Jason Wu

BATD ON Apr 23, 2009 AT 11:43 am

Jason Wu

Jason Wu

In case you don’t know the name, Jason Wu is one of the most coveted new designers in the fashion world. Ever since he nearly choked on his takeout pizza when The First Lady appeared in a Jason Wu creation on inauguration night, Wu has quickly jumped to the ranks of other legendary American designers like Oscar de la Renta and James Galanos. The infamous one-shouldered gown, studded with flowers and Swarovski crystals, is now hanging in the Smithsonian National Museum along with other past First Lady creations. Even Jason can hardly believe his instant rise to recognition. Though he has never actually met Michelle Obama, her impact on his career has been even bigger than he anticipated. Wu’s parents were thrilled, phoning from Taiwan as soon as they saw his dress on national television. “The reaction has been incredible. I’ve gone from being a designer known just by those in the know in New York to a global name,” he says.

Wu has been offered various deals by commercial names, but in characteristic designer style, he prefers to work with his tiny team of eight to launch his new autumn/winter line, and a brand new range of cosmetics and shoes as well. We can bet Michelle Obama will be modeling those new masterpieces! Jason Wu doesn’t hide the fact that his designs aren’t meant for women like Nicole Richie, or even his pin thin models who showcase them. “I design for real women, older women with feminine bodies,” Wu has stated. (Finally, a designer who caters to real bodies!) Even better, his collection is fully stocked at Net-a-Porter.

Michelle in Jason Wu

Michelle in Jason Wu

Jason Wu was born in Taipeh, Taiwan to parents in the export business. He always credits them with every success he’s had in the fashion industry and otherwise. The Wu’s envisioned a more prosperous life for their son, so at age nine they organised his immigration, first to Vancouver and eventually to America. In Vancouver, Wu first became interested in the fashion industry. He used dolls as models and sewed dresses onto them for practice, using pricey fabrics he saved every penny for. After attending boarding school in Connecticut and completing sculpture studies in Tokyo, Wu returned to New York, balancing the beginnings of his design career and a nearly four year course at Parsons School of Design. An internship with Narciso Rodriguez just months afterward allowed Wu to launch his own label, which comprises mainly cocktail gowns, His line is a nod to design icons such as Carolina Herrera, and has gained a fan base which includes Ivanka Trump and supermodel Amber Valletta.

Such an accomplished young designer (he’s only 26!) would appear to critics like a posh club and Pinot Noir type of guy. But this Manhattan local spends his free time cooking American dishes like apple pie or macaroni. His down to earth personality is night and day from the upper class designs he throws out, but we don’t mind!

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