Born in 1974 in New York, Richard Chai grew up in New Jersey. With ambitions to work in the fashion industry from an early age, Chai began by taking evening classes at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in Manhattan as a precocious thirteen year old, specialising in fashion illustration. Eventually graduating from Parsons, and following working as an intern at the respected Geoffrey Beene label (where he worked under Alber Elbaz), Chai furthered his studies in Paris at the LISAA in 1996.
Following a spell as an assistant designer at Armani Exchange, Chai became a key member of Donna Karen’s DKNY team, and then became director of both the men’s and women’s collections for Marc Jacobs. Moving from here to TSE, where he was creative director with complete control over all collections, Chai was hugely successful. This is seen by the fact that his creations were worn by the Sex and the City cast, Jennifer ‘J-Lo’ Lopez and the queen of American TV, Oprah Winfrey.
It was in 2004 that Chai decided to start his own label, and his debut at New York Fashion Week was a great success. Later that year, Chai was also named by People magazine as one of the ‘Sexiest Men Alive’, and the year was topped off by winning an Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award.
Known for his classic sportswear collections, Chai manages to balance the fine-line between the masculine and the feminine, the clean and simple and the indulgent. This playfulness with diverging ideas enables him to construct a singularly harmonious vision from a mash-up of competing ideologies. Chain continues to innovate and to entertain with his collections, and his designs can be bought in upmarket boutiques and department stores across the world.