Jason Wu

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Jason Wu
Jason Wu Shankbone 2009 Metropolitan Opera.jpg
Wu at opening night of the 2009 Metropolitan Opera
Born (1982-09-27) September 27, 1982 (age 40)
EducationParsons School of Design
Occupation(s)Fashion designer, artist
Label(s)Jason Wu Grey, Jason Wu Beauty
Jason Wu
Traditional Chinese吳季剛
Simplified Chinese吴季刚

Jason Wu (Chinese: 吳季剛; pinyin: Wú Jìgāng; born September 27, 1982) is a Taiwanese-Canadian artist and fashion designer based in New York City. Born in Taiwan and raised in Vancouver, he studied fashion design at Parsons School of Design, and trained under Narciso Rodriguez before launching his own line.

He is best known for designing the dresses of Michelle Obama on several occasions, including those worn during the first and second inauguration of American President Barack Obama.

Early life[edit]

Jason Wu was born in Yunlin, Taiwan and emigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at age nine. He attended Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Massachusetts and Loomis Chaffee in Windsor, Connecticut and studied abroad with SYA France of School Year Abroad for his senior year of high school.[1][2][3] He learned how to sew by designing and sewing for dolls, and went on to study sculpture in Tokyo. At age sixteen Wu continued this career path by learning to create freelance doll clothing designs for toy company Integrity Toys under the lines "Jason Wu dolls" and later "Fashion Royalty".[2] The following year, he was named creative director of Integrity Toys.[4] While spending his senior year of high school in Rennes, France[5] before graduating from the Loomis Chaffee School in 2001, he decided to become a fashion designer. He then studied at the Parsons The New School for Design, a division of The New School in New York City, but did not graduate.


Wu launched his ready-to-wear line of clothes with earnings from his years of doll designs.[2] His debut fashion collection was launched in 2006. He won the Fashion Group International's Rising Star award in 2008. Jason Wu's dresses were photographed underwater by Howard Schatz for Delta Faucet Company's Brizo branded faucet campaign in 2006.[6] In 2008 he was nominated for the CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund award.[2] Bruce Weber shot the designer for W magazine's "Summer Camp" portfolio in July 2008.[7]

Wu's early clients included Ivana Trump, January Jones, and Amber Valletta.[8] He also worked extensively with drag queen RuPaul, ultimately designing six RuPaul dolls.[9]

Wu collaborated with Creative Nail Design for his Spring 2011 collection to create a set of four nail polish colours that was to be retailed from May 2011.[10]

In June 2013, Wu was named as the art director of German fashion house Hugo Boss overseeing the entire womenswear range.[11]

In 2013, Wu launched his debut diffusion line (a collection designed with a younger target in mind and retailed at a lower price point), Miss Wu, in tandem with luxury retailer Nordstrom. Michelle Obama wore a Miss Wu green shift in 2012 — before it hit the shelves — while on the campaign trail for reelection. Relaunching the line as Grey in 2016, Wu partnered with Pantone to create a custom grey hue.[12]

In 2020, Jason Wu launched an affordable line of clean makeup and skincare products under the label Jason Wu Beauty.

Designing for Michelle Obama[edit]

Michelle Obama is a noted Jason Wu customer.[13] She was introduced to Wu by André Leon Talley, Vogue Magazine's editor-at-large, who had been advising the then First Family on their appearance. Obama bought four dresses from Wu early in the year, wearing one of them for a segment on Barbara Walters Special shortly before the November 2008 election, prompting many in the media to consider her his "career-launcher".[14] She wore another dress, a custom-designed one-shoulder, floor-length white chiffon gown, at the inaugural balls on the night of President Barack Obama's first term inauguration.[15]

Appearing on the cover of Vogue, Obama once again wore a Wu design, a magenta silk dress.[16] Upon her arrival in London in April 2009 during the First Lady and President Barack Obama's first official European trip, Obama wore a chartreuse silk sheath dress that was designed by Wu; the next day she wore a Wu coat during her visit with the Queen Elizabeth II.[17] On April 2, 2009, Obama paired a "traditional looking" teal Wu dress with a blue-patterned cardigan designed by Junya Watanabe on her visit to the Royal Opera House.[18]

Mrs. Obama again wore a dress that was designed by Wu, a ruby red velvet and chiffon design, at the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Balls.[19]

Designing for Gong Jun[edit]

Wu designed his first menswear for the Chinese actor Gong Jun to attend the 76th Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2023. Gong wore a white suit with sophisticated embroideries and a frog (fastening) designed by Wu.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Wu, who is openly gay, married Gustavo Rangel in April 2016 in Mexico.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "School Year Abroad - Jason Wu FR'01". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
  2. ^ a b c d Melissa Magsaysay (2008-11-19). "Jason Wu wows Hollywood ... and Washington". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  3. ^ Eric Wilson (2009-01-23). "Spotlight on Designer of Gown for Ball". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
  4. ^ "All About Jason Wu: School Year Abroad". W magazine. 2009-01-21. Archived from the original on 2009-01-25. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  5. ^ "From Rennes to the Runway". School Year Abroad. Archived from the original on 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2010-01-23.
  6. ^ Margo Berman, Robyn Blakeman (2009). The Brains Behind Great Ad Campaigns. ISBN 9780742555518. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
  7. ^ "All About Jason Wu". W. 2009-01-21. Archived from the original on 2009-01-25. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  8. ^ Melissa Segrest (2009-01-20). "Michelle Obama dazzles in Jason Wu-designed ball gown". WFAA television. Archived from the original on 2009-01-25. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  9. ^ Rupaul.com Archived 2009-03-13 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Jason Wu creates a limited edition nail polish collection with CND".
  11. ^ Jones, Dolly. "Jason Wu For Hugo Boss". Article. Vogue.
  12. ^ Yarhi, Stefania. "Jason Wu". Article. thecanadianencyclopedia.
  13. ^ "Home - MRS.O - Follow the Fashion and Style of First Lady Michelle Obama".
  14. ^ Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan (2008-12-01). "The Michelle Obama "Career-Launcher" for Emerging Designer Jason Wu". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  15. ^ Lisa Respers France and Mallory Simon (2009-01-20). "Obamas dance, celebrate at inaugural balls". CNN. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  16. ^ "Michelle Obama makes Vogue cover". BBC News. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
  17. ^ "What A Difference A Day Makes: An Interview With The Suddenly Superfamous Designer Jason Wu". The Huffington Post. April 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
  18. ^ "Michelle Obama's edgiest fashion statement yet". The Los Angeles Times. April 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
  19. ^ Laura T. Coffey and Meena Hart Duerson. "Once again, Michelle Obama dazzles in inaugural gown by Jason Wu". © 2013 NBCNews.com. All rights reserved. Archived from the original on 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  20. ^ "Gong Jun Wore Jason Wu Collection To The 'Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny' Cannes Film Festival Premiere". 2023-05-20. Archived from the original on 2023-05-20.
  21. ^ Chang, Eddy (24 April 2016). "Taipei Watcher: 'Taiwan's glory' marries same-sex partner". Taipei Times. Retrieved 24 April 2016.

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