Beginning June 15, Jason Wu will assume the role of artistic director for Boss womenswear. According to a statement that the German label released this morning, Wu, who noted that he plans to “develop a strong feminine womenswear collection that reciprocates the brand’s authority in menswear,” will present his first effort for the Pre-Fall ’13 season.
Taiwan-born Wu, age 30, is known for his love of ladylike designs, founded his ubiquitous label in New York in 2007. The young designer stormed to fashion’s front lines designing the ivory one-shoulder gown that Michelle Obama wore to Barack Obama’s first inauguration ball in 2009 and then the red dress she wore to Obama’s second inauguration ball in February this year.
Hugo Boss, mainly known for its suits for men, gets about 11 percent of its 2.4 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in annual sales from womenswear and has been looking to expand this area. The appointment of Taiwan-born Wu comes after France’s Cacharel signed up Chinese designers Ling Liu and Dawei Sun in 2011.
A Hugo Boss spokeswoman said Wu’s appointment was not meant to reflect a focus on any market in particular, but that the group was impressed by his international style. However, Wu is popular in China, a key battleground for luxury clothing brands.
Hugo Boss is pushing its presence there through a catwalk show in Shanghai and is opening new flagship stores in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
In addition to presiding over the design team at Hugo Boss’ headquarters in Germany, Wu will open a design studio in New York and will be responsible for the direction of all “product- and image-related aspects” of Boss’ women’s ready-to-wear and accessories ranges.