Fashion designer Jason Wu was thrust to the forefront of the fashion world when First Lady Michelle Obama wore his designs during the 2009 Presidential Inauguration – along with sporting another Wu design on the her new Vogue cover.
Access Hollywood caught up with the the 26-year-old Taiwanese-born fashion designer --and our newest Rising Star — backstage at his Fall 2009 show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City, where the young designer told Access that Michelle Obama’s support has dramatically changed his career.
“There’s definitely been a lot more focus on the collection and that’s been really great, but for me it’s about remaining grounded and it’s about the clothes at the end of the day,” he said. “I feel really fortunate… it’s really the ultimate compliment to have the First Lady wear my clothes, I couldn’t be more thrilled. One thing that makes me extremely happy is to be a part of history…more so than as a designer, as person, that’s amazing!”
In addition to the First Lady’s support at the Inauguration, the designer was equally honored to have her wear one of his designs on her recent Vogue cover.
“I had made the dress for her. It was for a part of her wardrobe and I was so thrilled that she chose to wear it [for the cover of Vogue], she wore all of her own clothes for the shoot and I thought that was really powerful,” he explained to Access.
And though Michelle Obama is the First Lady, Wu said she doesn’t have first dibs on his new collection that debuted at Fashion Week – but only because he was working on it until the last minute.
“We are only finishing the last minute touches on the clothes last night,” he said “So, nobody has seen the collection yet!”
Wu said the First Lady’s fashion success is due to her love of the clothes she is in.
“Michelle Obama’s style is timeless and classic and truly confident…truly confident and optimistic,” he explained. “She wears clothes that truly she loves and to have that is a powerful thing. To wear something that you love and be proud of it, is a very powerful thing.”
And when it comes to his new 2009 collection, Wu said it’s all about the people who wear his work.
“My clothes are the accessories to make women beautiful,” he told Access. “And, that is what I call it, it’s always about the women. It really is.”
As for style trends in the collection, Wu said fans should expect “truly ethereal pieces. Feminine qualities, a little tough, but very optimistic.”
Besides the First Lady, and his millions of new fans, “What Not To Wear” co-host and frequent Access Hollywood correspondent Stacy London is also a major fan.
“He has such an appreciation and understanding of couture mixed with the young and fresh perspective of a modern, young designer,” Stacy told Access. “He wants women to look just magically beautiful but creates clothing that looks entirely effortless. I adore him!”