Born in Taiwan, Wu moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at age nine and attended Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Massachusetts and Loomis Chaffee, in Connecticut. He learned how to sew by designing and sewing for dolls, and went on to study sculpture in Tokyo. Wu continued this career path at sixteen by learning to create freelance doll clothing designs for toy company Integrity Toys under the lines “Jason Wu dolls” and later “Fashion Royalty”. The following year, he was named creative director of Integrity Toys. He decided to become a fashion designer while spending his senior year of high school in Rennesbefore graduating from The Loomis Chaffee School in 2001, and studied at the Parsons The New School for Design at The New School. He later interned with Narciso Rodriguez.
Wu launched his ready-to-wear line of clothes with earnings from his years of doll designs. His first full collection debuted in 2006 and won the Fashion Group International’s Rising Star award in 2008. Jason Wu’s dresses were photographed underwater by Howard Schatz for Delta Faucet Company‘s Brizo branded faucet campaign in 2006. In 2008 he was nominated for the Vogue Fashion Fund award. Bruce Weber shot the designer for W magazine’s “Summer Camp” portfolio last July.
Wu collaborated with CND (Creative Nail Design) for his Spring 2011 collection to create a set of four nail polish colours set to hit stores in May 2011.
Michelle Obama was introduced to Wu by André Leon Talley, Vogue Magazine‘s editor-at-large, who had been advising the future First Family on their appearance. She bought four dresses from Wu early in the year, wearing one of them for a segment on Barbara Walters Special shortly before the November 2008 election, prompting many in the media to consider her his “career-launcher”. She wore another, a custom-designed one-shoulder, floor-length white chiffon gown, at the inaugural balls on the night of President Barack Obama‘s inauguration. Appearing on the cover of Vogue, Obama once again wore a Wu design, a magenta silk dress. Upon her arrival in London during the First Lady and President Barack Obama‘s first official European trip, Obama wore a chartreuse silk sheath dress designed by Wu; the next day she wore a Wu coat during her visit with the Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. On April 2, Obama paired a “traditional looking” teal Wu dress with a blue-patterned cardigan designed by Junya Watanabe on her visit to the Royal Opera House.
Joseph Osborne & Bill Schoenleber Social Curators