Q&A With Versatile Designer Jason Wu
April 19, 2012 | by —Michelle Ward | Homepage
At just 29 years old, Jason Wu has already become one of the most sought-after designers on the planet. His knack for ultra-feminine designs and inventively edgy accessories has acquired an A-list following that includes Diane Kruger, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, and even Michelle Obama. We sat down with Wu to discuss the inspirations for his fall 2012 line, LA style, and what’s next for the designer.
Why did you want to incorporate your Chinese heritage into the fall 2012 collection?
JASON WU: I went back to [my native] Taiwan for first time since I became a designer. My dad took me to this exhibit of the Qing Dynasty and it was like a re-education of my background. I’m Chinese by birth but it hasn’t really reflected through my work. After the trip I thought I’d do a collection of my heritage the way I see it now.
I devised [the collection] in three different ways—the first section was about the Mao military jacket, the second section was about the Qing Dynasty, and the third was the Hollywood interpretation from something like Shanghai Express. So, I used three different perspectives to answer the question, ‘What is Chinese?’ It ended up being a very personal subject.
With the collection, we see a lot of reds, dark colors, and structured pieces. How could that translate into more laid-back LA style?
JW: Deconstruct pieces—wear separates with a pair of pants or a leather jacket for a chilly day or a just a really great printed dress with flats or something sporty. Everything I do has an element of a dressed-up, dressed-down attitude. I think that’s an element every woman all over the world can appreciate regardless of weather or social standing.
The Daphne bag.
You’ve also launched a new signature bag.
JW: Yes, the Daphne bag; it’s been an overwhelming success and hasn’t even hit stores yet. It’s very clean and chic and is inspired by model Daphne Groeneveld. It looks sort of like her with her big eyes. She has such a lively personality and an interesting and captivating look.
Having designed everything from sunglasses to digital cameras to nail polish and, most recently, a new candle (Jason Wu Orchid Rain), in what other areas would you like to expand?
JW: There’s an infinite amount of possibilities I can do that I haven’t done yet. I want to do more in beauty, both with cosmetics and fragrances and in home just because it’s a personal passion and I like to decorate and create an environment. I love the idea of creating the world of Jason Wu. I don’t just see the Jason Wu woman in a white room with white walls. She is in a space and I want to consider what she likes to smell, what kind of table setting or furniture she likes. Because I think when it’s in a setting, it’s much more interesting. You can really envision a whole lifestyle. Jason Wu is available online at saksfifthavenue.com and jasonwustudio.com
Our Men's Issue cover star James Marsden joined us to celebrate at Unica Casa.