111ICONS JASON WU

111ICONS JASON WU

Interviewed By: Nateisha Scott

Timeless designs that stand the test of time, Jason Wu is known for making women feel confident, powerful and beautiful. From dressing the Former First Lady, Michelle Obama at both Inaugurations to being adored by many. Jason is sophisticated in his craft and committed to his cause.

111SKIN champions and celebrates game changers and innovators in leading industries. Each discussion uncovers the insight and knowledge into their individual approach and within the 111ICONS interview, we share their journey, business and approach to life.

From harnessing his love for food with @mrwueats to creating a lifestyle brand that sits outside of the design house, Jason Wu is pulling his creative talent together to leave his stamp on every platform imagined.

NS: HOW DID YOU ESTABLISH THE BRAND JASON WU?

JW: As the Creative Director since my brand launched 12 years ago it has been a crazy but rewarding journey. I started my career right out of college and kind of went into it with almost no fashion experience. I had to learn a lot through trial and error and wear many hats; it was both an exciting and daunting time!

NS: WHO HAS SUPPORTED YOUR JOURNEY THE MOST?

JW: My mother is my ultimate inspiration. Growing up in Taiwan in the 80’s, the arts wasn’t looked at as a serious career. When I asked for a Barbie doll, my mother bought me not only one, but many! I am so lucky to have such open-minded parents who supported me even though it was not culturally normal back then. My mother even got me my first sewing machine when I was 10.

NS: WITH THIS SUPPORT I CAN ONLY IMAGINE THE AMAZING PROJECTS YOU HAVE GOTTEN TO WORK ON, DO YOU HAVE ONE THAT STICKS OUT IN YOUR MEMORY?

JW: So many but my moment must be having the honour of dressing former First Lady Michelle Obama for both inaugurations was definitely surreal and one of the most meaningful things I have done in my career. I never dreamt as a Chinese immigrant living in the US that something so monumental would actually happen—having my work permanently displayed at the Smithsonian is incredible.

NS: I CAN ONLY IMAGINE SUCH AN HONOUR, CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN! FROM THE PAST TO THE FUTURE, WHAT ARE THE PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

JW: We are opening our first flagship store in Shanghai this year which is very exciting! I am also working on several lifestyle projects to expand the scope of the Jason Wu brand which is really interesting. I love the idea of designing on many different platforms.

NS: IN RELATION TO YOUR ROUTINE NOW, WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU WAKE UP AND LAST THING BEFORE BED?

JW: I always wash my face as a daily and nightly routine, and of course, never without my favourite 111SKIN products, the Celestial Black Diamond Cream is divine.

NS: DO YOU HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE?

JW: My morning routine is pretty simple; I have shaved my own head for more than 15 years so it’s kind of a shower and go situation. I have a uniform of all black with my favourite white Common Project sneakers, so I never have to think about what I have to wear. I spend most of my time on skincare in the morning, using my favourite serums and creams and then massaging them with a roller-nothing is better than glowing skin in the morning!

NS: I COULDN’T AGREE MORE! DO YOU CHANGE ANYTHING SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU EVENING ROUTINE?

JW: I usually do a lot of my personal sketching at night and I love to cook at home too. However, in relation to my routine, before I go to bed, I repeat my morning skincare routine but apply slightly richer creams to keep my skin moisturized throughout the night.

NS: DO YOU HAVE A SIGNATURE PRODUCT THAT YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?

JW: I couldn’t just pick one so I would say my 111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Facial Cream, 111SKIN Sub-Zero De-Puffing Eye Masks, eyedrops, facial roller, and lip mask.

NS: ANY ON THE GO ESSENTIALS?

JW: My phone and my Moleskine sketchbook.

NS: FROM YOUR ROUTINE THEN, WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE LIKE FOR YOU?

JW: It’s different every day, which is what I love so much about my work. We do not work in a corporate environment, so we have a much more fluid way of operating. Sure, we have schedules and deadlines to follow, but as a design driven firm, we always put creativity at the top of the list.

NS: DO YOU HAVE ANY WELLNESS OR FITNESS HABITS THAT YOU ARE OBSESSED WITH?

JW: I try to work out every morning because I love to eat so it's essential that I keep myself healthy and also an early run gives me so much energy-even though I am really not a morning person.


NS: SPEAKING OF HABITS, ARE THERE ANY THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD INTO YOUR ROUTINE?

JW: Definitely to snack less and cook at home a lot more. During this time of quarantine, I have found a new sense of balance in life and I want to keep that going forward.

NS: HOW DO YOU WIND DOWN IN THE EVENING?

JW: I like to watch a show or a movie with a glass of wine (or 3!) Right now, I am watching Hollywood by Ryan Murphy on Netflix.

NS: YOUR FAVOURITE TRAVEL DESTINATION?

JW: Japan-everything! It is so considered and beautifully done by design. My sister in law is Japanese so I love visiting with her.

NS: WHAT THINGS BRING YOU JOY EVERYDAY?

JW: Waking up and getting to do what I love-to create!

NS: IN REGARD TO THE FASHION INDUSTRY, WHERE DO YOU SEE IT GOING?

JW: I think people will really consider quality vs. quantity again-it will be more important than ever before. There is too much mass production in the world and if we all consume less and invest in fewer, but more meaningful things, we can make the world a better place.

NS: FINALLY, THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

JW: The best advice I ever received was from my mother and that is to "never stop being a student". I do not ever think I have all the answers, but I want to learn from others, it is an integral part of my creative journey, to stay curious.

Shop the edit

Interviewed By: Nateisha Scott


Timeless designs that stand the test of time, