Chico’s Artist Michael Chase on Japanese Inspiration

Chico's hand-painted Travelers Collection Printed Duster Jacket is a real showstopper. We spoke to Michael Chase, a Senior CAD Manager for Travelers, Activewear, and Golf, about his process for creating this stunning piece.

We’d been getting a lot of customer requests for something special and unique, and when the customer asks, we listen! We wanted to create something beautiful that referenced some of our classic prints but also felt totally new. We were inspired by Asia, and Japanese prints specifically. I started by looking through our print archives; some are prints we’ve used, others we’ve only been inspired by, or keep for reference. Then, I pooled the collection of ideas that I wanted to use to build the jacket and began to draw. I was struck most by this one print I found of a Japanese woman in a garden, which was hand painted in our studio eleven years ago. Back then, we used it on a suede jacket. From there, I built on it, finding other prints that flowed into the whole pattern, using the woman as a focal point on the back. I love the colors, and how versatile it is. There are hints of green in there. If you’re going to invest in a statement piece, you want it to go with everything. And this could go with anything. I can’t wait to see someone wearing it in the wild. It’s a great feeling when you see someone enjoying something you worked hard on.

Like what you see? There’s plenty more where this came from, in our Travelers Collection

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18 Responses

  1. Marty

    Me too! My daughter is getting married in Sept, so far too early for the “holiday attire” collection. I’m a Chico’s Girl in my 60’s and refuse to wear frumpy “mother of the bride” clothes – ick! I attended a fabulous Chico’s fashion show in June in SC and one “model” was wearing the PERFECT dress – only came in ecru…still hoping I’ll see it in bright blue for fall.

  2. Michelle

    I do not care for the color palette in this Japanese Jacket. It is too much yellow tone. Please do something in blues and greens for those who prefer a cool pallet

  3. Nina Brackeen

    THIS IS STUNNING. Please continue to innovate and keep your loyal customer base comfortable and at the forefront of style.

  4. Judy Henry

    I just got my Japanese jacket today. I ordered a petite size 2 and I am thrilled with it. It fits well and the colors go with every brown tone pant in my closet. It is very pretty and a very good weight material for fall in Florida. I know I will get lots wear out of it. Thank you for making petite size clothes with style.

  5. I have always loved the Asian-style jackets that were once Chico’s hallmark. I bought this duster the day it came out and I LOVE it! I hope that this type of print will become a Chico’s staple once again.

  6. Carole Feintech

    Gorgeous jacket, way wrong colors.Blues/greens, reds/golds,wisterias/lavenders, magentas.The color palette you have done we see over and over.A lot of us can not wear taupe,khaki, olive nor will we.

  7. Dawn

    I just purchased the Printed Duster Jacket and I am not fond of it. I was not happy with the colors, the fit, nor the material. When I put it on I felt like I was getting ready for bed and was putting on my robe. The price was a little much compared to the quality. Not a fan of the duster at all.

    1. Liza

      Good suggestions about colors, fabric weight/quality etc. CHICO’S, ARE YOU LISTENING? I think there’s a new designer on board. If so, Chico’s customers are noticing & many are not happy these days. Lose the bling! And not everyone wears spike heels or is 6′ tall & weighs 100 pounds.

  8. I miss Zenergy vests in jewel tone colors. Blue is used frequently, and there is always black, but teal, purple, magenta, burgundy and jade colors are seldom offered. The vests you used to offer are so versatile. Please bring them back.

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