In a 2006 interview with The Independent, designer Roland Mouret said “Live for today, love what tomorrow might bring and be grateful for yesterday”. This insightful portrayal of the designer’s positive outlook has allowed Mouret to attain the kind of acclaim and success few of his contemporaries achieve.
The son of a butcher, Mouret was born in Lourdes, France on 27 August 1962. The designer today resides in London where he oversees his atelier currently under the name RM by Roland Mouret.
Mouret’s career began in 1979, when he enrolled in a Parisian fashion college. However, he quickly abandoned academia, taking to heart the words of his tutor. According to Mouret,” [t]he tutor said life experience was crucial, so I left to get some.” He then worked as a model and a stylist including a stint at French Elle (where he learned to cut patterns) and Glamour magazine. In Paris, while at a bar, he was approached by Jean Paul Gaultier to work on his forthcoming menswear show. In Mouret’s early years of his career he developed an appreciation of simplicity, sensuality in design and a consciousness of the female figure. This is apparent in his form-enhancing pieces that juxtapose austerity and sensuality.
In 1994, Mouret moved to London where he designed for a label called “People Corporation”. While the label was short-lived, Mouret’s designs were positively received. This gave Mouret the confidence to design under his own name.
In February1998 Mouret presented his first collection during London Fashion Week. The entire collection was handmade without the use of patterns. With the goal of embracing the qualities of the female form, Mouret constructed the collection by folding and draping fabrics on the body held together by hatpins and stud fasteners. The collection received huge critical acclaim. As a result, Mouret was honoured with an appearance on the front cover of Collezioni, an honour for a new designer. Mouret was credited with a unique understanding of the female silhouette.
In 2000, Mouret entered into a partnership with Sharai and Andre Meyers, doing business under the name Roland Mouret Designs Ltd. If not a house hold name, Roland Mouret Designs became a favorite among the ultra chic and the industry. By 2004 Mouret was identified as a leader of the Demi-Couture movement. He began showing his collection in New York City where he received acclaim for his use of such techniques as draping and sharp tailoring that seamlessly entwined the ostensibly contradictory traits of minimalism and femininity.
In 2005, aafter a 5-year partnership, and sales of approximately $1.8 million for its spring collection, Mouret resigned from the Company. Nevertheless, the partnership had enabled Mouret to concentrate on his designs while at the same time gaining an invaluable understanding of the business aspects of a design enterprise without the burden of sole responsibility.
In the spring of 2006, Roland Mouret introduced to the world the now ubiquitous Galaxy Dress. Shortly thereafter, Hollywood A-list starlets such as Cameron Diaz, Demi Moore, Rachel Weisz, Scarlett Johansson and Victoria Beckham embraced the brand and designer. The Daily Telegraph described the dress as the ‘dress of the season’, ‘the most recognizable dress of the last decade'. Mouret explained that the inspiration for the iconic dress were curvaceous celebrities Scarlett Johansson and Dita Von Teese. Mouret explained, '[t]hey said, "We have to wear a bra." And all my floaty and drapey stuff, they couldn’t wear that. Was not possible. So I made a dress for women who wear bras.”
In September 2006 Mouret teamed up with a new backer, Simon Fuller of 19 Entertainment and began operations under the name RM by Roland Mouret. Of the partnership Mouret noted, 'I turned down a lot of opportunities – I really wanted to wait for something that I felt was the right fit, and then Simon appeared. I am so interested in doing things that I've never done. It's better to create a new blueprint than to follow what everyone else has already done.'
In honor of the Rambert Ballet Company’s 80th Anniversary, in December 2006, Mouret joined a group of prestigious designers including John Galliano in creating original pieces for the dance company. The collaboration was a great success.
In October of 2006, Gap and Roland Mouret successfully collaborated on a limited-edition collection of 10 dresses for Gap’s (RED) initiative. Gap’s (RED) charity gives 50 per cent of profits to organizations fighting AIDS in Africa. The collection was priced between £48 and £78 and sold in all UK Gap stores and a handful of branches in New York. In describing this endeavor, Roland stated, “[s]hopping ethically to support initiatives such as (RED) - my recent collaboration with Gap was an example of something I love. A woman can buy a great red dress and at the same time help raise funds for (RED) - helping change people's lives for the better”.
