Jason Wu at the Institute of Contemporary Art

Jason Wu

Elizabeth Lippman/Boston Globe

As far as celebrity endorsements go in the United States' fashion industry, right now there is one woman who can shoot a designers' career into overdrive: Michelle Obama. Jason Wu got to experience this propulsion into superstardom firsthand and is now considered to be one of the fashion industry's major forces.


On a rainy night in December 2008, the Institute of Contemporary Art brought some of the country’s most promising young designers to Boston for a fund-raiser. On hand were talents Chris Benz, Brian Reyes, and Elise Overland. The evening also featured Jason Wu, a fresh-faced 26-year-old who was just getting his business off the ground.

Less than a month later, the entire country knew Wu’s name.

His story is now part of fashion folklore. On the night of the 2009 Inaugural Ball, he ordered pizza and settled in to watch the event on TV. First lady Michelle Obama stepped onto the stage — wearing Wu’s one-shoulder white chiffon gown. Read More

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