Hopefully this is a sign that a long, long winter can finally give our coat closets a bit of a breather. Let’s clear the puffy coats and break out some leather! Andrew Marc X Richard Chai celebrated its Spring 2014 launch at Scoop NYC in Soho. Chai is a CFDA award-winning designer with his own namesake men’s and women’s wear collections. He’s known for incorporating architectural design elements into his work. I went one-on-one with Chai about his latest for Andrew Marc, which includes men’s and women’s outerwear and sportswear.
Kafi Drexel: What was the big inspiration this time around?
Richard Chai: I actually started working with Andrew Marc because I know Steven Budd who is the president. He said ‘Hey, do you want to do something together?’ and I said ‘Yeah, that sounds amazing.’ So we started with spring and that’s what you see here in the store. Andrew Marc is really anchored in this rebellious moto kind of attitude.
KD: Are you anchored in that too?
RC: In a way. Not so much that specifically, but there is this aspect of sophisticated grunge, bad boy/bad girl with my collection so the syngergy made sense. It was really just about doing pieces that felt really sophisticated and spring-like and really beautiful lightweight leathers.
KD: Yeah. I like the mango-colored moto jacket. I feel like I would see that on Ellen Pompeo on a talk show or something.
RC: (Laughs a little) Yeah, for me it’s really just about things that feel new and interesting for the brand. For me, being involved with bringing new ideas, new colors, to do white which isn’t something that is really typical in leather…it’s really that.
KD: Is that a risk when you break away from traditional black or is it more about freshening up options?
RC: I think it’s a little of both. I think any time you take a risk it’s about freshening something up. That is what I’m there for, to propose and present new ideas.
KD: So who is the woman that Andrew Marc X Richard Chai Spring 2014 is for? Who would you ideally want to see wearing this?
RC: It’s a woman who is obviously confident. There is something sexy about her, but at the same time she’s got a very contemporary modern edge about her. She is someone that loves fashion and is versed in fashion. But I think it’s also not intimidating or isolating in a way as a collection. It’s still really inviting and I think it’s really for all kinds of women.
[Photo Credit: Kafi Drexel]