The Duo behind the label "Ralph and Russo"
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your new collection?
Our new collection is an exotic mix of silk kimono sleeve gowns, backless Ombre silk dresses, intricate swarovski detailing, large beaded waistbands and our trademark animal prints.
I love the play on shapes and always incorporate an exotic mix of Italian printed silks. We have also been incorporating feathers into a lot of our gowns recently.
Who do you envisage wearing your designs?
Cosmopolitan women who love traveling and experiencing different cultures. Women who are strong, motivated and embody and confident sex appeal.
Women who appreciate glamorous exclusive gowns and love to get dressed up in Couture.
What 3 words best describe your collection?
Couture, glamorous, sexy.
Do you come from a fashion background?
Tamara: Yes, my mother was a stylist and a fashion designer and my grandmother was a seamstress for one of Australia’s biggest designers. They passed on their knowledge and skills to me at a very young age. My mother taught me to manipulate patterns and I used to watch her for hours and play with her large collection of vintage Vogue patterns. My grandmother gave me my first Tailors mannequin which enabled me to teach myself draping.
Michael: No I come from a business background.
How do you market your brand?
Word of mouth, we have never activately pursued PR although we do have a great marketing plan for the future and word of mouth has been incredible for the brand for our Couture.
We started off with just one client and now sell to hundreds of women in countries all across the world.
Which other designers do you admire?
Tamara: Donatella Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Valentino.
Michael: Dolce & Gabbana
If you weren't a designer what would you have been doing?
Tamara: Styling / Buying.
Michael: Venture Capitalist
Where can individuals purchase your collection pieces?
We sell most of our gowns privately, we have a large number of private and celebrity clients all around the world from the US, Australia, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, London, Italy and France. We regularly design couture and made to measure garments for them and design everything around the client, their needs, their personality and the event they are attending.
We also sell a luxury ready to wear collection separate to this to several boutiques in Ireland and England which has also seen immense interest. We plan to launch the luxury ready to wear line shortly. Private clients and Buyers are more then welcome to contact us directly.
What resources have you found invaluable to your business?
Tamara: My staff, they understand the company and what we stand for, they are highly articulate and are masters at bringing the designs to realization.
Michael: Business knowledge and the right contacts.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
For a new label our biggest achievement would be the large growth in sales we have seen, it is very encouraging.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Starting a company in a new country, our support system was very limited at first.
Any thing else you would like to add?
The UK needs a return to glamour, like Christian Dior is to France and Valentino is to Italy.