(04/07/2011) - Designer Tadashi Shoji is a longtime admirer of figure skating, so when he met fashion lover Johnny Weir during Fashion Week earlier this year the two immediately hit it off.
"We discussed possible ways to collaborate on a project in the future," says Shoji, whose popular Tadashi line has been sold at upscale stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus for nearly three decades. Actress Mo’Nique wore a Tadashi creation to the 2010 Academy Awards. Other celebrity clients include Shakira, Tyra Banks, Kate Walsh and Sara Ramirez. In 2007, he launched the Tadashi Shoji Signature Collection, high-end, one-of-a-kind pieces. He also has the Tadashi Home Collection.
"I’m a huge fan of his work," says Weir. "So many of my girls wear his clothes. When I saw him at Fashion Week (at Tadashi’s show at Lincoln Center), we had this kind of instant bond connection. He knows how much I love Japan and how many times I go per year to perform and visit."
When the earthquake hit last month, Weir immediately called Shoji, who was born and raised in Sendai, Japan, to see if he and his loved ones were okay.