"Thinking back, I can’t quite put my finger on when I got “afflicted” with the arts. As far as I can remember, it seemed to always have been an important part of my life. Music and Design were inseparable, like two sides of a creative coin. I was, and continue to be particularly inspired by Jazz, because it poses the question “What if?”.
I strive to bring this sense of possibility to the design of men’s accessories."
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Richard grew up immersed in design. Working in his father’s engineering office from the age of 8, his early influences were the family’s circle of creative friends in the architectural, fine arts and musical communities, which made an indelible impression on him.
With architectural studies at the University of Pennsylvania and a music degree in hand from the University of Illinois, he pursued his passion for design and rose to principal positions at international architectural firms in NYC, including brief interludes as a professional musician in Europe and as a college instructor in jazz, under renowned trumpeter Donald Byrd.
For the 16 years prior to launching Richard Tao - LLC in 2014, he was President of Design for retail giant May Department Stores (Macy’s), where he was responsible for all design, planning and management of their $500m annual retail expansion.