Roland Mouret was the king of the sexy yet sophisticated look in the 2010s. His beautifully structured Galaxy bodycon dresses could be spotted on everyone from Kate Middleton to Kim Kardashian, quickly earning him icon status within the industry.
Actress Penelope Cruz flaunts her legs in a Roland Mouret dress at the ‘Ma Ma’ premiere during the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival at The Elgin on September 15, 2015, in Toronto, Canada (Credit: BAKOUNINE / Shutterstock)
But as the years passed, Roland Mouret’s popularity began to wane. Newer contemporary designers began replacing his name in the headlines, and the financial struggles that came with the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t help.
So, whatever happened to Roland Mouret? An unexpected acquisition from Self-Portrait’s Han Chong put the label back on the map late last year. Find out all about Chong and Mouret’s new plans for the brand below!
The Rise to Fame
Born in the French countryside and based in London, Roland Mouret always had an ambitious mindset. The self-proclaimed country boy moved to Paris for a decade before starting his fashion career in London.
Naomi Watts in an RM by Roland Mouret Artemis dress and her boyfriend Liev Schreiber attend the 64th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 13, 2010, in New York City (Credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock)
He quickly became a master tailor and draper despite having no formal training and launched his eponymous label in 2006 with help from Simon Fuller.
Roland Mouret was known for his stunning evening gowns, but his specialty lay in structured midi dresses. He figured out a way to give women all the support they needed while creating an ultra-flattering silhouette.
His sexy formalwear became a celebrity favorite for smart occasions such as interviews, press conferences, and even red carpet events.
Fashion designers Roland Mouret and Louise Gray arrive for The Elle Style Awards 2012 at The Savoy Hotel on February 13, 2012, in London, England (Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock)
It seemed that everyone owned a Galaxy dress, from royals that needed to follow a semi-modest dress code, to bombshells that simply wanted to flaunt their curves, like Dita Von Teese and Blake Lively.
Halle Berry wears the popular Roland Mouret ‘Galaxy’ dress with black Jimmy Choo ‘Anouk’ pumps at the Variety’s Power Of Women Presented By Lifetime at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 5, 2012, in Beverly Hills, California (Credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock)
By the early 2010s, Roland Mouret became one of the most popular contemporary British brands in the industry. The label seemed unstoppable, expanding into new avenues including accessories and fragrance.
The Inevitable Pandemic Blow
Unfortunately, Roland Mouret’s momentum began to die down in the second half of the decade.
Maybe it was the rise of athleisure within the fashion industry, or maybe it was the red carpet trend of nude gowns, but the hype for structured dresses had passed by the end of the 2010s.
Viola Davis in a Roland Mouret pencil dress attends the 2017 Summer TCA Tour ‘Disney ABC Television Group’ on August 6, 2017, in Los Angeles, California (Credit: Sara De Boer / startraksphoto)
The label’s profits began dropping by 2019, and the following year’s pandemic only made matters worse. Sales had reduced by a whopping 80% in 2021. A company representative stated that they “lost 20 years in one day.”
The brand was forced to close their flagship store in London and file for administration, the British term for bankruptcy, by the end of the year.
How the Future of Roland Mouret Came to Self-Portrait’s Hands
Roland Mouret’s financial woes didn’t last for too long. The brand was recently acquired by Han Chong, founder of accessible luxury label Self-Portrait.
Chong’s occasion dresses have been experiencing an incredible level of success over the past few years, much like Roland Mouret in its early days.
Self-Portrait founder Han Chong bought Roland Mouret out of administration (Credit: FashionStock / Shutterstock)
Though Self-Portrait dresses are more traditionally feminine than Roland Mouret’s, often featuring delicate lace and lightweight pleating, both brands have an intrinsic dedication to fine tailoring and structure that instantly elevates their designs.
The iconic British label is now a part of Chong’s new holding company, SP Collection, which was established to “discover, nurture, and develop best in class creativity and design.” Chong has been an advocate for giving back to the industry for years now.
Jordana Brewster in a pink fitted Roland Mouret dress featuring graphic cutout inserts at the 2017 FOX Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 15, 2017, in New York City (Credit: Jennifer Graylock / INSTARimages)
He launched a 5-year scholarship with London’s premier fashion university Central Saint Martins in 2018 and is looking forward to helping both new and old designers flourish in their roles.
A Match Made in Tailoring Heaven?
Chong hasn’t released too much information about his future plans for Roland Mouret, but we can only expect exciting things from the designer duo.
The Self-Portrait founder has announced that the acquisition will be a collaboration and that he is “delighted” that Mouret will be joining him to move the brand into its next stage. Mouret will act as a Creative Chair, while Chong works to develop the brand’s legacy for a global audience.
Actress Emma Stone in a blue Roland Mouret ‘Dalmon‘ sleeveless wool crepe dress at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Grants Banquet at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on August 4, 2016, in Beverly Hills, California (Credit: Sara De Boer / Startraksphoto)
Spectators believe that Roland Mouret can act as a high-end counterpart to Self-Portrait’s mid-range price point so that SP Collection can figure out the ideal business strategies for each type of brand.
The first re-launched Roland Mouret collection is expected to be released for Resort 2023 since their website hints that something new is coming this fall.
Whatever the future holds for Roland Mouret and Self-Portrait, we expect it to be bright.
Leslie Mann flaunted her legs in a navy Roland Mouret dress and high heels (Credit: WENN)
The mom-and-daughter tandem looked chic and classy in their mini dresses. Maude shimmered in a black-and-gold dress, while Leslie kept it sophisticated in a plain blue frock.
Leslie Mann in Roland Mouret and her daughter Maude Apatow in Ganni at the 26th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on November 28, 2016 (Credit: WENN)
The then-44-year-old actress highlighted her figure in a navy stretch-crepe dress by Roland Mouret.
Leslie Mann wore a boat-style neckline dress featuring quarter sleeves and a D-ring fastening (Credit: WENN)
It was modest and elegant, with a boat-style neckline, quarter sleeves, and a D-ring fastening that helped accentuate her frame.
The Cable Guy actress accessorized with just a ring and a couple of gold bracelets to keep the look simple.
She wore her golden tresses down in waves and rounded out her look with smoky eye makeup.
Leslie Mann opted for a navy Roland Mouret midi dress (Credit: Dennis Van Tine / Future Image / Ivan Nikolov / WENN)
Leslie slipped into a pair of Alaia heels, which featured circle details, metal studs, ankle straps, back-zip closures, and about five-inch heels.
Unfortunately, these sandals are already sold out.
Leslie Mann displays her feet in Alaia sandals (Credit: WENN)