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Catching Up with Richard Chai

The designer tells us about his new collaboration with Andrew Marc and gives some great style tips for the average guy.

While it may feel like it’s taking forever for the cold weather and snow to end, we’ve finally seen a sure sign that winter’s pretty much through: the launch of Andrew Marc and Richard Chai’s spring collaboration. The brands kicked things off last week, hosting a party at SoHo’s Scoop NYC, and not only did Men’s Fitness score an invite, we also got the chance to sit down and speak with the designer himself. Read on for more on the collection, as well as Richard Chai’s advice on what's in and what’s out for spring.

On Why He Collaborated with Andrew Marc:

I have a sentimental attachment to the brand because growing up as a kid in the suburbs, Andrew Marc was like the cool leather brand--badass leather. Within my own brand, there’s a real casual ease about what I do for menswear, kind of known as sophisticated grunge, if you want to call it that. It made a lot of sense to get involved with Andrew Marc and give it a bit more of that edge again, invigorating it. It’s kind of injecting that rebellious factor into it that it once had.

On His Favorite Trend for Spring:

For me, it’s sort of the same idea of lighter leather outerwear and just mixing that with anything, even a t-shirt. It just goes back to that classic American rebellion, that James Dean kind of attitude.  Just jeans, a t-shirt, and a great leather jacket.

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On What Makes Something Go Out of Style

I think things just become normal. Things just become so ubiquitous that they become part of the vocabulary of someone’s wardrobe. It’s not a statement anymore. I think the challenge with a brand like a leather house is reinvigorating and coming up with new ideas to do leather, new ways to do the idea of moto or a new way to do a bomber jacket. That’s really what the challenge is every season–bringing something that feels new and fresh.

On His Favorite Piece From The Collection:

The bomber. I wore that one to death last season. I just love the whole fit and, honestly, it’s the quilting, it’s everything--the quality of the leather, the way it feels, the way it breaks in. It’s an awesome jacket.

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