Ralph & Russo is a luxury goods company and haute couture fashion house. It became the first and only British house to be elected by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture to show its collection on the official schedule at Paris Haute Couture Week, alongside brands such as Chanel, Dior and Valentino. The Chambre Syndicale’s former president, Didier Grumbach was quoted as saying “We expect savoir faire, which is being lost, and they Ralph & Russo have it”.
The house was founded in 2007 by Australian born duo Tamara Ralph (creative director) and Michael Russo (CEO) and within a very short time established itself as one of the world’s fashion houses. In 2013, Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo both joined Marissa Mayer and Mark Zuckerberg on Fortune magazine’s prestigious 40 under 40. Jointly listed at #39 Tamara and Michael are two of the youngest stars recognised by Fortune and the only fashion company to be acknowledged, cementing their presence, influence and status in the fashion world.
In 2014, the privately held company controlled and run by Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo was valued at an undisclosed nine-figure sum.
Creative Director Ralph was born to a mother who is an interior designer and former stylist, a grandfather who was a cordwainer and a great-grandmother and grandmother who were both couturiers. She supposedly grew up absorbing four generations of history and knowledge of design and became passionate about fashion after watching her grandmother and mother design and create dresses for clients in their home.
At the age of 12, self-taught from her family, Ralph started running up clobber for herself and friends who were prepared to pay for her designs. By the age of 15, Ralph was selling her own clothes to private clients and independent boutiques in Australia. Ralph went on to study at the Whitehouse Institute of Design in Sydney before moving to London and establishing the house of Ralph & Russo with Russo.
In 2010, Ralph was asked by Beyoncé to design the gown for her White House performance and later in 2013 to design the outfits for her The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. In 2012, the Victoria and Albert Museum showcased Ralph’s designs in the Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 exhibition in addition to other collaborations with the Walt Disney Company and Swarovski. Throughout 2012 and 2013, Angelina Jolie commissioned Ralph & Russo to design pieces for numerous film premieres and humanitarian events around the world.
Ralph & Russo opened its flagship Maison in London’s prestigious Mayfair shortly followed by another in Paris on Rue Francois 1er. In 2015, the brand opened its first “retail experience” in the Harrods “superbrand” area, alongside the stores other 11 biggest luxury brands including Valentino, Dior, Prada and Gucci.