TAIPEI–Taiwanese fashion designer Jason Wu’s limited edition collection for a retail chain in the United States has not only captivated the general public, but also U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, who wore a US$39.99 dress by him recently at a press event.
At a promotional event in Orlando, Florida for her “Let’s Move” initiative to fight childhood obesity on Feb. 10, Obama wore a sleeveless navy floral chiffon dress by Wu, who launched the limited “Jason Wu for Target” line Feb. 5 in partnership with U.S. cheap chic chain Target Corp.
Obama replaced the gold belt that came with the dress with a red one and added a royal blue cardigan to complete her look.
The same dress has sold out online on Target.com but is still available in some stores.
Wu’s Target line is made up of 53 pieces, including dresses, skirts, tops, short, bags and scarves. Apparel ranges from US$19.99 to US$59.99 and accessories from US$19.99 to US$49.99. Luxury department stores sell high-end Wu pieces for upwards of US$3,000.
The New York-based 29-year-old said previously that the collection was “inspired by the vision of an American girl in Paris.” The Taiwan-born, American-educated Wu rose to worldwide fame in early 2009 after Obama wore one of his designs — a one-shoulder white chiffon gown — to her husband’s inauguration ball.
Wu left Taiwan at the age of 9 and moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he learned to sew by designing and making doll clothes. He went on to study sculpture in Tokyo and later enrolled at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City.
At age 16, Wu began to make freelance doll clothing designs and later traveled around the world to study fashion design. Four years ago, he launched his own fashion store in New York with earnings from sales of his doll clothes and accessories.
He launched his first full collection in 2006 and won Fashion Group International’s Rising Star award in 2008.
In June 2010, Wu won the Swarovski Womenswear Designer of the Year award presented by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which is the top honor in the U.S. fashion industry.
In addition, Wu has become a staple of the New York fashion week. He launched his latest 2012 ready-to-wear fall collection on the runway Feb. 10.