Obama Dress Designer Makes It Big

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2009 1:17 PM CDT
First lady Michelle Obama stands on stage during the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Last January, Jason Wu was a relatively unknown designer, employing six designers and selling his clothes in 10 stores. Then Michelle Obama chose to wear his white, one-shouldered gown, to the inauguration. That event made Wu, the Wall Street Journal reports. Now Wu sells his designs at 40 stores, including Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Harrods, and he employs 10, plus a personal assistant.

Last night, Wu unveiled his first post-breakthrough collection, at a fashion week runway show at New York’s St. Regis Hotel. The collection branches out from the demure gowns he’s known for, adding sexier, more modern outfits, outerwear, and daywear. “This is Mr. Wu at the St. Regis,” says the 26-year-old. “I’m grown up.” He’s planning a big expansion of his studio soon, and his own Jason Wu stores.