Rucci's reasoning has to do with the extended medical leave of his president, Vivian Van Natta. He'll save about $500,000 by meeting with interested parties one-on-one.
We hope other designers will follow suit. While nothing beats the runway when it comes to creating excitement and buzz around a brand, less-outlandish designers benefit from showing off the high quality of their clothes up-close. Rucci's pieces are nearly couture-level, and those who want to buy a piece--or ten--will be able to easily examine the items without the hassle of a big production.
Designer Lyn Devon--who much like Rucci, boasts a sizable made-to-order business--has been using this approach for years. Each editor/buyer gets a few minutes with the designer during her day or two of appointments. I've become a huge fan of Lyn and her clothes during these quick meetings--I already liked the designs, but to be able to see what she likes best and what she's most proud of has made me appreciate the brand even more.
So we praise Rucci for his choice, and hope that those facing a similar situation will forget about norms and do what's best for them, whether that means a runway show, a presentation, or private appointments.