Ralph Rucci is an intellectual designer who incorporates philosophy, fine arts and the epistemology of beauty into fashion. Throughout his 30 year journey in the realm of fashion, he’s remained dedicated to craftsmanship, quality and inevitably luxury. His dresses aren’t simply a dress, but a marriage between incredibly sourced fabrics and unparalleled finishing. Behind every pleat or negative space lies reasoning and most likely ravishing linings so that every part is beautiful, inside and out.
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. Simply, he’s the only current American designer who has shown haute couture. However, Mr. Rucci also has a beautiful ready-to-wear line called Chado Ralph Rucci. While it may be categorized as ready-to-wear, it’s truly demi-couture as evinced by this fall’s breathe-taking Barguzin sable coat, with perfect bluish silver tips and all.
In May 2012, Ralph Rucci flew to San Francisco for a special in-person appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue to not only sign his new autobiographical book for ardent clients, fans and friends but to show his new fall 2012 Chado Ralph Rucci collection. Ralph Rucci graciously gave Haute Living an intellectually stimulating interview.
HL: Since you majored in philosophy and literature in college, could you name the most inspiration philosopher to your work now?
RR: Not a well known philosopher, he lived during the Italian high Renaissance. His name was Nicholas Cusanus. The major thrust of his philosophical research was that man is the microcosm through which the macrocosm radiates. A physical manifestation of those words come through in DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man, who is a man located inside a circle. That is why you see a circle in my label. Infinite possibilities and infinite space.
HL: You’ve always been such an intellectual designer!
RR: I’m working on this concept for spring and I envisioned it this morning for the presentation of infinite space.
HL: So that’s your inspiration for spring 2013?
RR: No, not one. It’s only a fragment. There are fragments of multiple pieces and that is one of them.
HL: As for literature, who would you like to have dinner with, living or dead?
RR: Oh boy. Let’s do both. For dead, I’m going to have to name three. First, this one I’ve studied intensely, the comedies, the tragedies, everything. William Shakespeare. I would love to spend the entire evening with him. I would also love an evening with Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote. The three of us together getting rip roaringly drunk. With Capote talking, well they were all geniuses! So for alive, it would have to be Jane Goodall. The compassion of the heart, to write like that is something I need to learn more of in this life.
HL: Back to fashion, are you going to return to doing a runway show or use a presentation again for Spring 2013?
RR: We’re going to do a runway because it’s essential. While I prefer showroom by appointment, but it becomes misinterpreted as exclusive and limited and snobbish. And a runway presentation states exactly how you want to show things.
HL: Since we’re a luxury lifestyle magazine, I have to ask what is your guilty pleasure?
RR: There is no such thing as a guilty pleasure. If you have a straight mind, contribute to causes, people the planet, there is no such thing as guilt.
HL: Very true. So what would be an indulgence you have?
RR: My indulgence, the biggest luxury for me, is every Sunday I do absolutely nothing. I love my home. I do not speak on the phone, I do not answer the phone. I don’t do anything except read the paper, walk my dog (named Twombly –after the artist ofcourse!), watch a movie and sleep. For me it’s the ultimate luxury.
While HL would love to divulge more snippets of the illuminating interviewing, we can’t kiss and tell everything. Mr. Rucci is a multi faceted, intriguing and invigorating person that simply cannot be confined to words, phrases or memes. We’ll leave it off what he told us he’s like to be remembered as.
RL: I’d like to be remembered as a good man.
Photography Credit: Drew Altizer