Richard Chai Kicks Off Fashion Week in New York

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Korean-American fashion designer, Richard Chai, kicked off Fashion Week with his rhapsody in blue and khaki.  Richard recently won an American fashion award for best new designer for men’s wear.  He’s been featured as one of the hottest designers from GQ to the New York Times.  And apparently he didn’t disappoint during his showcase last week.

  • “Richard Chai was feeling the vibe of Lincoln Center, turning out a spring collection for his Love label that mimicked styles favored by professional dancers and the students at the Juilliard School.” (Associated Press)
  • “If the collection Richard Chai showed for his secondary ‘Love’ line has anything to say, then it will be a season of floaty, layered comfort, in soft, unchallenging colors.” (Heard on The Runway)
  • “Approaching such designs with a mind for simplicity runs the risk of making clothes that are boring or just boyishly cute, but Mr. Chai’s were rather transcendent.” (On The Runway)
  • “Chai continues to stand out in the same-y contemporary world.” (
  • “Layering is always an important element to Chai’s creations and it’s not easy to pull off for spring, but he managed to do it with aplomb.” (StyleList)
  • “Well-suited for a cliffside community of reclusive (yet stylish) artists … or maybe a high-maintenance trip to Saint Tropez.” (The Thread)
  • “Chai’s new attitude is bold and clear, as are his clothes. He’s leading the way into a new, softer minimalism that we’re going to be seeing a lot of this week.” (
  • “Accessible and transseasonal looks via diaphanous layers and sporty elements.” ( UK)
  • “It felt fresh, if a bit repetitive in overall mood.” (Women’s Wear Daily)

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.


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.


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.

Check out the slideshow of Richard Chai’s Spring 2011 collection.


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