Exclusive: Richard Chai on His Favorite Looks From His New Collection


We're asking top designers to pick one look from their Spring/Summer 2011 collections and to explain the inspiration behind the item, how it was fabricated, and—of course—how to wear it. This week, Richard Chai tells the story behind two items: a horizontal striped shirt and a pair of beach shorts.


The collection was all about mash-ups. It was surfer, it was backpackers, it was punk rock, it was military. And I wanted something that felt classic and preppy and exaggerated in a way. I just remember when I was younger I had polo shirts and rugby knit shirts with these even stripes, and so I wanted to do something like that, only we would make it blurred and graphic. So the color of the shirt is a degradé that goes from white to a shade of blue and then white again. I just love this shirt because it's so versatile—it can be preppy or conservative, dressed-up or undone, all depending on how you wear it. In the show we put it under a jacket and over a shirt, but you can layer it in so many different ways ,or just wear it on its own.


There's been a lot of construction in my neighborhood, and the sites are covered with this tarp that's got holes cut into it. I took a photo of that tarp, and the holes looked like hearts—this masculine construction space covered by these feminine hearts. And so I brought that idea to these board shorts, which have a stripe that looks fatigued and overdyed. They've also got these hearts that are bleach-stained, which mimic how your board shorts fade when you leave them out in the sun. It's such a great, fun piece to wear with a beat-up T-shirt. —By Richard Chai

Also on
From Paris, the DETAILS Fashion Editors' Fashion Week Photo Diary
Brad Goreski's Highlights from the Milan Men's Shows, Part 3
Exclusive: Designer Robert Geller on His Favorite Look From His New Collection
Details Newsletters
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, and Privacy Policy.
Subscribe to Details
Newsletter Sign Up
  • Get the latest in men's style, grooming, diet, fitness and pop-culture trends every Wednesday. See Sample
  • Get the most popular articles, blog posts, and slideshows of the past week every Saturday. See Sample
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, and Privacy Policy.
Powered By ZergNet
Subscribe to Details

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest in men's style, grooming, health, and pop-culture news every day.
Will be in accordance with our Privacy Policy