Ralph Rucci

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Ralph Rucci
Born1957 (age 66–67)
EducationTemple University, Fashion Institute of Technology
AwardsCooper-Hewitt National Design Award, 2008,
The Couture Council of The Museum at FIT, 2006
Pratt Institute Icon Award, 2009
The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts Visionary Award for Fashion, 2011
SCAD André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012
Honorary Doctoral Degree from Drexel University College of Art and Design, 2015

Ralph Rucci (born 1957)[1] is an American fashion designer and artist.[2] He is known in particular for Chado Ralph Rucci, a luxury clothing and accessories line.[3] Rucci's clothing designs have appeared in a number of major exhibitions, and he has won some significant fashion-industry awards. He is the subject of a recent documentary, and he and his clothing have received positive critical response in the fashion press.

Life and career[edit]

Ralph Rucci "Stingray Swan" evening gown, Spring-Summer 2001 [4](PMA)

Rucci was born and raised in Philadelphia, and holds a degree in philosophy from Temple University. At the age of 21, he moved to New York to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology and later trained under Halston and a Balenciaga patternmaker. He had his first formal show at New York's Westbury Hotel in 1981,[5] but launched Chado Ralph Rucci over a decade later, in 1994, and began showing at New York Fashion Week in 1999. In 2002, Rucci became the first American designer in more than 60 years to be invited to show in Paris by the French Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture (the only other designer to be so honored was Mainbocher),[6] and he showed his haute couture collections in Paris for the next five seasons. He has twice been nominated for the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Womenswear Designer of the Year Award. Rucci is also a painter, who has exhibited in art galleries throughout the U.S.[7] His paintings, exhibited at the Serge Sorokko Gallery in San Francisco in December, 2012, were described by Architectural Digest as "enigmatic works... bearing sweeping brushstrokes that are collaged, here and there, with scraps of silken fabrics."[8]

From the beginning of his career, Rucci was inspired by the style of such fashion icons as Elsa Peretti (for her "biomorphic nature") and Pauline de Rothschild (for "creating harmony out of disorder").[9][10] Rucci's influences also include the painters Cy Twombly, Franz Kline, Antoni Tàpies and Francis Bacon, sculptor Louise Nevelson, Japanese symbolism, and the designer James Galanos.[11] Rucci's "individual mind" has been praised, as well as his "distinct point of view," as The New York Times noted in a review on a 2007 Rucci exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology.[12]

In 2007, fashion historian Valerie Steele wrote The Art of Weightlessness, an illustrated monograph published by the Yale University Press on the occasion of Rucci's exhibition at the FIT Museum.[13] In 2008, the documentary Ralph Rucci: A Designer and His House, narrated by Martha Stewart, premiered on the Sundance Channel.[14] In 2011, Rucci was inducted into the Fashion Group International Walk of Fame.[15] In December 2011, Bauer and Dean published Autobiography of a Fashion Designer: Ralph Rucci, with photographs by Baldomero Fernandez. In 2012, Rucci received an André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Savannah College of Art and Design.[16]

Chado Ralph Rucci[edit]

Rucci launched the Chado Ralph Rucci line in 1994, "chado" coming from the Japanese tea ceremony noted for its attention to detail, exactitude, sense of austere style, and expertise on the part of the practitioner.[17]

According to Cathy Horyn of The New York Times, "Mr. Rucci’s clothes have a devotion to elegance that can feel as pitiless as a sermon on a hot summer day,"[18] while Robin Givhan of The Washington Post wrote that "Rucci's clothes are aspirational in every sense of the word. They ooze luxury from 100 paces, yet they are not ostentatious. They look expensive because every seam is perfect, every button exactly placed, every skirt has just the right lift. No dress of his would dare wrinkle."[19]

Rucci's gowns are included in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Texas Fashion Collection in Denton, Texas, among others.

Museum exhibitions[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]



