Dressing for success. Fashion upstart Jason Wu style continue to rise

CHARLES HODSON, CNN ANCHOR: One year ago he burst onto the fashion scene, catapulted to stardom by one famous dress. Today, the designer Jason Wu is fresh from showing his latest collection at New York Fashion Week. Alina Cho spoke to him about a stellar year and how he's expanding his brand.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The carpet was pink but the ticket red hot. The show: Jason Wu.

JASON WU, FASHION DESIGNER: Five years ago, it was a rack of clothes and Jason Wu, the person, you know? And now it's about Jason Wu the brand.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The brand got the boost fashion designers dream of when First Lady Michelle Obama wore Wu's one-shoulder gown on inauguration night. That made this Taiwanese-born 27-year-old an overnight star. In the 13 months since then...

JASON WU, FASHION DESIGNER: Well, I mean, it's been really crazy. I've been offered reality shows. I've been offered, you know, all sorts of product endorsements.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But Wu, always mindful about not growing his company too fast, said no.

JASON WU, FASHION DESIGNER: This is a feather-covered, encased-in-silk-tulle dress.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What he has done is move into a 9,000-square foot studio, more than four times the size of his old one. They're gonna have to name the building after you?

JASON WU, FASHION DESIGNER: Well, I was told that if I take over another floor, it would be named after me. So, you know I'm working on that in the next couple of years.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Expanding the brand beyond clothes-sunglasses, shoes come next. He's even designing cameras for General Electric. Do you ever worry about spreading yourself too thin?

JASON WU, FASHION DESIGNER: I think there's always worry-you know, am I doing too much or am I doing too little or am I doing just enough. And, you know, the challenge is-you know I've always gone with my gut feeling on certain things and, you know I go for it.

CINDI LEIVE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, GLAMOUR MAGAZINE: What he got at the inaugural ball was an incredible moment, a real chance, but it was his to make something of it or to squander. And I think he's really built on it in an intelligent way.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But he has taken his knocks. The New York Times said of your collection, the evening dresses were one of those weird runway surprises that make you look down at the floor. Fair?

JASON WU, FASHION DESIGNER: Well, I think opinions are opinions. And I think when you put your art... your work out there, and you're going to have people who like it [and] who will dislike it. This is fashion.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The whirlwind, as he calls it, has taught him to stay grounded.

JASON WU, FASHION DESIGNER: You know, I was in the airport and this group of Chinese kids came up to me and they... they were like, you know, I'm really proud because you are an m Asian designer who is doing something that isn't traditionally acceptable and, you know, stood your ground and did it.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Inspiring the next generation, even as he continues to live in the moment. But you're still nervous, aren't you?

JASON WU, FASHION DESIGNER: Oh, I'm always nervous. It's like that piano recital-and I used to play the piano-and it's like right before and just hope you don't make a mistake.



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