Ralph RucciAmerican, born Philadelphia, 1957
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Ralph Rucci (born 1957) studied philosophy and literature at Philadelphia's Temple University before moving to New York to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. In 1981 he began making made-to-order clothing for a select clientele and in 1984 started producing ready-to-wear fashions. Ten years later he founded Chado Ralph Rucci, named after the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. In 2002, Rucci became the first American fashion designer since Mainbocher to show with the Paris haute couture. Known for sculptural silhouettes and a muted palette, Rucci draws inspiration from a broad spectrum of sources, from Asian philosophy to such divergent artists as Francis Bacon and Cy Twombly, as well as his own paintings.