  1. ^ "Designers: Chado Ralph Rucci". Fashion Model Directory (FMD). Retrieved December 10, 2014. Ralph Rucci was born in 1957 in Philadelphia
  2. ^ Foley, Bridget (October 2008). "Ralph Rucci: In His Own Fashion". W. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  3. ^ "Chado Ralph Rucci". New York Magazine. 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  4. ^ "Woman's "Stingray Swan" Evening Dress". philamuseum.org. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  5. ^ O'Neill, Kristina (February 2007). "CELEBRATING 25 YEARS: RALPH RUCCI". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  6. ^ Achrene Sicakyuz, Michael Quintanilla (12 July 2002). "American in Paris". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  7. ^ Menkes, Suzy (7 June 2005). "Delicate collages from Ralph Rucci". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  8. ^ Owens, Mitchell (December 17, 2012). "Fashion Designer Ralph Rucci's San Francisco Art Exhibit". Architectural Digest.
  9. ^ Women's Wear Daily, U.S. 31 December 1985. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  10. ^ Talley, André Leon (15 June 2009). "Puppy Love". Vogue. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  11. ^ Murg, Stephanie (13 April 2007). "Ralph Rucci: From Museum to Runway and Back Again". Smithsonian. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  12. ^ Horyn, Cathy (January 18, 2007). "The Reckoning: Ralph Rucci at F.I.T." The New York Times.
  13. ^ Steele, Valerie; Mears, Patricia; Sauro, Clare (January 2007). "Ralph Rucci: The Art of Weightlessnesss". Amazon.com. ISBN 978-0300122787.
  14. ^ Boatman, David (2008). "Ralph Rucci: A Designer and His House". Sundance Channel. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  15. ^ Salamone, Gina (20 April 2011). "Design of the times: Oleg Cassini, Ralph Rucci added to Fashion Walk of Fame". New York Daily News. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  16. ^ Feitelberg, Rosemary (9 April 2012). "Ralph Rucci to Be Honored". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  17. ^ Szabo, Julia (September 2002). "Up Next, Designer Ralph Rucci". Departures Magazine. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  18. ^ Horyn, Cathy (February 12, 2010). "Ralph Rucci Adds Some Strut". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  19. ^ Givhan, Robin (20 September 2009). "The Right Way On the Runway: Backward". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  20. ^ "Special Exhibitions: Goddess". Metropolitan Museum of Art official website. 1 May 2003. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  21. ^ "Goddess". Mode Museum official website. 8 May 2004. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  22. ^ Hayman, Marshall (5 February 2005). "Scene: Chow Down ... Edifying Edie ... Totally Eighties ..." Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  23. ^ Ralph Rucci Collection Takes the Stage at Kent State University Museum Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine at Kent.edu
  24. ^ "Objects: She's Like a Rainbow: Colors in Fashion Exhibition". Fashion Institute of Technology. Official website. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  25. ^ Breaking the Mode: Contemporary Fashion from the Permanent Collection Archived 2010-12-04 at the Wayback Machine at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
  26. ^ "Glamour: Fashion to Die For at the Museum at FIT". Fashion Institute of Technology. Official website. 12 January 2005. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  27. ^ Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
  28. ^ Menkes, Suzy (9 February 2007). "Ralph Rucci, the weightless designer - Style & Design - International Herald Tribune". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  29. ^ Chado Ralph Rucci at Phoenix Art Museum.
  30. ^ Menconi, Lilia (April 2008). ""Chado Ralph Rucci": an exhibition of haute fashion at Phoenix Art Museum". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  31. ^ "A Passion for Perfection: James Galanos, Gustave Tassell, Ralph Rucci". Philadelphia Museum of Art Official website. 15 September 2007.
  32. ^ "American Beauty: Aesthetics and Innovation in Fashion". Fashion Institute of Technology Museum official website. 12 August 2009.
  33. ^ Steele, Valerie (14 May 2010). "Valerie Steele in Moscow". Valeriesteelefashion.com. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  34. ^ "Exhibitions: American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection". Brooklyn Museum official website. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  35. ^ Ralph Rucci to be honored at annual SCAD fashion show with Andre Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award Archived 2012-09-19 at the Wayback Machine at Savannah College of Art and Design Museum.
  36. ^ "Ralph Rucci Official Bio" (PDF). rrucci.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  37. ^ "Chado Ralph Rucci: Awards And Recognition". Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Official Website. 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  38. ^ "National Design Awards: Ralph Rucci". Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Official Website. 2008. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  39. ^ "Academy of Art University Fashion School Announces 2008 Honorary Doctorate Recipients". PRweb.com. 13 April 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  40. ^ Murg, Stephanie (14 May 2009). "Ralph Rucci to Receive Pratt Fashion Icon Award". Mediabistro.com. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  41. ^ "PIFA Celebrates Haute Couture with Fashion Show". Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts official website. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  42. ^ "Ralph Rucci Official Bio" (PDF). rrucci.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  43. ^ "Ralph Rucci Official Bio" (PDF). rrucci.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  44. ^ "Ralph Rucci Official Bio" (PDF). rrucci.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.


  • Bissonnette, Anne. Chado Ralph Rucci. Exhibition catalogue. Kent, Ohio. Kent State University Museum, 2005
  • Rucci, Ralph. Ralph Rucci with Iké Udé: Dialogues with Design Legends. New York: 92nd Street Y, 2009
  • Rucci, Ralph and Fernandez, Baldomero. Autobiography of a Fashion Designer: Ralph Rucci. New York: Bauer and Dean, 2011 ISBN 978-0-9838632-9-8
  • Sewell, Dennita. Extending the Runway: Tatiana Sorokko Style. Moscow: Russian Fashion Museum, 2010. ISBN 978-0-615-34760-8
  • Steele, Valerie; Mears, Patricia and Sauro, Clare. Ralph Rucci: The Art of Weightlessness. New York: Yale University Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-300-12278-7

External links[edit]