Richard Chai was born in Westchester County, New York, USA, in the mid-1970s. He is of Korean parentage. He was raised in a very artistic family. His mother, who was an artist, took her children to museums, the opera, and other places where they could be influenced by art.
Richard attended Parsons School of Design, in New York. After graduating from Parsons, he went to Paris, and studied fashion design at the Lissa School, working part-time at the house of Lanvin.
When he returned to New York, his first position was with Armani Exchange. Then he joined Donna Karan for a while.
From 1998 to 2001 Chai worked as Design Director for Marc Jacobs, for launch of "Marc" line, and was very successful there.
In 2001 he joined TSE cashmere house as Creative Design Director. He designed TSE collections for several seasons starting SS 03.
In 2004 Richard Chai decided it was time to start his own label.
Modern designs with old-world detailing like hand stitching, bias tapes and French seams. Leg-elongating pants, fitted moleskin coats with quilted, geometric belts and fine-gauge knits have been crowd favorites.