By  on February 22, 2005

NEW YORK — And then As Four became three.

As Four’s Kai has left the design quartet to pursue other business interests amid reports of creative clashes between him and designers Adi, Ange and Gabi, overextended vacations and just simply bad behavior. (The four designers go by their first names.)

A source close to the company said the relationship between Kai and the three designers became particularly challenging in recent months with Kai “all over the place, causing scenes, acting up, getting into trouble.” Kai was said to have been largely absent in the making of the fall collection, preferring to spend his time traveling to Israel and Brazil while the other three worked on putting together the collection. They eventually got fed up and confronted him, to which he snapped and quit.

“The whole thing started before,” Kai said, addressing these claims. “Adi was going to Israel and I decided to join her. There, my passport was stolen and I was delayed from coming back. Not just did I have to get a new passport but also a new visa. Then I went to Germany for Christmas and when I returned, ready to jump into the game, they wouldn’t allow me back into the studio. They said, it’s too stressful. Then I was invited to Brazil, so instead of facing negativity and being mentally tortured by my ex-business partners, I decided to go to the beach and wait it out.”

When contacted about the split, Adi said, “We fight here and there. It’s very difficult to be in a group. He just felt like he needs a change and so he is stopping for now.”

Kai took a less amicable tone. “Too many lies, greed and jealousy around,” he said. “I am just sick and tired of it. I felt abused and used. I love what I did, but I wanted to do more. Lately, a lot of my input wasn’t appreciated, but I like my work to be appreciated. To be As Four was always very difficult. We created something wonderful in seven years, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my own passion and happiness for that.”

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