed up a number of times for fashion events in Perth.

"Making the relationship with Bec last year was a leading thing for Tia, their relationship is really cool it is quite comical they have a lot of fun," Gina said.

10 Nights in Port takes place from July 15, visit 10nightsinport.com.au.

This story When deadly cultures collide first appeared on Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.