Jason Wu: 'Dressing Michelle Obama was life changing'
Jason Wu cried when he first saw U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama wearing one of his designs.
The Taiwan-born designer debuted his first collection in 2006 and quickly went on to win over celebrity clients like of January Jones and Amber Valletta, but he insists his success is in part down to the fact that the First Lady has been a long-time champion of his work.
Wu was commissioned to design a gown for Michelle to wear to her husband President Barack Obama’s historic inauguration ceremony in 2009, creating a white floor-length chiffon gown which he hand delivered to Washington, D.C., without knowing whether she would actually wear it or not.
“It was all so secretive... I was watching on TV, just like everyone else, to see what she was going to wear,” he told Britain’s The Telegraph, explaining that he burst into tears when he saw her in his design.
“As a designer, you want to be in fashion magazines, you want to have great shows…But to be a part of history, and that particular moment, that was a once in a lifetime.”
Michelle has since gone on to Wu on other special occasions, including the ruby red velvet and chiffon design she wore second inauguration ball in 2013.
The 33-year-old also credits Michelle, 52, for helping bring a softer approach to dressing, especially in political or business environments.
“What Michelle’s brought to the political field is that you can wear something that’s feminine, a little bit sexy, but not compromise your power or your intelligence,” Wu shared.
Alongside his eponymous line, Wu also works as the Art Director for Hugo Boss and has overseen the company’s entire womenswear range since 2013. He says his work for the German fashion brand combines clean lines with his penchant for feminine, frothy dresses.
“We’ve softened her up, she’s become more feminine,” he said of his Boss lines. “The straight lines have become more curved, the tailoring has become softer.”