Randolph Duke was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. His mother, Dagney used to perform at the Folies Bergere at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. During Randolph Duke's growing up years, his creative mind came up with ideas on how to dress those glamourous ladies on stage. Later in life, he would translate these ideas to luxurious clothes and gowns.
He attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas where he studied classical piano, before turning his attetnion to fashion and graduating with honors from The Fashion Institute of Design and merchandising in los Angeles.
Duke began his career designing simple yet stylish swimwear in 1978. He then worked for Jantzen and then worked as swimwear designer for Anne Cole of California in 1982.
In 1984 he left Anne Cole and designed the viewpoint by Gottex swimwear line. In 1986 he opened Randolph Duke, Inc., and unveiled his first collection.
Branching out into sportwear, Duke launched his first line in 1997, complete with an eponymous retail store on manhattan’s Upper West Side. Later, as Design Director for retailer henri Bendel, and as Creative Director for sportswear manufacturer Kenar, Duke provided his expertise in product image, marketing visual merchandising and strategic advertising. Duke has also consulted for other nationally recognized retailers, manufacturers and developers such as the rouse Company, builders of the massive “Fashion Show Mall” in Las Vegas.
In 1990 he debuted his first men's line, Duke Men and dissolved his company. The same year he signed a contract with 168, Inc. for a swimwear line. In 1991 he launched first jewelry collection. From 1993 to 1995 he reorganized sportswear line under the name Randolph Duke.
In 1996 same year he began designing formal wear.
In 1996, Duke achieved international recognition for his masterful resurrection of Halston, 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. Following his stint at Halsto, Duke launched Randolph Duke, a couture evening collection.
Duke progressed from swimwear to sportswear to evening wear, a progression that came naturally for a designer who has claimed that change itself is his inspiration; this particular need is what made him Hollywood's designer of choice in the late 1990s and the beginning of the 21st century.
In 1998 he left Halston and opened a store in Los Angeles and successfully began creating his own line of formal eveningwear.
His gowns made a bold statement in 1999, starting with a dark velvet dress with braided shoulder straps and a long slip in mohair over beaded tulle. Moving back into sportswear in 2000, Duke presented a resort collection with a selection of blouses, including one in taffeta with two drawstrings down the center that, when pulled, rose up to show the midriff.
During his years of creating sportswear collections under his own name, Duke's designs were bold, simple, tailored in contrasting stitching, and included supple knit pieces to round out his line. Almost all fabrics were domestic and the result was a charming, trendy sportswear collection full of life.
Sharon Stone, Celine Dion, Hilary Swank, Marcia Gay Harden, Angelina Jolie, Kim Basinger, Minnie Driver, Geena Davis, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez, Faith Hill, Mariah Carey, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Aniston, Britney Spears, Debra Messing, Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, Laura Linney, Rebecca Romijn, Mary J. Blige, Barbara Streisand,