In 2008, less than two years after the launch of his namesake label, Jason Wu was selected as the recipient of the ‘Rising Star Award’ for women’s ready-to-wear at the annual Fashion Group International awards. Selected as a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist that same year, Wu’s career trajectory soared in early 2009 when Michelle Obama championed the designer at her first – and subsequently second Inaugural Ball, earning Wu, an emerging designer, unparalleled exposure and a permanent exhibit in the ‘First Ladies Collection’ at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Wu has since become one of the most coveted American designer’s within the industry, boasting collaborations with the likes of Bergdorf Goodman ’s, Shiseido, Moda Eyewear, Target, Melissa and General Electric. The designer has been awarded several industry accolades including the CFDA/Swarovski Award for Womenswear and the Future of Fashion Award at the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund and has been shortlisted for the prestigious Swiss Textile Awards and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards. In 2011 Wu was named as a consultant for the St. Regis, producing fashion-oriented Web content and events for the hotel and in June 2013 was revealed as the new artistic director for Hugo Boss Womenswear.
A Taiwanese native, Wu’s interest in fashion was forged at an early age, sketching costumes from designs seen in stores and studying sculpture in Tokyo. In 1998, whilst studying at the Loomis Chaffee boarding school in Connecticut, Wu contacted the president of Integrity Toys, a fashion doll manufacturer, offering his sketches for consideration. Wu began designing accessories and costumes for the dolls, earning up to $500 per month and in 2000 designed a Fashion Royalty line of dolls for Integrity that was stocked by New York toy emporium FAO Schwarz.
In 2001 Wu attended the prestigious Parson’s School of Design, before leaving in 2004 to intern with Narciso Rodriquez. In 2006, using the savings from his doll-design venture to fund the launch, he set up his own label.