Luxury designer Ralph & Russo, famously known for designing Meghan Markle’s engagement gown, could be in financial trouble. The British couture fashion brand has been reported to be on the brink of a pandemic-induced sales slump.
In 2017, Meghan Markle marked her engagement to Prince Harry by donning a gorgeous gown designed by British couture fashion brand Ralph & Russo. Markle’s dress cost a stunning £56,000 and the fashion brand is known for catering to some of Britain’s wealthiest people. Despite its assumingly gorgeous designer threads and fortune, Ralph & Russo could very well be in financial trouble. According to Sky News, the British brand could fall into the hands of insolvency practitioners as early as this week.
While the company sprang to global prominence in 2017 by being the designer of the future Duchess of Sussex’s engagement gown, the British designer is facing crucial financial strain. In recent months, Ralph & Russo have failed to make a number of salary payments and staff pension contributions. A spokesperson from Ralph & Russo reportedly shared last week that the company would “would fight any attempt by creditors to force it into insolvency.”
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The pandemic has a lot to do with the company’s financial woes– the chop of red carpet events, which is notably the mainstay of the haute couture industry, is to blame. Ralph & Russo’s staff of roughly 100 have been laid off and not only that, but they face serious legal action as Russo took out a director’s loan worth several million pounds. There has been reported conflict in regards to whether the loan has been repaid.
In 2019, investor Tennor Holding, the owner of the La Perla lingerie brand and investment vehicle of financier Lars Windhorst, invested roughly £40 million for a minority stake in the company.
A post shared by Ralph & Russo (@ralphandrusso)
Ralph & Russo operates from locations in London’s Mayfair and New York’s Fifth Avenue. Founded in 2010 by creative director Tamara Ralph and her then-boyfriend, Michael Russo, the business soon drew in the likes of the ultra-wealthy. Specializing in haute couture and ready-to-wear clothing and luxury goods, Ralph & Russo have achieved much in its very short history; catering to celebrities like Beyonce, Angelina Jolie, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
On average, a Ralph & Russo client spends £50,000. A source close to Ralph & Russo said just days ago that trade was “beginning to revive” and that demand for the brand was “strong”.
We will have to wait and see whether or not the luxury British designer will come out of the murky waters of pandemic fallout.
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Sources: Instagram- @RalphandRusso, Sky News
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