Shoji was born in Sendai, Japan. He began painting and drawing at a young age and eventually moved to Tokyo where he studied fine art. He apprenticed with Jiro Takamatsu, a contemporary artist making art in Japan during the 1960s and 1970s.
Shoji moved to the United States in 1973 to attend college and further his artistic development. He attended Los Angeles Trade Technical College where he studied fashion design. As a student, Shoji apprenticed with costume designer Bill Whitten. Shoji worked alongside Whitten, who created designs for stars including Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, The Jacksons, and Earth, Wind, & Fire.
After graduation, Shoji worked as a designer for a clothing manufacturer until 1982 when he launched his own label, Tadashi Shoji.
The Tadashi Shoji brand is carried in more than 700 major department and specialty store doors in more than 50 countries. Shoji debuted his runway collection at the New York Fashion Week in September 2007. His runway collections have been well received by Style.com, Women’s Wear Daily, and other notable publications.
Tadashi Shoji was a sponsor of Miss Universe 2002-2007 Pageant for fabulous opening dresses. Also, the evening wears for the winner of Miss Universe each year in any events. Riyo Mori was the last Miss Universe who wore Tadashi's evening gown during her title Miss Universe 2007
The brand maintains its own retail operations with three signature boutiques in the United States – one in South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California, another in Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas- and another in Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara, California. In April 2012, Tadashi Shoji launched an e-commerce website selling an edited collection of eveningwear and bridal gowns. Shoji expanded his international reach by opening boutiques in Shanghai and Beijing in July 2012.
In June 2012, Tadashi Shoji was one of 26 new members accepted into The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), an exclusive not-for-profit trade association of over 400 of America's foremost fashion and accessory designers.
His designs have won a loyal following with women worldwide, including a wide range of celebrities, such as Oscar Winner Octavia Spencer, Kate Beckinsale, Dita Von Teese, Oscar Winner Mo'Nique, Helen Mirren, and Katy Perry. Octavia Spencer wore a custom-made Tadashi Shoji gown to the 84th annual Academy Awards, where Spencer won Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The Help.
Shoji is known for designing for all ages, all ethnicities, and all figures. He uses figure-flattering techniques, such as draping, ruching, and shutter pleats, to accentuate the positives. Signature pieces include draped jersey gowns, pleated chiffon gowns, and shutter pleated cocktail dresses.