To be continuously successful and creative for more than 35 years is a true testament to talent. Tadashi Shoji has been at the forefront of dressing women in luxurious designs that always are accessible to everyone.
“I want to celebrate a woman's inner strength, to inspire real women and make them feel confident and beautiful,” Tadashi has said. From intricately embroidered evening gowns to matching children’s dresses, Tadashi’s passion for beauty is truly inspiring. We take a look back at the designer’s journey into his chosen field.
Born in Sendai, Japan, Tadashi grew up with a desire to become an artist. His love for the arts compelled him to move to Tokyo where he landed the role of an assistant to prominent contemporary artist Jiro Takamatsu. He worked with Jiro for three years but the art world could not contain him.
At the age of 22, Tadashi took a daring leap and moved to Los Angeles, California at the onset of the seventies. Unsure what his next steps would be, Tadashi worked odd jobs while attending school to learn English. At the age of 25, a young Tadashi enrolled in the Los Angeles Trade Tech College solely on a whim. There he studied fashion design and found his true calling. His first design? A children’s gingham dress!
Two years later, Tadashi became an assistant to the famous costume designer Bill Whitten. Tadashi would go on to create wild costumes for Neil Diamond, The Jackson Five, and more. His love for Cher and the glamorous dresses she wore during the height of the seventies compelled the designer to venture in the contemporary market for special occasion dresses.
In 1984, Tadashi launched his own collection. The brand became synonymous with the bold, glamorous look (thing sequins and prominent shoulders) of the 1980s. Tadashi Shoji was soon being sold in Bergdorf Goodman, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, and more.
For the ‘90s, the designer integrated metallic details into his designs. Brooches, embellished necklines, and grommets are just some of his stylish designs.
Tadashi soon after translated his artistic talent in draping and ruching to create instant classic designs with silk taffeta.
In 2007, Tadashi unveiled his first higher-end runway collection at New York Fashion Week to rave reviews. It was in 2010 that he would design a strapless evening gown inspired by the Passage to Angkor. The gown went on to become a bestseller.
To commemorate his 30th anniversary as a designer, Tadashi launched a capsule collection in 2013 highlighting his greatest hits.
Celebrities and influential figures soon flocked to the designer. First Lady Michelle Obama, Katy Perry, Octavia Spencer, Mindy Kaling, and Janelle Monáe, are just some of his loyal devotees. The first Lady wore her first Tadashi Shoji design in 2015.
Tadashi continues to grow with the brand becoming the go-to lifestyle destination for all things luxurious and attainable.