In July 2007, the first RM satellite collection premiered in Paris, during Haute Couture. The collection, which was, off schedule to press and buyers, consisted of 21 easy-chic geometric-designed dresses, based around the designers signature techniques. " "This collection of no more than 21 looks will focus on signature silhouettes and key pieces that I believe women demand. I want to celebrate women with this collection — they are my greatest source of inspiration," Mouret explained.
Hours after the show Net-a-Porter broadcasted the RM collection on-line, enabling customers to pre-order the collection straight off the catwalk. With Mouret’s meticulously crafted, precision tailoring, it is no surprise that some pieces from the collection sold out in a just a few hours.
In January 2008, the second collection from RM was presented in Paris, featuring effortlessly sophisticated looks. Then in October, Mouret introduced a new collection, called RM Bespoke Limited Edition, based on a combination of the designer’s signature draping techniques and his distinctive dress silhouette,. While the collection deserved praise, equally as interesting, RM Bespoke introduced an interesting marketing technique: the collection was only offered to key retailers, each of whom was exclusively allowed to sell dresses from this collection in an particular colour or fabric. In July of the same year Mouret showed his third collection to rave reviews.
In March 2009, Mouret, through his RM line, made a triumphant return to the Ready-To-Wear market. This collection featured an earthy palette that exuded understated sex appeal. He also introduces two new elements to the RM collection- Edition and Jersey.
In his sell-out AW09 line. Mouret introduced knitwear for the first time. The collection featured fine sweater dresses paired with snakeskin leggings and knitted tops with slim-line skirts. The statement jackets that transcend seasons were additional standouts of the collection.
In December 2009 Mouret’s Rainbow collection arrived at Net-a-Porter. The limited edition line of candy-colored cocktail looks, called RM by Roland Mouret Rainbow Project consisted of nine flattering pieces including tailored skirt suits and short dresses in violet, turquoise, mango, tangerine, navy, cream and rose. In the same month, Mouret was awarded the esteemed ‘Artist of the Year’ award from the ‘Français of the Year’ awards. An elated Mouret said “I am delighted and honoured to win this incredible award. I have always held France very close to my heart, despite being a UK resident. For instance, I always show my collections in my native country. As everyone knows, us French are sometimes considered too proud but winning Français of the Year, I think makes me justifiably so!"
In January 2010, Mouret presented, for the first time, a Menswear collection. “It’s something that is quite close to my heart. There is a moment in my life that I didn’t find at all what I really wanted to wear. It may be pretentious, but I wanted to have texture, the right shoulder line, I wanted to find a suit where I don’t feel like a business man inside it,” explains Mouret.
For his spring 2011 Collection, shown in June 2010, Mouret updated his foundation silhouette, moving it slightly from the highly structured fitted dresses featured in past collections. Whilst still adoring the hourglass figure and strong shoulder, the new collection included looser, less curve-skimming designs that continue to use strategic layering and draping. The new looser approach to design has allowed for a more wearable collection that continues to celebrate the female form.
In September 2011, Roland Mouret announced that he has secured the rights to market his designs under his name. He is one of the only fashion designers in the world to have ever achieved this. Now all his clothes are to be rebranded under his own name. How Mouret will utilize this victory has yet to be revealed. In an interview with The Independent, Mouret explained, “I love what I do and think I am really lucky to do it”.
His first flagship store is scheduled to open in central London in 2011 has been much anticipated by long-standing customers of the designer. The six storey building in Carlos Place, opposite the Connaught Hotel, will include two floors of retail, housing the brand’s complete Womenswear and Menswear collections, Mouret’s atelier, design workshops, studios and a sales showroom. “The reacquisition of my name has an incredibly emotional meaning to me, above and beyond the business implications. The addition of the store opening in Carlos Place, the new residence for the brand, renders it all the more poignant. It feels like a home coming” said Mouret in a recent press release
Winner ‘Artist of the Year’ Français of the Year Awards 2009 Winner of ‘International designer’ ELLE Style Awards, 2006 Nominated for the nominated as British Designer of the Year, 2004 Winner of the ‘British Designer of the Year’, ELLE Style Awards, 2002 Vidal Sassoon ‘Cutting Edge Design Award’, 2002 Three nominees at the Lycra British Fashion Awards, including designers of the year.