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Fashion Prodigy Even More Famous, Thanks to One Michelle O.

By January 21, 2009

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The First Lady's dress was designed by Taipei-born Jason Wu. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Twenty-six-year-old Jason Wu will soon be a household name. The Tapei-born fashion designer is the genius behind Michelle Obama's white chiffon inauguration gown, which she wore to ten inaugural balls last night.

Wu was quoted by the Wall Street Journal last year, saying that designing for the First Lady on inauguration day would be a "long shot." Apparently not so long.

Designer Jason Wu is only 26 years old. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
Though he is young, Wu has already been in the fashion business for more than a decade. According to Jason Wu's website, after moving from Taiwan to Vancouver, Canada at the age of nine, he learned to sew, draft patterns, and sketch using dolls as models. When he was 14, he studied sculpture in Tokyo.

At 15, he won a fashion doll design contest which caught the attention of the head of a toy company who recruited him as a freelance designer. Two years later, he was the company's creative director and later a partner. Can we say Outlier anyone?

Wu then studied at the Parson's School of Design in New York and also interned with designer Narciso Rodriguez. He launched his first collection in February 2006, and has won major awards including the Fashion Group International's Rising Star Award for Women's Ready to Wear in 2008.

Wu has dressed the First Lady once before. Last fall he got a call from a Chicago boutique requesting one of his dresses for a "special customer." He was thrilled when he saw Michelle Obama wearing his dress during a television interview with Barbara Walters.

Wu's inaugural gown will now be donated to the Smithsonian, as part of their First Lady's exhibit.


January 27, 2009 at 10:53 pm
(1) Glenda says:

Wonderful! I love Michelle in your dress design:)

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