Runway highlights from TADASHI SHOJI SPRING 2013 Collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. The official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week YouTube channel  

Tadashi Shoji is the founder and chief designer of the Tadashi Shoji collection. Born and raised in Sendai, Japan, he began painting and drawing from a young age and eventually moved to Tokyo, where he studied fine art. His talent was soon recognized and he was recommended for an apprenticeship with Japan’s leading contemporary artist, Jiro Takamatsu, who is credited with paving the way for the modern art movement in Japan during the sixties.

It was during this period that Tadashi became intrigued with New York City and its role in the contemporary art scene. He moved to the United States to attend university in Los Angeles and further his artistic development, when he discovered fashion design and awakened a life-long passion.

While a student, Tadashi was presented with the unique opportunity to work with famed costume designer Bill Whitten. In the flamboyant seventies, every major recording artist was demanding a Whitten original, and Tadashi was honored to work for the company that created designs for A-list stars including Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, The Jacksons, and Earth, Wind, & Fire.

After earning his degree in Fashion Design, Tadashi began working at a prominent clothing manufacturer where he climbed the ranks for several years. Troubled by the fact that women had few options for special occasion dresses in the contemporary market, Tadashi identified a niche and set out on his own.

In 1982, Tadashi launched his own collection, Tadashi Shoji, in Los Angeles, California. Tadashi Shoji has become widely recognized for its original designs and innovative collections. The company has seen steady growth since its inception and is carried in more than 4,000 major department and specialty store doors worldwide, including: Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and Lord & Taylor. Internationally, the brand is available at high-end retailers such as: Vakko, Harvey Nichols Dubai, and Rustan’s.

In addition to a thriving wholesale business, the brand maintains its own retail operations with two signature boutiques in the United States – one in the prestigious South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa and another in Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas. In April 2012, Tadashi Shoji launched an e-commerce website selling an edited collection of eveningwear and bridal gowns. Tadashi expanded his international reach by opening boutiques in Shanghai and Beijing in July 2012.