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Miss Wu hits Nordstrom

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January 11, 2013|By Zara Husaini @zarhus | RedEye

Envy Michelle Obama’s wardrobe?  Her favorite designer is making the first lady’s style a bit more accessible.

Jason Wu, the designer behind her 2008 inaguaration gown, has launched a contemporary line called  Miss Wu, sold exclusively at Nordstrom.

“Having the first lady as a fan and a client is pretty amazing and inspiring,” Wu said.  “I’ve really enjoyed dressing her, I hope she keeps wearing my clothes.”

Wu was in Chicago on Thursday promoting the new line, and we caught up with him at Michigan Avenue’s Nordstrom.

“It’s my foray into the contemporary market, which is slightly lower priced that my regular line,” he said. “I’ve been working with Nordstrom on it for over a year and it’s really exciting.”

The line is inspired in part by some of Wu’s friends.

“We wanted to focus on American contemporary sportswear, but elevated and has that Wu touch. There’s the stripey sweaters, there’s the British khaki trench, the leather biker jacket, the leather skirt. You know, really great pieces that are not only very feminine and very wearable, but also seasonless, which is great for the season we’ve been experiencing right now," he said. "And very timeless.”

Wu expects to attract a new fan base to his designs through the creation of this line.

“It’s great for any age group really,” he said. “It’s a great collection for girls who are really fashion-concious and want something really great and substantial for their closet that they can wear all the time, but isn’t quite ready to buy designer price point yet.” 

“I think they have the same DNA,” Wu said of Miss Wu’s similarities to his original line. “There are also a lot of differences. There are similarities but it’s done differently--the stripes, the femininity, overall the spirit. It’s a little more relaxed than the Jason Wu collection, but overall it shares the same aesthetic. I do believe there will be a crossover between customers, but it’s reaching a whole new audience with the price point that I was never able to reach.”

Wu often dresses other celebrities like Diane Kruger, Natalie Portman, Jamie King, Jessica Chastain and Jessica Pare. He expects to build a base of younger celebrities with the new line --Anna Sophia Robb, star of the upcoming "Carrie Diaries," is a “great Wu girl,” Wu said.

 Wu left us with a bit of sartorial advice.

“Leather is really important, especially for the weather we’ve been having. It’s a year-round material that is substantial and can take you from warm weather to cold weather easily. It just feels really elegant,” he said. “Always wear something that suits your body type and not something that you feel you have to wear. Dress for your personality.”

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