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, while working as a sketcher at Lanvin. Returning to New York one year later, Chai continued to gain experience with several prestigious brands including Armani Exchange, Donna Karan, and Marc Jacobs. 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, leading him to launch his namesake brand in September 2004. He debuted his women’s collection for Spring 2005 in a formal runway presentation that was well received for its understated, yet sophisticated elegance. In 2008 Richard Chai was selected as a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards finalist for womenswear.
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 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, yet youthful sensibility.
Designed and operated in New York, Richard Chai and Richard LOVE are distributed at such retailers as Saks Fifth Avenue, Odin New York, and Pas De Deux in New York. In June 2010, Richard Chai was named Swarovski Menswear Designer of the Year at the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards and a finalist for GQ/CFDA’s Best New Men’s Designer in America.
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