Jason Wu designs everyday styles
Best known for creating Michelle Obama's inaugural ball gown and other femme, high-end dresses, New York designer Jason Wu has taken his talents to Target.
His lower-priced collection, in stores and at Target.com, boasts frocks, sweaters and bags that maintain his signature simplicity (sweet stripes, striking colors, ladylike shapes) at seriously affordable prices (less than $60 a pop). We caught up with Wu about the gamine chic-meets-American street style line.
Q: Why'd you decide to work with Target?
A: For years, I avoided doing a more popularly priced collection. But after meeting the Target team, I felt really inspired to do it. I'm a fan of what they've done, so why not?
Q: You're used to designing high-end clothes. Was doing a different price point tough?
A: You know, it comes with its challenges. It's not difficult; it's just a different design process than what I do. It just works differently. I was really specific on how I wanted to work on this. I didn't want to replicate any part of my collections verbatim, meaning I didn't want to just translate what I do literally. I wanted to design a new collection that has my aesthetic and my touch, but was unique.
Q: What inspired the collection?
A: French new wave films and the likes of Jean Seberg and Anna Karina. It's "gamine chic" incorporated with American sportswear details, channeling an American girl in Paris.
Q: Any other collaborations coming up in the future?
A: I don't have any other collaborations lined up just yet. I'm mainly just focusing on designing and putting together my fall collection.
Q: What's your favorite item you've ever designed?
A: That would be like choosing which child is your favorite. But one of my favorites was the yellow dress Diane Kruger wore to the 2010 SAG Awards. It was a moment!
Q: Can you give one style tip for the professional woman?
A: Don't be afraid to wear something feminine and still be taken seriously. Embrace your femininity.
Q: If you could choose to see anyone, alive or dead, wearing your clothing, who would you choose?
A: Diana Vreeland. She was so sophisticated and classic, such a style icon.