Jason Wu was born in 1982 in Taiwan’s capital Taipei,. No one at the time knew that he will become a well-known fashion designer who would design dresses for Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama wore his designs during the inaugurations of American President Barack Obama.
Wu just like pretty things and worked on his natural aesthetic sense. He came to know about fashion when at the age of nine, Wu moved from Taiwan to Vancouver, Canada with his mother and brother. He then learned to speak English and was exposed to prominent fashion publications like Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.
He studied at Eaglebrook School situated in Massachusetts and then attended Loomis Chaffee in Connecticut. Before moving to Tokyo to learn sculpture, Wu taught himself how to sew by working on dolls. He became a freelance doll apparel designer for Integrity Toys. The designs were produced under two collections, Fashion Royalty and Jason Wu dolls. In a year’s time, he was made the creative director at the company. Before graduating in 2001 from Loomis Chaffee School, Wu decided on becoming a fashion designer and hence attended Parsons The New School for Design in New York.
Wu’s earliest inspiration for fashion has been his mother who always dressed up with padded hips, poufed and peplums dresses, shoulder pads and nipped-in waist. At the time, in the 80s and 90s, Wu often laughed at the style but later on he started to appreciate and use it. Wu found and liked in a vintage shop in San Francisco, the pouf dresses by Christian Lacroix and Ungaro gowns, both from the 80s. The designer thought that a few touch-ups would make the dresses worth wearing in the modern era.
As a kid, Wu purchased Barbie dolls and remade their clothes and looks. He used to spent enough time and go through a whole process of re-inventing their style. Due to this, the young designer collected around 150 dolls. Since his mother was also into fashion and dressing good, she let her son indulge in such a thing despite the fact that they were Asians. His father also bought him dolls, although his beliefs were very different. Wu feels that his father did so because he loved his son.
With the help of his earnings from designing doll-wear, Wu launched his prêt-a-porter line. In 2006, his full debut collection was introduced and he won the the Rising Star Award by the Fashion Group International. In 2008, Bruce Weber photographed Wu for the Summer Camp issue of W magazine. During this time, he also received the Vogue Fashion Fund and CFDA award.
The designer’s initial clients included Amber Valletta, January Jone and Ivana Trump. In addition to this, he designed dolls for RuPaul, drag queen. In 2011, he worked in collaboration with Creative Nail Design. With such a background and portfolio, the well-known fashion house Hugo Boss hired Jason Wu as its Art Director for women-wear line.
As mentioned above, Michelle Obama is a distinguished customer of Jason Wu. He was introduced to Mrs. Obama through Vogue magazine editor André Leon Talley who was the fashion advisor of the First Family.
Soon Wu emerged as one of the best young fashion designers in American fashion. His designs embody femininity, youthfulness and modernity.