Ralph & Russo: How London-Based Brand Continues to Operate After Entering Administration

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Ralph and Russo is a European fashion brand based in London, founded by Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo. The brand specializes in haute couture, having dressed royals and Hollywood celebrities while offering ready-to-wear and accessory collections.

Although the brand has been based in London since its inception, Ralph and Russo are Australian, launching their brand in 2007.

Ralph & Russo calls the wealthy London neighborhood of Mayfair home, with its atelier sitting between world-renowned British brands, including Jenny Packham, Alexander McQueen, and Roland Mouret.

Australians Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo founded the European label Ralph & Russo in 2007Australians Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo founded the European label Ralph & Russo in 2007 (Credit: Aurore Marechal / ABACA / Startraksphoto)

Ralph and Russo is unique because it’s the only English fashion brand with a ‘Couture’ status. The brand is famous for dressing the royal Kardashian Meghan Markle for her official engagement photoshoot in 2017.

We’re sharing everything you need to know about Ralph & Russo and answering the most popular questions about the brand.

What Is Ralph & Russo?

Ralph & Russo is an international luxury fashion brand and England’s only recognized couture brand. Australian duo Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo launched the brand in London, each lending their surname to the company’s name.

Tamara Ralph operated as the brand’s Creative Director, overseeing its Mayfair atelier, while Michael Russo was responsible for the business operations.

The pair remained in charge of the brand until their departure in 2021, when the brand was rescued from administration.

Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo were also partners in life but they broke up after their fashion label was placed into administration in 2021Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo were also partners in life but they broke up after their fashion label was placed into administration in 2021 (Credit: Richard Young / startraksphoto)

Ralph and Russo were both life and business partners, with Ralph being a fourth-generation couturier, learning how to sew and design from her mother and grandmother.

They separated in 2017 but remained business partners until Tamara left in 2021 to start her own eponymous brand in Paris.

Ralph and Russo founders Tamara Ralph and Michael RussoTamara Ralph and Michael Russo attend the opening night of Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House featuring the UK Premiere of “Pain And Glory” on August 8, 2019, in London, England (Credit: WENN/Avalon)

The brand became the first British guest member in almost a century to be invited by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture to show its first runway collection as part of the Spring/Summer 2014 couture season.

The haute couture regulations mean that design houses are evaluated on their structure, technical skill, and process before going for consideration by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.

Ralph and Russo during the Spring/Summer 2016-2017 Paris Haute-Couture Fashion WeekRalph and Russo during the Spring/Summer 2016-2017 Paris Haute-Couture Fashion Week (Credit: Audrey Poree / ABACA / Startraksphoto)

Ralph & Russo can present their collections in January and July each year at Haute Couture Fashion Week alongside brands like Chanel, Valentino, Lanvin, and Dior.

Michael Russo explained that the brand chose London over Paris as its base because “it’s a place to settle…it’s where our clients buy property and send their children to school. It feels like the center of the universe”.

Tamara Ralph also explained that surprisingly “accessibility is key. People want the exclusivity and the craftsmanship of couture – but they want it to be able to fit into their lifestyle”.

Ralph & Russo runway at London Fashion Week Pret-A-Porter Spring / Summer 2018 in September 2017Ralph & Russo runway at London Fashion Week Pret-A-Porter Spring / Summer 2018 in September 2017 (Credit: Ik Aldama / picture-alliance / Cover Images)

What Is Ralph & Russo Known For?

Ralph & Russo is synonymous with its aesthetic that focuses heavily on refined glamour and romantic femininity with timeless elegance. The brand “holds the art of female allure at its core,” with many of its designs taking whimsical inspiration.

It gained public attention in 2017 when Meghan Markle wore a Ralph & Russo gown for her official engagement photo shoot with Prince Harry. The black dress with a beaded bodice was taken from the brand’s couture collection.

Ralph and Russo were also hotly tipped as a potential designer to dress Meghan Markle for her wedding before the big day. However, British designer Clare Waight Keller, Artistic Director of Givenchy, styled Markle for her wedding.

The brand is also closely linked to Angelina Jolie, dressing the actress for several important occasions.

She wore a Ralph & Russo suit to receive her honorary Damehood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2014 and a custom Ralph & Russo gown for the 2019 Maleficent: Mistress of Evil premiere.

Angelina Jolie is just one of the many celebrity fans of Ralph & RussoAngelina Jolie is just one of the many celebrity fans of Ralph & Russo (Credit: Keith Mayhew / Cover Images / Richard Young / FRANZISKA KRUG / Nicolas Briquet / ABACA / startraksphoto)

Ownership of Ralph & Russo

Ralph & Russo was privately owned from its launch through its fall into administration in 2021. The US investment firm Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV) bought the brand out of administration.

REV, owned by entrepreneurs Tai Lopez and Alex Mehr, bought Ralph & Russo three months after it fell into administration.

Ralph & Russo collapsed into administration in March 2021 with debts amounting to almost 28 million pounds after the fallout of the pandemic hit the brand hard, with weddings and formal functions being canceled.

Retail Ecommerce Ventures LLC, known for reviving struggling retail brands, bought Ralph & Russo out of administration in 2021Retail Ecommerce Ventures LLC, known for reviving struggling retail brands, bought Ralph & Russo out of administration in 2021

Both Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo left the company after REV’s purchase. Retail Ecommerce Ventures LLC have said on the Ralph & Russo website that they are “restoring the brand and will elevate it to new heights.”

Where to Find Ralph & Russo Stores

Ralph & Russo opened its first store in London with a second in Paris on Rue Francois 1er fr.

Its first boutique was opened in Harrods with plans for additional stores in America, Asia, and Europe. Ralph & Russo has gained a following in the Middle East, opening stores in Doha, Qatar, and Dubai.

Ralph & Russo opened its first retail boutique in the London department store, Harrods, in 2015Ralph & Russo opened its first retail boutique in the London department store, Harrods, in 2015 (Credit: Ralph and Russo)

A third European Ralph & Russo store was opened in Monaco, establishing the brand as a go-to for the international jet set.

How to Pronounce Ralph & Russo

Ralph & Russo is pronounced as “ra-lph and rue-so”

Where Are Ralph & Russo Products Made?

Ralph & Russo products are made in the brand’s London atelier and Italy, elevating its luxury credentials.

The brand states that it is committed “to providing the highest levels of quality that allow us to set the tone as an innovator in the world of luxury.”

Ralph & Russo products are made in its London atelier and in ItalyRalph & Russo products are made in its London atelier and Italy

It continues to “pursue excellence and the very best in design and craftsmanship, striving to set new standards of quality by fusing tradition and modern luxury.” Ralph & Russo claims to produce products that remain true to the brand’s values.

How Expensive Is Ralph & Russo?

Ralph & Russo is a luxury couture brand that sits at a top-dollar price point. The brand’s iconic ‘Eden’ heels retail for over $2,000, with exotic bags retailing between $4,400 and $12,000.

Ralph & Russo’s ready-to-wear range from $750 for a chiffon blouse to over $10,000 for evening wear. You can expect to pay significantly more than this for Ralph & Russo’s haute couture line.

Ralph & Russo products usually range from $400 for simple slides to over $10,000 for evening wearRalph & Russo products usually range from $400 for simple slides to over $10,000 for evening wear

Do you want to experience your own fairytale moment? Ralph & Russo is a couture brand you’ll feel right at home with.

Filed Under: Celebrities