Born of mixed parentage (Alaskan Indian father and German mother) in Santa Monica. Childhood years were spent in Los Angeles and Honolulu. As an adult he lived in Honolulu, New York and Chicago, before settling in San Francisco in 1973.
Kai's professional background spans modeling, cosmetology, clothing design, and creation of elaborate headdresses for nightclub entertainers. As a hair stylist and makeup artist, Kai has been associated with exclusive salons in Chicago and San Francisco. His reputation connected him with celebrities in the theater, opera and California's movie industry. Over the years he has derived much satisfaction and enjoyment from the creative aspects of costume and headdress design. His artistic inspiration has been influenced by personalities, such as Bob Mackie and Cher, the Art Deco designs of Erte, and dream-like metaphysical paintings of Susan Seddon Boulet.
custom-made masks, called KaiMasks, are the perfect fusion of his professional past and wild imagination - fulfilling his longstanding desire to create objects of enduring beauty. Kai gives much attention to subtle detail, quality construction and wearing comfort. Each KaiMask is one-of-a-kind, meticulously handcrafted, titled and signed by Kai.
Kai's venture into mask making seriously started in the year 2000. He quickly became recognized as one of California's most imaginative mask makers. The mesmerizing KaiMasks have been exhibited in galleries… featured on TV… and worn by runway models. His wearable art commands all the attention for masqueraders in search of the unique and unusual. These dramatic disguises have been sold in retail stores in the Bay Area and New Orleans. Currently Maskarade, the premier mask store in New Orleans' French Quarter (630 St. Ann Street), is the primary retail outlet for non-commissioned KaiMasks. Contact Kai directly to create a mask to your specifications and make your dreams come true.
In 2004, the KaiMask venture took an unexpected direction, when several clients inquired about preserving their masks for display. As a result, Kai started showcasing masks in shadow boxes and acrylic cases for home and office display. The framed masks represent dramatic wall art and compliment any décor. His elegant, full-face masks mounted in acrylic cases create stunning sculptural displays and allow 360 degree viewing.
Kai's creativity and artistry has involved him in Group Art, Theme Parties, and "Personal Interest" events, requiring face painting, make-up and body art. Upon request and with a little bit of planning, Kai may travel to your locale with an associate, as needed, to transform you and any participants into the "fantasy du jour". Venture to the "Body Art" section of the GALLERY for samples of his work.
In 2015, Kai began making fasinators - head pieces attached to headbands and sometimes called hatinators. Fascinators have been in-and-out of fashion since the 1900s and most recently popularized by British royalty, such as Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Beatrice of York. Like Kai's masks, each KaiHat is unique and handcrafted - perfect for formal and informal wear - weddings, parties, sporting events, bedroom activities and private affairs. Several photos of these newest creations can be seen in the KaiHat section of the GALLERY. Hats are also merchandised at Maskarade in New Orleans. Orders to your specifications can be made directly to Kai by email or phone.
Enjoy your journey into the dimension called Fantasy!