This morning, we — along with a select group of editors — were invited to the Gramercy Park Hotel for a first glimpse of Jason Wu‘s new line, Miss Wu. While there were no photos permitted at the preview, we can attest that the collection bears a lot of the hallmarks that have defined Wu throughout his meteoric rise: flattering silhouettes, attention to detail, and an overall feminine aesthetic. The collection, which has a ’60s mood, will be available at Nordstrom starting in January 2013 at price points that are more accessible than those of the average piece from Wu’s main line — about $195 to $795.
According to Wu, the collection is more than a year in the making — a year and a half, to be precise. “It’s been quite some time in the making. I’ve been sort of wanting to expand my reach and we really looked at the growing contemporary market as somewhere I wanted to be a part of. I think what is on the market for this category has been a lot tougher – you know a tougher personality — and I always wanted to see what can I contribute to that world … I wanted to inject my sense of femininity into the contemporary market.”
The quality, of course, is pretty impressive — an attention to detail that’s pure Wu. The knits are 100% cashmere, the designer was quick to point out.
For the Miss Wu collection, the designer opted to work with an entirely separate team, keeping the collection more distinct from his main line. “Six years after creating my own brand it’s been interesting for me to create a new brand. It’s still very deeply rooted in the Jason universe but it’s been really sort of nice coming from a different perspective now, versus six years ago, and to work with a whole new team of people. I worked with a different stylist, a different everything, just to challenge myself creatively.”
Of course, none of this “diffusion line” business is necessarily new for Wu, who has previously embarked on knitwear collaborations with Tse, and most recently developed a highly successful one-off collaboration with Target. So what did the designer learn from those experiences? “I think it was important to see, you know, did the market have an appetite for more of me?” says Wu. “Or a different side of me or me with a different iteration. It was really encouraging to see that there, indeed, could be more things that I could do.”
The designer seems coyly optimistic about adding accessories to the Miss Wu collection down the line, and judging by the crowd that turned out (in the pouring rain) for the collection’s debut, it’s safe to say that, yes, there is definitely an appetite for more Wu.