August 9, 2017
Couture label Ralph & Russo is growing its brand with the premiere of its first ready-to-wear collection.
The British house is joining the London Fashion Week schedule in September to debut its line. Expanding into more accessible fashions is expected to help the privately owned brand capitalize on its current growth trajectory.
Ralph & Russo was founded in 2007 by creative director Tamara Ralph and CEO Michael Russo. When the label received entry into the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, it was the first British brand in almost 100 years to accomplish the distinction, which allows it to show on the official Paris Haute Couture Week schedule.
Ralph & Russo plans to continue to show at the couture week in Paris, but wanted to think globally for this launch.
In September, the brand is expanding outside of its couture roots with a ready-to-wear line. On Sept. 15 at 8:30 p.m. BST, Ralph & Russo will show its collection at Old Billingsgate, a fish market converted into a London event space.
Look from Ralph & Russo's autumn/winter 2017 couture show. Image credit: Ralph & Russo
“With London being a cosmopolitan hub, we couldn’t think of a better place to launch our first ready-to-wear offering,” Mr. Russo said in a statement. “We continue to listen to the demand of our customer and the market, which will continue to fuel the expansion of the R&R product and universe.”
Ralph & Russo intends for its ready-to-wear line to reflect its identity while also acting as an independent extension of its brand.
The label has been worn by celebrities such as Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Naomi Campbell, Kirsten Dunst, Rihanna, Brie Larson and Hailee Steinfeld on both the red carpet at events and on the street.
Today, the brand runs a by-appointment maisons in London and Paris, as well as retailing in department stores and retailers such as Harrods, Tsum and Harvey Nichols.
Fellow couture label Giambattista Valli made similar moves into ready-to-wear in 2014.
The Italian couture designer showed his first collection for his new ready-to-wear line Giamba during Milan Fashion Week that September.
This was the first time Mr. Valli had shown in Milan rather than in Paris, where he still shows his couture and ready-to-wear collections. This new label allows him to reach yet another audience after establishing a following for his other lines (see story).