Last week, British couture brand Ralph & Russo announced that it is diversifying its offering to also include ready-to-wear. But what can we expect? By the sounds of it, the same level of craftsmanship but with added wearability and lower prices.
"The innovative designs from our ready-to-wear debut feature the same attention to detail that the brand is so well known for, while forging a new path for us," co-founder Tamara Ralph told Harper's Bazaar UK. "The collection will lend itself to all women, providing dynamic ensembles for every occasion."
The move will undoubtedly appeal not only to its strong celebrity following, which includes Angelina Jolie, Blake Lively and Bella Hadid, but also to a wider audience who may have struggled with its high price tags.
Isabelli Fontana during the Ralph & Russo spring/summer 2016 couture show
"The new collection offers an alternative and broader price point, allowing Ralph & Russo to engage and welcome a new audience," co-founder Michael Russo explained, adding that its ready-to-wear will be available internationally.
"Coupled with the retail role out plans we have for the coming year, the range will offer accessibility across multiple continents."
The collection will debut in London during the capital's forthcoming Fashion Week with a show on 15 September. It will be interesting to see how the label will adapt their artisanal signatures for a ready-to-wear market. Its most recent couture finale gown (below) required 6,000 hours of intricate hand-embroidery.
But the design duo are within their rights to feel confident about how the offering will be received – it was due to customer demand that they decided to launch ready-to-wear in the first place.
"Ready-to-wear was really born out of a necessity and demand from our existing and emerging client base," Ralph told Bazaar UK. "We needed to fulfil a requirement and it was time to take the next step and engage on a larger level within the luxury arena."
Roll on September.