Last month, Richard Chai debuted a Mens line for Fall 2009. The move is a first for his almost four (4) year old label, but Richard is in fact quite seasoned in men’s wear. Whereas his Womens designs are a synthesis of ideas, moods, and spirits, he says his menswear reflects his own style and those of his friends. “I played a lot with luxe fabrics and distressed them so they feel more approachable” says the designer. The line is decidedly more casual than his women’s wear, but also quite technically advanced in construction.
This past summer, Richard released a limited edition Womens collection for Target’s Go International program. The collection offered an assortment of exquisitely tailored separates and chic dresses, all featuring his signature craftsmanship. Graffiti rose prints and paintbrush stripes were splashed across satin dresses, georgette skirts and jersey tanks, while fine finishing and classic tailoring were displayed in the jeweled woven patchwork blouse and sateen sweetheart dresses
Since the debut of his eponymous Womens collection in September 2004, Richard has been recognized for his sophisticated, yet elegantly understated collections with their clean structured lines and touches of classic craftsmanship. In 2005, Richard was honored with the annual Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award, in recognition of his emergence as a new talent in fashion design. In 2006, he was selected as a finalist for the Rising Star Award given by Fashion Group International. In 2007, the designer’s achievements were further recognized when he was inducted as a Member of the CFDA. Most recently, in 2008, Richard was chosen as a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist.
Richard Chai began his career in fashion with an internship at Geoffrey Beene, while still an undergrad at Parsons School of Design. Upon graduating, he moved to Paris to continue his education at the Lissa School, during which time he worked as a sketcher at Lanvin. After a year in Paris, he returned to New York to become an assistant designer at Armani Exchange. He then joined the design team at Donna Karan as a designer for the DKNY and D collections. From 1998 to 2001, Richard held the position of Design Director for the Marc Jacobs’ men’s and women’s collections, and helped to launch the Marc by Marc men’s collection. In September 2001, Richard was appointed Creative Design Director of all TSE brands, including TSE men’s, TSE women’s, and TSE Say. As a designer with a strong background in luxury goods, he was an invaluable asset to the continued growth of TSE worldwide. His appointment marked the first time in the company’s history that one person oversaw every line under the company name.
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