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Published on Feb 24, 2009
http://www.92y.org/shop/category.asp?... Highlights from a talk Ralph Rucci gave at the 92nd Street Y recently, when he and Ike Ude of aRude Magazine discussed a variety of topics, such as the importance of fabric and why his team do not use synthetics, his work with House of Lesage in Paris (which drives up the price of a garment at least five figures, and sometimes six), the direction of his label, and the very small number of factories left in the world that can produce luxurious and extraordinary fabrics, as well as the rapidly dwindling number of skilled craftspeople who can work with these fabrics by hand.
Recalling that some of his team members have been working with him for over 20 years, Ralph declared that when they retire, there will be no one to replace them. Explaining further he noted that three decades ago when he first started in the business, here in Manhattan on 37th, 38th, 39th, and 40th Street between 7th and 9th Avenue in Manhattan, there were "all sorts of wonderful immigrants who were taught this talent in their homeland" who are no longer there, having retired or passed away. As an example of the utilities and shortcuts some designers use today in the face of this, he says, "thats why you see Gucci still having the bits and all of this, its a camouflage for the lack of integrity that you can give the garment through handwork."