Richard Chai at the launch party for his line Love at White Slab Palace
Designer Richard Chai multitasked at the launch for his new line Love, choosing Valentine's Day to both celebrate the collection and play matchmaker.
"I just thought it was a fun way for my single friends to get together, and if they happen to find love at the end of the night, then perfect," Chai told Niteside at the Valentine's Day Love-In at White Slab Palace on the Lower East Side celebrating the Barneys New York launch of the collection.
"Because the collection's called Love we thought it was a fun way to promote the spirit of the collection and have all of my friends get together and be together."
Friends like fellow designer Phillip Lim and fashion It couple Robert Geller and Ana Beatriz Lerario partied with Sebastien Perrin and model/DJ Harley Viera-Newton on the wheels of steel. While the party may have helped hook up some of his friends in the love department, Chai looked to his peers for the line's inspiration.
"The Love collection was inspired by American art students in the 90s and just the kind of the nonchalance that all of us had and the way we dress," said Chai. "There's lots of layers and a lot of just kind of haphazard ways of putting ourselves together but in a very sophisticated way."
Chai also created the collection with an ear to the street, picking up on the latest menswear-inspired trends.
"I started seeing girls about town wearing men's rundown shirts and sweaters and thought, 'Are they wearing their boyfriends' sweaters or are they wearing sweaters that they bought themselves?'" he said. "It made me think, 'Why don't I do my own women's line at a contemporary price point?'"