First In Line

Fashion Forward: Richard Chai Kicks Off Fashion Week

Richard Chai, Fall 2011

(Left: Richard Chai, Right: Menswear line, Fall 2011)

Fashion wunderkind Richard Chai is one of the first designers to kick off this year’s fall Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with his Spring 2012 collection, heading down the runway today. Openly gay (and apparently single), Chai launched his own company in 2004 after working under Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs, made a splash Fashion Week that same year, and earned the title “Sexiest Designer” in People‘s 2004 Sexiest Men Alive issue.  The following year, Ecco Domani awarded him their Fashion Foundation Award. (He was inducted as a CFDA member in 2007).

The Korean designer launched his first menswear collection in June 2008 during Paris Fashion Week.  A self-proclaimed “child of the ’90s,”  his work evokes the spirit of an grunge slacker with a modern, architectural spin.  Beloved by stars like Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Hudson, and Blake Lively, his unique style earned him the 2010 Swarovski Menswear Designer of the Year at the CFDA Fashion Awards.

When showing his fall line back in February, Chai said “I’m not interested in anything intimidating. It’s about who I am, dressing up, and still feeling cool and casual. What does he have in store for Spring 2012?  He’s showing his secondary line, Love, right now—stay tuned for some of his best runway looks.

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Images via Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week,