FrontRunners: Royal Plush
Chie Imai’s (800.957.3808, 212. 588.0555, www.royalchie.com) distinctive designs are characterized by dyed strips of fur that are cut and sewn to achieve a basket weave effect, which she calls Mosaique. Her latest Mosaique collection blends Hakata woven silk—the fabric of choice for kimono obis, or sashes—with her colorful furs. The official furrier to the Japanese imperial family has also developed an innovative knitting technique to create airy golden sable fashions that use a mesh-base fabric to which the fur is added in small bunches. With a recently opened store on Madison Avenue in New York, this Japanese female entrepreneur is looking to expand her worldview along with her design oeuvre.