Tuesday morning was a promising day for a young fashion designer, Jason Wu. He was well-respected in certain fashion circles. But by Tuesday night, he became a household name.
Jason Wu’s place in history is all sewn up thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama, who donned his white chiffon gown for the inaugural balls.
The 26-year-old Taipei-born New Yorker’s rapid rise to fame makes him the second designer from the Big Apple to hit the national spotlight on Inauguration Day.
So … who is this guy?
The onetime doll designer was reportedly introduced to Obama by Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley. She later wore a dress by the designer for a Barbara Walters special just before the presidential election.
Despite his low profile, Wu has earned quite a following among the fashionista set for his hourglass silhouettes and flowing fabrics.
Vogue editrix Anna Wintour even attended his last show, lending a serious nod of approval from the fashion community.
Wu, whose dolls sell at F.A.O. Schwartz, debuted his first runway collection in February 2006 and has shown off his wares in subsequent seasons – albeit in some of Fashion Week’s smaller venues.
Odds are, that’s about to change.
The budding star has been recognized for his talent, nabbing the Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award for women’s ready-to-wear last year.
Wu told Us Weekly that he didn’t know that Obama had chosen his dress for her husband’s big night.
“I found out when the whole world found out,” he said. “I said, ‘It looks white. It looks like mine…’ I had a box of pizza and I nearly fell over. I was sitting there with my friends, and they were screaming.”
Wu’s big moment comes on the heels of fellow New Yorker Isabel Toledo’s rise to national consciousness.
The first lady kicked off Inauguration Day in a pale yellow wool brocade dress and coat by the then-little-known designer.
The outfit “was made for Michelle with extra warm linings sewn into the [inner linings] so that she wouldn’t freeze,” Toledo’s husband told the Daily News.
A spring version of the dress – which will retail for around $1,500 – will hit Barney’s in March.
Wu’s goods are also currently available at upscale stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus – and have popped up on rising stars like Leighton Meester, Joy Bryant and Kerry Washington.
Oh, and the first lady – just in case you didn’t hear.
Source: [NY Daily News]