June 12, 2009
Jason Wu, a 26-year old designer born in Taiwan, is a rising star designer whose fame reached new heights when Michelle Obama wore his gown to the inauguration. To most of us, that was Jason Wu’s debut in the fashion world. For all I knew, that was the first dress he ever made. But apparently Jason has been very popular in the fashion community both before inauguration hit. So let’s get familiar with Jason Wu !
Jason’s parents recognized his love for art. His mom would drive him to bridal stores so that he could sketch the gowns in the window. His parents were said to move him from Taiwan , and relinquish their import and export business, because the culture did not appreciate art. They moved to Canada, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. While in the US Mr. Wu got started experimenting with fashion design by making clothes for dolls. At the age of 16, Wu started freelance doll clothing for a company called Integrity Toys by a line titled “Jason Wu dolls” which later turned to “Fashion Royalty.” He was given the title of creative director of Integrity Toys.
He went to Paris for his senior year in high school and then enrolled in Parsons for 3 and a half years before he left to intern for Mr. Rodriquez. From there his fashion career blossomed. He continued to build his fashion designs for dolls at Integrity Toys , which is still sold today. In 2006 , with money he saved from his doll making, he started his own ready to wear clothing line. Today, he wants to stay exclusive making luxury women’s wear and selling it in select stores and cities world wide. He has had his share of book and reality tv offers, but he declined them because he rather focus on developing a shoe and makeup line to add to his collection.
The title of this post reflects the appeal of his clothing and his fashion show diversity. His fall 09 show was crawling with models of all backgrounds, which tickles my heart a little. He is also known to design dolls for famous transsexuals such as RuPaul and Amanda Lepore.
Look at him showing his stuff in dress over his suit, maybe a representation of his double life.
However, his most famous design, for Michelle Obama ( the ultimate Barbie in my opinion), was an unexpected surprise. He said he was not expecting her to wear the gown. He was sitting in his apartment with his boyfriend in Midtown NY with a box of pizza when he saw the first lady appear on the screen with his white gown dripping in crystals. He was just as shocked as the world to see the first lady in a dress by an up and coming designer.
Though some people criticized the first Lady’s choice of a new designer’s dress and not a dress from an established fashion house, he still received a staggering 4 million hits on his web page. Remember, J-Crews website even crashed!
Jason Wu is riding on the glory of his Historic accomplishment, with the dress being displayed in the Smithsonian museum, he will be remembered for centuries to come.
His clothing line has been climbing to the top of the charts with recognition from the fashion goddess herself, Anna Wintour. Some sources even say that Jason Wu was introduced to Michelle Obama through Andre Leon, Anna’s right hand man. That seems like it could be a possibility. Another possibility is that Michelle Obama’s stylist from Chicago Ikram Goldman played as a third party in getting Michelle in Jason’s design. Jason has sold pieces through Ikram’s Chicago Boutique, some of which Mrs. Obama owns.
Jason Wu’s designs have also been seen on Ivana Trump, Kristina O’Neill, and Kerry Washington. Not to mention that Michelle Obama wore his clothing 3 days in a row while in England for the G20 summit. Jason is apparently a good hit with his target market, older women who want to look chic, stylish, and feel gorgeous.
Jason Wu has been receiving critical acclaims from established designers and worshiped magazine editors in addition to being a finalist for Vogue Fashion Fund Award and winning the Fashion Groups International’s Rising Star Award. He is now on his way to the top. His revenue has grown 280% since 2007 to $950,000 and is expects 2009 sales to exceed $2.5 Million. His recent line that debuted earlier this month has won rave reviews. Like me, he doesn’t follow trends, he designs classic trends that enhance femininity and highlights a woman’s beauty.
So now we can stop questioning why Michelle Obama chose his design and not one from a huge fashion giant or an African American designer like everyone complained about. She chose a hardworking, driven designer whose clothing fits her personality and accentuates her beauty.
Jason Wu, Here’s to you!