Personal Life & Career
Randolph Duke was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was raised by his mother, a successful dancer and showgirl in Las Vegas and heavily influenced by his grandfather, an accomplished concert pianist. After a childhood surrounded by the arts, Duke enrolled at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to study classical piano on scholarship. During this time, he turned his attention to Fashion Design and enrolled at The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. Many design houses took notice early-on and at graduation, Duke was offered numerous design positions. He accepted Anne Cole of California's offer and officially began his professional career as a fashion designer designing swimwear.
Duke soon moved to New York and accepted a position as designer for the respected swimwear line, Gottex. While in New York, Duke decided to launch a line of his own and in the late 80s entered Women’s Sportswear.
It was during the late 80s that Duke emerged as a powerful and influential resource in the New York Fashion world. In 1987, he was named Design Director for Henri Bendel and served as the Creative Director for sportswear manufacturer Kenar.
Duke’s finely tuned expertise in product image, marketing, visual merchandising and strategic advertising proved so successful, Duke began consulting for other nationally recognized retailers, manufacturers and developers and continues to do this today.
In 1996, Duke as Creative Director and Designer of HALSTON, achieved international recognition for his masterful resurrection of the fashion house, which is considered by many to be the most influential and iconic name in American fashion. His triumph at Halston helped establish Duke as red carpet royalty with haute couture creations that became media events in their own right. Movie and television stars began to be remembered as much for their red carpet clothes as for their on-screen performances. Duke always seemed to dress the winners. Angelina Jolie won her Golden Globe (and later an Oscar) for Girl, Interrupted wearing Duke’s breathtaking form-fitting beaded dress with 10,000 crystals; Hilary Swank accepted her first Best Actress Oscar for Boys Don’t Cry wearing Duke’s specially created bronze ball gown; Marcia Gay Harden accepted her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Pollack wearing Duke’s striking scarlet satin strapless gown. Other indelible red carpet moments include: Kim Basinger wearing Duke’s stunning white organza strapless gown; Minnie Driver wearing Duke’s iconic red dress; and Geena Davis wearing Duke’s shocking beaded illusion net gown. Other stars whose beauty has been etched in our memory by Randolph Duke designed creations include: Sharon Stone, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Halle Berry, Faith Hill, Mariah Carey, Ashley Judd, Jodie Foster, Jennifer Aniston, Britney Spears, Debra Messing, Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, Laura Linney, Rebecca Romijn, Rachel Bilson, Mary J. Blige and the incomparable legend, Barbra Streisand. Duke not only won the hearts and loyalty of every red carpet royalty, he also scored magazine cover after cover with his haute couture., and ready to wear collections.
In 2001, Duke took his designs to Home Shopping Network looking for a platform to get his designs to the masses. It worked, his HSN line, known as THE LOOK and SPIRITED was wildly successful. The lines included shoes, accessories, and sportswear for women.
In 2002 Duke moved to LA from New York and continued to grow his influence as a celebrated style maker and fashion expert. He grew to national and international fame, appearing on numerous television shows as a fashion commentator to OPRAH, ABC, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, E!, EXTRA, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD, THE VIEW, LARRY KING LIVE,and others. Duke’s first book, The Look, a sympathetic guide designed to help women of all shapes and sizes find and celebrate their own style launched in 2006 with Random House. Presently, Duke is working to second print his book.
In the Fall of 2007 Randolph Duke opened Los Angeles Fashion Week with a haute couture presentation of 73 looks.It brought the fashion critics to their feet in applause and brought east coast style fashion shows to LA.
It wasn't just the fashion show in LA that turned heads, the design of his LA home "OPENHOUSE" caught international attention. Not only that, it also ignited Duke's interest in home design and architecture. He and his home won the AIA Design Award for 2007 and his were featured on the cover of the December 2007 Issue of ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST. Duke continued his passion in the world of interior design and architecture with his Costa Rica property CASA ECLIPSO, a world class Eco-Resort located on the Guanacaste peninsula, Nicoya region….. in the magical town of Nosara. Duke continues to design interiors and architecture for clients around the world.
The past few years have Duke working on many projects. His new inspiration based in nature and eco-conscious designs while continuing to pave the path of global trends. His new collection line, virtual online shopping network & non-profit Fashion and Design Institute all work toward bringing this global awareness and consciousness to fashion business platforms for artisans and designers of the future. Duke is currently completing these platforms at the launching for the 2020s.
One project, "The Loop Product" is inspired by the documentary "True Cost". This project brought Duke to the highly artistic and eco- conscious community of Santa Fe in 2016. In the age of Fast Fashion with mega retailers like H&M, Forever 21, Target, Walmart and others contributing to the massive overflowing landfills, polluting the globe for years, Duke then created a premier Santa Fe concept store experience in the heart of Santa Fe's historic Plaza District, where he featured solutions to the growing problem of textile and product waste making the Fashion Industry the 2nd largest contributor to the world's toxic pollution problem after the oil industry.
Duke also continues to collaborate with his friend, the iconic fashion designer Donna Karan, in bringing his Cross Cultural Conscious Couture collection to her Winter Marketplace. The Winter Marketplace is a yearly event under the umbrella of her Urban Zen Brand.
He has also created The Foresta Collection of Eco Dyed pieces using sustainably sourced organic leaves, flowers and dyes. These Cross Cultural Conscious Couture collection are unique one-of-a-kind handmade pieces created from sustainably sourced world textiles and trims. Duke continues to design and make costumes and design couture gowns for performers around the world.
Most recently, in 2019, Duke was hired to design the renovation and resurrection of the historic Shelter Harbor Inn, located in bucolic Westerly, Rhode Island. Westerly is a beautiful oceanfront town with miles and miles of sandy beaches and quintessential seashore cottages and hotels.
RANDOLPH DUKE continues to blaze new frontiers of Design, Style, Beauty… while focusing on being socially and globally integrated, ensuring the result and highly conscious and sustainable platforms. Duke’s new businesses do more than blur the boundary between Business and Philanthropy…. they defy and define at once, as a model for a new way focusing on both…… with his inimitable passion!
Randolph Duke resides in New England- mostly Rhode Island and New York and Nosara, Guanacaste Costa Rica.