Sunday, February 08, 2004

Ralph Rucci & Anna Wintour: What is Really Going On with Vogue Not Covering His Shows:

It is no secret that US Vogue does not report on New York designer Ralph Rucci. At his latest couture show in Paris no one from American Vogue even reported on this important collection. His clothing does not appear in Vogue editorial pages and even Style.com gives him almost no mention.

So what happened? Why has Anna closed the door and chosen not to show her support for one of our most talented designers? We were working on an article about the issue when we realized that it was already reported and well documented. Below is an editorial written in November by our friend Christine Suppes the publisher of Fashionlines.com with the whole story about Rucci and Wintour confirming what we have heard from other sources. It is reprinted with permission:

"Chances are, if you read Fashionlines, you have heard of Ralph Rucci. He is the only American designer who shows couture in Paris. If you read Fashionlines, you also probably are aware that the French fashion industry is not generally known for cutting American designers a lot of slack. Mr. Rucci makes their cut, and understandably so, as his clothes are absolutely couture quality and give elegant simplicity a strong, new American identity. As an American-based fashion internet site, we are proud to present Mr. Rucci's clothes to our international audience. Apparently, this is not the case at American Vogue. The editor in chief, Anna Wintour, has yet to put in an appearance at one of Mr. Rucci's Paris couture shows. Her excuse is generally that she has to leave town early. But then Mr. Rucci is not covered in the pages of American Vogue, either. It is a mystery worthy of its own reality television show.

Open any page of Italian Vogue. Page after page is devoted to Italian designers. Open French Vogue. Never known as a culture to buck national pride, the magazine is full of French -based designers. British Vogue embraces British designers either known or just starting out. And here is American Vogue's chance to support America's only couturier working both in Paris and the States, and Ms. Wintour chooses to flagrantly ignore the opportunity. But it's not just Ms. Wintour. The famous New York designers American Vogue feature prominently have regrettably been doing some arm twisting of their own. Fashionlines has learned that at a recent museum retrospective of Manolo Blahnik's career, a certain very well known older New York based designer specifically had Mr. Rucci blackballed from the event. Why? Jealousy, of course! Believe it or not, this well known older designer, famed for his lavish personal lifestyle, and his New York based colleague, a Manhattan society favorite, have actually asked the most talented American accessories makers to "give" them items for their shows, citing the fact that they are "broke." These hypocrites should stop showing off their fancy Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and buy the work of struggling young artisans working in America to show with their own collections.

The most brilliant American designer to have been ignored by the American fashion press up until now is Geoffrey Beene. So Mr. Rucci is in the finest company. American fashion editors, especially at Vogue, have a lot to answer for. This back turning on America's best designers is unspeakably ignorant. It is shameful and also harmful to the future gifted designers who come onto the scene. American Vogue has single handedly turned fashion from art into a power game. It is disgraceful and embarrassing, especially when foreign writers ask why the American fashion press ignores its own best home grown talent. Perhaps what American Vogue needs at this point is an American editor who loves America and American designers. "

-Christine Suppes, publisher

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