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Ralph & Russo Goes Into Administration

The British couture house will undergo a period of restructuring as the economic impact of Covid-19 takes a toll on business.
A couture look on a digital avatar model from Ralph & Russo's Autumn Winter 2020 couture collection. Ralph & Russo.
A couture look on a digital avatar model from Ralph & Russo's Autumn Winter 2020 couture collection. Ralph & Russo.

Ralph & Russo is the latest fashion brand to be pushed into administration by the pandemic.

The British couture business, which also sells ready-to-wear and accessories, has felt the economic impact of Covid-19 as a dearth of red carpet events and evening soirees has dampened demand for couture gowns and python clutch bags.

The brand will go through a period of restructuring, but will continue to operate throughout the administration process, the company said in a press release on Wednesday.

”In the last 12 months we have experienced unprecedented trading conditions throughout the pandemic which has put a tremendous strain on our business and retailers across the world,” creative director Tamara Ralph said in a statement.

”I would also like to reaffirm my commitment to the brand and to taking it to new heights in the future. My clients, staff and I have an unbreakable bond and we will come through this together,” she added.

Begbies Traynor Group and Quantuma Advisory Limited have been appointed as joint administrators.

Ralph & Russo was founded in 2010 by Ralph and CEO Michael Russo. The brand made global headlines in 2017 after Meghan Markle chose to wear one of its £56,000 couture gowns for her official engagement portraits.

In recent years, the brand has struggled to turn a profit. For the year ended March 2019, the brand reported losses of £14.8 million, up from £12.4 million the year previous, according to public filings. Sales, however, grew 7 percent to £15.2 million.

In July 2019, Tennor Holding, owned by German entrepreneur Lars Windhorst, took a minority stake in the fashion house, despite it being loss-making. The deal reportedly valued the business at around £175 million, according to Sky News.

Other brand investors include British businessman John Caudwell and Candy Ventures Sarl, the investment entity of property developer Nick Candy.

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