August 28 2014

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Jason Wu, Right On Target


Following in the footsteps of the Missoni for Target collection is a daunting task, but if there’s any designer up to the challenge, it’s Jason Wu. Next month, he debuts his 53-piece “gamine chic” collection for the retailer, a very tightly edited collection (and one not part of Target’s new designer program it is unveiling this week) by comparison to Missoni’s, which had upward of 400 items. “I felt it was much more me to go capsule and intricate,” Wu tells “To go after something as big and successful as Missoni, I knew I had to come up with a different way to work with Target.”

His collection is smaller in size, but the hype surrounding it could rival that of the Italian knitwear’s collaboration. Fashion blogs the world over have been frantically publishing and republishing the few images of the pieces that have surfaced to date; above and below, exclusively debuts a few of our favorite looks from the full collection. (As for Wu’s own picks from the range, which was inspired by French New Wave films and the likes of Jean Seberg and Anna Karina, he called out the chiffon blouses, lace-print T-shirts, and the hand-drawn bicycle wheel prints as a few of his personal favorites.)

“They all have this idea of handmade behind them that reflects my sensibility and craftsmanship as a designer,” he says of the intricate details he made sure to include, like the lace trim and bows. There’s also a reappearing cat theme throughout. “You can call me a cat person; it’s fine,” Wu, who has two cats, admits. “We did a whole narrative through the cats in a very fifties style to reflect the fun and sophistication in the collection.”

He has managed to translate the same sophistication of his namesake runway collection into his Target line by “not replicating more expensive materials.” Instead of using faux leather for the handbags, for example, he used raffia or canvas. “The focus isn’t just getting Jason Wu at a lower price point,” he says. “It was about creating an entirely new collection that I think my regular customers will enjoy, too.” Before that hits the racks at Target, Wu is already hard at work on his Fall line, launching a fragrance with Nest this week, and receiving the YMA Future of Fashion Award at the end of this month. “I am really humbled by it,” he says. “The future of fashion is really about nurturing the students, and not that long ago, I was a student.”

Jason Wu for Target, $19 to $60, launches in stores February 5.

Photo: Courtesy of Target