Fashion designers Ralph Rucci and Donald Brooks became the newest members of Seventh Avenueâs legendary Fashion Walk of Fame. The pair joined two dozen others immortalized in the heart of the worldâs fashion capital in a star-studded ceremony this morning at the Bryant Park Grill.
At the induction, a whoâs-who of New York fashion got a firsthand look at the bronze plaques that will pay lasting tribute to these two fashion icons.
âRalph Rucci and Donald Brooks have left a lasting impression on the world of fashion with their extraordinary contributions to design and reverence for materials,â said Barbara Randall, president of the Fashion Center BID.
âWe are delighted to honor their outstanding contributions in the Fashion District, home to so many of the most influential and renowned designers and industry elite. As the fashion epicenter of the world, we are proud to showcase them on the Fashion Walk of Fame, a destination for fashion-loving New Yorkers and tourists alike.â
The Fashion Center Business Improvement District (BID) established the Fashion Walk of Fame in 1999 to honor individuals who have had an extraordinary impact on fashion through either innovative design or the use of materials, or significantly influenced the way America dresses.
Decorative plaques honoring these designers are embedded in the sidewalks along the east side of Seventh âFashionâ Avenue from 41st Street to 35th Street, in the Fashion District. Each plaque displays an original sketch and a brief description of their contribution to fashion and the designerâs signature.
Celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Whoopi Goldberg and Martha Stewart have worn designer Ralph Rucciâs creations over the course of his impressive career. His fashion and accessories line, Chado Ralph Rucci, was launched in 1994 and is known for its impeccable craftsmanship and luxurious materials.
Rucciâs gowns are included in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, among others.
âIt is a great honor to be recognized for your work and for your efforts,â said Rucci. âI share this honor today with the members of my staff and, above all, with the dedicated people in my workrooms who are among the finest artists and craftsmen/women in the world.â
Born in Philadelphia, Rucci attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and started his first job in fashion, working with Halston, in 1977. Rucci is also an accomplished painter and his artwork is displayed in galleries in New York and San Francisco.
Late fashion designer Donald Brooks died in 2005 at age 77. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut and raised in Manhattan, attending the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design. He made his first foray into fashion as a window designer for Lord & Taylor, where his work caught the eye of the department storeâs president, who hired him to design a collection for the retailer.