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CATCHING up with JASON WU | new projects

Despite the torrential downpour on what we had hoped was a sunny July morning, we joined the the fashion mob showed for wunderkind Jason Wu at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Sheltered in the terrace, the press and editors alikes mingled in the intimate space set up with a dozen models presenting Wu’s latest collab (does he ever slow down?!) with Nordstrom:  MISS WU.  

Though images weren’t allowed, the collection played to Wu’s strengths of feminine, classic, and clean. Only one pair of trousers made it into the presentation as bare legs were abound. Remember that extravagant white ball gown with cascading black sequined polka dots that wowed on the runway a few season back? Well it was reinvented in a white pencil skirt of the same pattern, only this time paired with a cool-girl black leather jacket which is incidentally the most expensive piece in the collection topping $795. Another signature that will woo the ladies? A white knit sweater with black and blue painted horizontal stripes and a single neon yellow stripe for good measure. Between the cinched belt waists, feather prints, and feminine hemlines, it rounded out at contemporary and classy.  FashionDailyMag [FDM] snagged an exclusive interview with Jason, here’s our 411, written by Elizabeth Landers.

FDM: You just finished your Target collection, you’re launching this contemporary collection with Nordstrom, you have your runway collection AND you are doing the Target + Neiman Marcus- how do you keep them all separate and juggle it all?

WU: The one for Christmas, I’m only doing 2 things for. It’s a novel part of the collection. This [indicts to the models] is the birth of a new collection. I wanted to explore different sides and be able to cater to a younger market and have fun with it. The Target collection was a capsule and only available for 3 weeks whereas this is something that is growing.

FDM: How long has this been in the works?

A year and a half. A whole different timeline. I started last summer. The year before maybe. I started talking with Jeffrey [Kalinsky, Nordstrom’s executive VP] a long time ago.

FDM: Did you approach them or did they approach you?

WU: It was really casual. He’s always been a great supporter of mine from the beginning. I met him when I was in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund like 5-6 years ago. After a couple of years he brought it up, “How do you feel about extending your reach and bringing your price point down?” The most expensive thing is the leather jacket at $800. It’s much more affordable than my main collection and a little more relaxed silhouette. Interesting to explore a different side of Jason Wu.

FDM: Who’s your Miss Wu client?

WU: My friends! My friends are in their 20s and they’re aware of fashion and fashion-conscious and have sophisticated taste. They live in NYC or LA, in major cities and have a need to dress up. I think there’s room in the contemporary market for something a bit more feminine and so suitable for so many things in her lifestyle. Those are my girls! You might own a few designer things. You’re not buying things that you’re throwing away anymore. You’re investing in things a bit more. It’s nice that my dress at $395 is something that is good quality and you can wear over and over again. It means something in your wardrobe without going broke. After your teens, you’re not experimenting anymore. You’re working, you’re aware of who you are. That changes everything.

Photo: Dan King, courtesy of Jason Wu