Jason Wu is enjoying the spoils of being one of the First Lady's favorite designers. Next month, he'll move into a 9,000-square-foot office space in the garment district. "I did my pre-fall presentation there yesterday, actually; it’s still raw,” Wu told us at the ACRIA holiday dinner last night. “It’s like my second home, literally, because I am always working,” he said of the new space on 35th Street. The new studio will accommodate all of his employees, who are now split between two locations. The designer currently has a staff of fifteen, and he plans to do what most companies aren't these days: add positions! "A few more in the new year," he says. "It’s really exciting. You know, a growing company; I’m really lucky that we are able to move this year."
While Wu says he looked all over the city for space, he produces 90 percent of his collection in New York, and is a big fan of the garment district, which, you may have heard, needs saving. “And also it’s just so convenient, I mean, you need a button — there’s nothing like it. It’s great.”
Wu says the biggest impact of Michelle Obama’s patronage has been to bring the label recognition overseas. “I think having dressed the First Lady certainly has catapulted the brand to an internationally recognized brand. So in that sense, it’s really helped business,” he said. He says he’s now in Beijing, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Ireland, and plans to launch in Taiwan, where he was born, next year. “The global presence of the First Family is sort of incredible.”