Combine the artistry of Tamara Ralph with the business acumen of Michael Russo and you have the dynamic design team of Ralph & Russo, rising stars in the world of haute couture.
Fashion is in Tamara Ralph’s blood. The designer’s family encompasses four generations in fashion and tailoring in her native Australia. So it was only natural when the self-taught Tamara decided to attend Sydney’s Whitehouse Institute of Design. From there, Tamara’s talents swiftly grew into a thriving business, with word-of- mouth about her elegant designs and delicate craftsmanship spreading throughout Australia.
It seemed to be destiny when Tamara met fellow Australian Michael Russo during a trip to London in 2003. Sought after by financial institutions like Deutsche Bank and Barclays for his expertise, Michael was just the man for Tamara, both in and out of the boardroom. The two founded Ralph & Russo in 2007 (he is CEO/President and she is Creative Director), a partnership that is both professional and personal.
In fact the couple, known to finish each other’s sentences, are engaged, and were included in Fortune Magazine’s ‘40 under 40’ (the wealthiest people in the world under forty), adding yet another proverbial feather in their cap.
In just seven years since joining forces, Ralph & Russo has made fashion history. Invited into the most exclusive of all couture clubs, they were the first British label in nearly a century to show on the official Paris Haute Couture Week schedule, with their Fall/Winter 2014-15 Collection. With this prestigious honor came a Parisian showroom, placing Ralph & Russo astride two fashion capitals, London and Paris, with plans of opening in New York and Hong Kong. The brand also opened its first retail boutique this past December inside Harrods’ new Superbrands area, placing them amidst the fine company of Gucci, Prada, Valentino, and Dior.
Every Ralph & Russo gown begins from individually designed, hand-drawn sketches. Couturiers drape, cut, and pin the gowns to the body then bead, embellish, and sew the garments individually, all by hand. Each gown is made-to-measure (with every client having their own custom mannequin) and can take hundreds of hours and up to thirty pairs of hands to create.
Clients include royalty and a-listers, designing dresses for Kate Middleton, Beyoncé (for her Mrs. Carter tour), Angelina Jolie (for her audience with the Queen of England), and most recently, Gwyneth Paltrow (for her appearance at the Oscars).
WHERE TO FIND IT
- Harrods, London
- Showrooms in London and Paris (by appointment)