Editor’s Note, Jan. 22, 2013: Four years after he skyrocketed into the fashion world’s very public conscience, Jason Wu—or his design, at least—returned to the U.S. presidential inauguration, again on the form of First Lady Michelle Obama. See here his rise to fame, largely by way of fashion-forward faucets and, yes, clothing the stylish wife of the leader of the free world.
2004: Carmel-based Delta, one of the country’s largest faucet-makers, launches a new style-conscious brand called Brizo.
FEBRUARY 2006: Wu (at left) debuts at Fashion Week in New York City and catches the eye of Brizo marketing executives.
OCTOBER 2006: Wu and Brizo present a fashion show in Union Station (at right) to introduce the faucet brand as the 23-year-old’s new Fashion Week sponsor
JANUARY 2007: Wu designs flowy gowns for models to wear in Brizo’s wildly successful underwater ad campaign (at left), which runs through early 2010.
JANUARY 2009: Michelle Obama wears a Wu gown to the Inaugural Ball, making the designer a household name.
JUNE 2010: Wu wins his first Council of Fashion Designers of America award.
MAY 2011: Delta opens Dream2O—its flagship showroom—at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.
NOVEMBER 2011: Brizo launches the Jason Wu for Brizo powder-room collection with a national ad campaign. The center-piece, a matte-black faucet seen on the back cover of Elle Decor (at right), bears the designer’s signature Miss Wu owl emblem.
Addendum, JANUARY 2013: To the surprise of many fashion insiders, Michelle Obama again chooses a Jason Wu gown for her husband’s second and final Inaugural Ball. The designer, now 30 years old, says he was shocked, and that the White House didn’t reveal the news to him until the First Lady made her appearance.
Images courtesy Brizo.
This article originally appeared in the February 2012 issue.