Designers

Fashion Biography

Richard Chai, Fashion Designer

INF1408

Richard Chai, a New York native, began his career in fashion at an early age with a prestigious internship at Geoffrey Beene as an undergraduate at Parsons School of Design. Upon graduation from Parsons, Chai continued his studies at the Lissa School in Paris, during which time he worked as a sketcher at Lanvin.

Returning to New York one year later, Chai immediately embarked on his practical experience as an assistant designer at Armani Exchange. He then joined Donna Karan as a designer for the DKNY and D collections. From 1998 to 2001, Chai was the Design Director for the Marc Jacobs" men"s and women"s collections and the launch of the Marc by Marc Jacobs men"s line. In September 2001, Chai was appointed Creative Design Director of all TSE brands, including men"s, women"s and TSE Say, marking the first time in the company"s history that a single person oversaw all brands.

Through his experiences at some of the world"s most influential fashion houses, Chai developed a keen eye for detail, a reverence for architectural design elements, and a strong belief in the importance and value of the construction of clothes. After two years at Tse, Richard Chai established his own company in 2004.

Womenswear

During New York Fashion Week in September 2004, Chai launched his Spring 2005 women"s wear collection in a formal runway presentation. His well received debut was a study in understated, yet sophisticated elegance and established his aesthetic sensibility and penchant for clean lines and classic craftsmanship.

In September 2009, the designer debuted a new contemporary priced women"s collection called Richard Chai LOVE for Spring 2010. Considered the female counterpart to his menswear label LOVE parallels his men"s line both in its accessible price and in its aesthetic of uniform inspired classics refined with a modern, downtown sensibility, and a touch of whimsy.

Menswear

Officially launched in June 2008 for Spring 2009, Richard Chai launched his eponymous menswear collection with a presentation during Paris Fashion Week. As with his womenswear, Chai takes an architectural approach with his menswear. Design signatures such as arced seams, intriguing fabric treatments and eclectic color palettes lend a distinctly modern flair while keeping in tune with the classic heritage of old world tailoring and craftsmanship.

In June 2010, Richard Chai was named Swarovski Menswear Designer of the Year at the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards.

Awards / Milestones

Winner of the 2010 Swarovski Menswear Designer of the Year at the CFDA Fashion Awards
Winner of the 2005 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award
Inducted as a CFDA member in 2007
Selected as a 2008 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards finalist for womenswear
Named one of six finalists in GQ"s s third annual Best New Men"s Designers in America "and was featured in a spread in the magazine"s February issue.

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By Courtney Lynne
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