The First Lady has always had a soft spot for Taiwan born designer Jason Wu, but she firmly cemented their friendship last night as she attended the President’s inauguration ball wearing one of his beautifully created gowns. And this was not the first time Mrs Obama has worn one of the designers frock, as back in 2009, she donned a Jason Wu one shoulder ball gown for the very first inauguration.
The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama arrived with US President and husband Barack Obama for The Inaugural Ball at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on January 21, 2013 in Washington, United States, and looked absolutely resplendent in a shimmering scarlet full length gown.
And thanks to the First Lady’s endorsement, this time everyone had heard of Jason Wu, but cast your minds back four years ago and he was a little-known designer Jason Wu who was catapulted to global overnight fame when he was chosen to create The First Lady’s inaugural gown.
Jason Wu was chosen over 15 other designers to create the stunning halter neck gown, which impressed not only the tens of thousands that turned up to see the inauguration, but also her husband. The President introduced his wife to the audience by confessing: “I have a date”.
Some people might be a little disappointed that she chose Jason Wu again, as a personal endorsement from Michelle Obama can literally change a designers fortunes overnight. In fact, rather like our very own Kate Middleton, according to the 2010 Harvard Business Review, there is ‘The Michelle Obama Effect’, coined by finance professor David Yermack who estimated her value to the fashion industry was roughly $2.7 billion.
And some of Michelle’s choices have proved to be rather contentious, as designer Oscar de la Renta spoke out in 2001, about his disapproval of her decision to wear two British designers – Alexander McQueen and Roksanda Ilincic – during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit to the US.
Jason Wu was born in Taiwan-born designer but emigrated to the US at the age of nine, and after the 2009 inauguration his popularity soared, making his shows now in New York’s Fashion Week one of the most highly anticipated. And Michelle does not only wear his longer length gowns, she was spotted last year in one of his more affordable pieces from Miss Wu, a beautiful lime green tailored dress.