Last week, Ralph Rucci announced his intentions to exit the eponymous label he launched 20 years ago. At the time, the label cited the designer’s desire to “pursue other creative endeavors” as the reason behind his exit. But if you ask Mr. Rucci himself, the answer is a lot more complicated than that. In fact, the original explanation for his departure probably explains a lot more about his reasons for leaving than the designer offered at yesterday’s Fashion Group luncheon at Le Cirque.
According to Page Six, Rucci said he “needed to take a step into the future to put perspective in the past so I can redo the future,” which is possibly the most meta response to a question since Willow and Jaden Smith’s T Magazine interview. Fortunately, André Leon Talley was on hand at the event to help out. The editor blames corporate “thuggery” for Rucci’s untimely departure. Talley explains that the pressures that come from the higher-ups at labels can be taxing on a designer and be stifling to their natural creativity. “Thuggery comes from the corporate heads, the CEOs, who do not yet quite understand the vision of the creative visionary people such as Ralph,” Talley said. “I’m not calling any names, I’m not pointing fingers at anyone, but it is a thuggery behind the world of fashion today.”
Nicolas Ghesquière complained about the same sort of behavior from the corporate end when he left Balenciaga. Though his comments did get him in some legal trouble with the label, he told System magazine that he felt like he was “being sucked dry, like they wanted to steal my identity while trying to homogenise things. It just wasn’t fulfilling anymore.” John Galliano attributed his substance abuse problems to the pressures of having to creatively deliver several collections a year. Marco Zanini just left the house of Schiaparelli and rumor has it that it was because he kept bumping heads with his employers. There seems to be a growing industry-wide tension between designers and label executives that needs to be addressed. Sure, fashion is a moneymaking business, but is it getting too capitalist and clinical, leaving little room for true creativity to flourish? For some designers, it seems so.
[via Page Six]