Autobiography of a Fashion Designer: Ralph Rucci

Image of Ralph Rucci: Autobiography of a Fashion Designer
Release Date: 
December 5, 2011
Bauer and Dean Publishing
Reviewed by: 

“. . . if there’s anything that Autobiography of a Fashion Designer: Ralph Rucci proves, it is that Mr. Rucci should never cease designing, creating—journeying.”

There are very few good fashion autobiographies out there, let alone one that is clearly defined by the surfeit of photographs and the dearth of verbiage. Mr. Rucci offers us an extremely intimate view into his world, both at home and at his place of business.

Be advised that this is not just a glossy coffee table book filled with tons of pretty photos of Mr. Rucci’s body of work. While there are lots of lovely images in Autobiography of a Fashion Designer: Ralph Rucci, these photographs are what make Ralph Rucci, well, Ralph Rucci. From objets d’art to furniture to framed photos—there are clear reasons that each piece exists, especially in his living space. It is extremely interesting that the current ambiance of his living space is diametrically opposed to what it had been in the past—and also completely the opposite of the visual aesthetic of his collections.

With the help of his client, Susan Guttfreund, Mr. Rucci transformed a minimalist and spartan environment into an unbelievably luxe, warm, and intimate space incorporating many of his spiritual and aesthetic beliefs. Make no mistake, this is not the home of an amateur designer, for just as his clothes appear spare and simple, the devil is in the details—and details are what make the designer, especially if they are so organically and elegantly incorporated into a piece so as to appear invisible. Part of that deception lies in the sentimentality attached to an object or the kernel of truth leading to the object’s creation—and how they all fit together to be part of the ongoing puzzle that Mr. Rucci calls his journey.

The business side of the book provides a rarely seen tour into the workrooms of a designer, an exciting trip into the literal backrooms of fashion. As anyone who has ever worked in fashion might tell you: A designer is most clearly defined first by his or her talents and then by those who have the innate knowledge of how to turn the designer’s fantasy (sketch) into reality (finished garment).

Mr. Rucci takes great pains to thank his staff—one and all—and to explain to the reader just what it takes to be Ralph Rucci. A trusted support system is absolutely essential when the end product achieves the near perfection* of Mr. Rucci’s designs.

*The only reason I refer to Ralph Rucci’s designs as “near perfection” is that if I call them perfect, there will be nowhere for him to go and nothing for him to strive for! And if there’s anything that Autobiography of a Fashion Designer: Ralph Rucci proves, it is that Mr. Rucci should never cease designing, creating—journeying.

This book can be purchased at the publisher’s website: