Jason Wu, the 26-year-old, Taipei-born fashion designer who has been especially earmarked by First Lady Michelle Obama, is, frankly somewhat shell-shocked from the sudden glare of the spotlight, according to sources. Just a week before the inauguration and the debut of the floaty white ballgown Michelle wore, Woo was avidly calling up various retailers wanting them to carry his line. Post-inauguration, he was strictly incommunicado to these very same people (who were now avidly calling him up) and obscuring black paper was suddenly taped over every window of his Garment Center offices, now besieged by paparazzi. Evidently, PROJECT RUNWAY’s Tim Gunn, his former professor at Parsons School of Design, has also seriously inveighed upon him not to use fur, but whether Woo chooses to heed his words is another question.
After that gown and the current Vogue magazine cover featuring Michelle in yet another Wu design, Parsons is only too eager now to claim him as an alumnus, as they have Narciso Rodriguez and Isabel Toledo, both of whom have designed for Obama, and both of whom never actually graduated from the school. In Wu’s case, it becomes particularly sticky as Parson’s definitely flunked him in his senior year. He had evidently missed many classes, being already busy with outside work, including a successful line of high-priced couture dolls, Fashion Royalty, which he has been designing since he was 15. Nonetheless, he was desperate for a degree, but, after a serious closed door session, the decision came down not to pass him.
Who’s begging for favor now?
Wu’s Look for Fashion Royalty’s Adele Makeda
Wu’s look for Washington D.C. royalty, Michelle Obama