Eddy and Richard Chai
These bros know what the ladies want, how to hook a fella up, and together, they provide some of the best style swag in NYC. With Richard (right) earning praise (including ours) on the design front for his lively co-ed collection, Richard Chai Love, and brother Eddy mastering retail as owner of NYC's premiere menswear boutique, Odin (whose new West Village location opens this week), fashion has alway been an interest for the Chai brothers. While these two certainly have differences and separate successes, they can still share the spotlight — namely, Richard's designs that have found a place among Eddy's inventory in Odin; talk about brotherly love.
Have you both always been interested in the fashion industry? And do you thank good genes for your taste and talent?
Richard: "I have always wanted to be a fashion designer since I was 13 when I first took a Fashion Illustration Class at Parsons. I think experiencing NYC and NYC Nightlife for the first time at 13 had a huge impact on my view of fashion and style."
Eddy: "I was always into fashion, but not the 'industry' so to speak. I wasn’t obsessed with brands, labels, and models but more about expressing myself through fashion and its relation to music and NYC."
You both been there through each other's ups and downs, but we want to know from each of you, what was your brother's worst style moment growing up?
Richard: "I think my brother's worst style moment was his sorta flat top haircuts."
Eddy: "All the different colored hair styles."
We have to ask (because our moms definitely did this), did you guys rock a ton of matching outfits when you were younger?
Richard: "My mother really didn't dress us in matching outfits, but I do remember having a red t-shirt with my name flocked on it in navy, velvet letters and my brother having a version in navy with red velvet letters."
What's the best thing about working in the same industry as your brother?
Richard: "I think the best part about having my brother in the same industry is the support and free advice. It's amazing to have his insight and perspective as a merchant and retailer. It's great to have a dialogue and bounce ideas off one another."
Eddy: "We can empathize with one another, offer support and criticism and share ideas."
What's the worst part?
Richard: "The blunt, unsolicited advice."
Eddy: "When we’re both headstrong about our opinions, even when’s he’s wrong."
Do you find that there's a lot of friction or competition between the two of you because you work in the same industry?
Richard: "No, not at all. If anything it motivates and inspires me. We are genuinely happy for each others successes."
Eddy: "No, quite the opposite especially because we are both on opposite ends of the industry – the retailer and the designer. It has given us tremendous insight, knowledge and respect for one another. We truly wish the best for one another and do whatever possible to support each other."
Tell us about one of your favorite family traditions.
Richard: "Thanksgiving. I make the gravy, Eddy makes the stuffing and my sister Gloria makes the mashed potatoes. Its been like that since I can remember."
Eddy: "Thanksgiving is probably the most important holiday to our family. I think with the exception of one year, we have always all been together. One tradition that started when we were kids was me making the stuffing, my brother making the gravy, and my sister making the mashed potatoes. I don’t know if it’s my favorite but it’s definitely the longest running tradition for us."
How much do you consult each other about your style? And how brutally honest can you be with your brother?
Richard: "I don't think we consult each other so much on our own personal style, but we are always honest if the other looks ridiculous."
Eddy: "One common thread between us is that we’re both pretty opinionated and have no qualms about sharing them. We are extremely candid and honest with one another, whether it be complimentary or brutal. But even if it’s brutal, it doesn’t come from a malicious place."
Obviously you have things in common, but tell us something that makes you guys so very different?
Richard: "One clear difference between my brother and I is that he loves watching sports and I don't."
Finish this sentence: My brother's favorite piece of clothing is...
Richard: "Is an old, navy, cashmere sweater I designed that has holes allover the shoulder."
Eddy: "A vintage army jacket he has had forever."
Ed note: We tried not to aww too obnoxiously when they both nailed this question for each other. Brother knows best, right?
On Eddy: Common Project footwear, Ralph Lauren cardigan, Odin button down, Comme des Garcon pants. On Richard: Richard Chai chambray Uutility shirt, Richard Chai zipper cardigan, V::Room T-shirt, Hanes tank, Levis 520's.
Photographed by Kava Gorna
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