Born in Sendai on January 15, 1948, Tadashi Shoji is a Japanese-American accessory and apparel designer and the founder of Tadashi Shoji clothing label. He is particularly recognized for creating stunning evening wear and red carpet dresses for women.
From a young age, Shoji began showing keen interest and outstanding skills in drawing and painting. In order to cultivate his talent, he moved from his city to study fine art in Tokyo. However to prosper in the intended field of choice, it is highly important to gain hands-on experience so that one is able to blend well in the industry. Hence, Shoji did an internship under the contemporary artist Jiro Takamatsu who is acknowledged for establishing a pavement for modern art in Japan during the 1960s.
It was around this time that Shoji was intrigued by the role New York City was playing in the contemporary art landscape. Once Shoji felt that his foundation was firm, he moved to U.S.A in 1973 and attended college along with further nourishing and developing his artistic knack. He learnt fashion design from Los Angeles Trade Technical College. While studying, Tadashi apprenticed with Bill Whitten, a costume designer who created outfits for personalities including Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, The Jacksons, Elton John and several others.
During his apprenticeship and education, Tadashi discovered and felt that there weren’t many options available for women to wear on special occasions. Realizing this, he identified a completely new niche and set out to create his own company.
After completing his graduation, Tadashi Shoji worked at a clothing manufacturing company as a designer and in 1982 launched his eponymous label. His brand is shelved in over four thousand major specialty and department stores, including Nordstrom, Bloomindale’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue in more than 39 countries. His brand is also available at retail shops, such as Anniversaire Omotesando, Isetan, and Epoca The Shop.
In 2007, he debuted a collection at the New York Fashion Week. His runway clothes have been praised by Women’s Wear Daily, Style.com and other noteworthy media platforms.
In 2012, Shoji expanded his reach to Beijing and Shanghai as well as established an online store for selling his edited collections of bridal and evening gowns. The same year, he was among the 26 individuals to be accepted as members into the Council of Fashion Designers of America, an exclusive non-profit society consisting of more than 400 America’s most outstanding fashion designers.
Tadashi Shoji’s designs have won him a loyal worldwide female following, including Dita Von Teese, Kate Beckinsale, Helen Mirren, Mo’Nique, Katy Perry, Octavia Spencer, Deborah Messing, Blake Lively, Beyonce Knowles, Queen Latifah and several others.
Apart from a clothing business, Shoji launched the Tadashi Home Collection in 2006 with a line of perfumed soy candles, bedding, bathing items, personal care products and additional home accessories.
Unlike many designers, Tadashi is recognized for designing things for all body figures, ethnicities and ages. Be it a healthy or a skinny woman, broad-shouldered or petite – Shoji masters at using techniques to bring the most out of any structure. With methods like pleats, flares, draping and ruching – the designer accentuates the parts of body in any woman that have the potential to boost her appearance. Some of his signature designs are chiffon dresses with pleats, cocktail gowns with shutter pleats and jersey draped costumes. His motto is to design for woman to make her feel beautiful and confident.