NYC based designer Richard Chai is Filson’s newly appointed Creative Director and now we have a first look at his influence. The heritage outerwear and accessories company hopes that Mr. Chai will help lead them into the future with updated fabrics, cuts, and a modern sensibility. GQ recently caught up with the designer and asked him a few questions about the project.

GQ: This collab kind of makes perfect sense. How’d it come to be?

Richard Chai: “I actually went after it [laughs], and approached Turner PR, who represents Filson. They put me in touch with [President] Mark Korros, and we met in New York, and ended up talking for like three hours, getting all excited. It’s rare to find a guy on the business side of a corporation that takes so much pride in the history of a brand, and has such a passion for the design side, but Mark does.”‘

GQ: Your aesthetic for your own stuff is pretty fashion-y, and we give Filson all the credit in the world, but that’s a pretty big leap…Chai: I was really impressed with their dedication to evolving their brand, and the idea is really to take iconic pieces they’ve done, and tweak them to fit and appeal to a more fashion-forward guy. We were able to slim stuff down, and do things in new fabrications (like replacing heavy tin cloth with lightweight, brushed wool), make them more transitional, more urban, without sacrificing the integrity of what Filson is.

GQ: Workwear has been so big, but a more tailored aesthetic has kind of taken over lately. Is a more elevated, luxe version of these utilitarian designs the next wave?

Chai: I think so. Men want something simple, something functional, and they want it to look good. Pieces that can integrate pretty seamlessly into any guy’s wardrobe: that’s really the goal.

Source: GQ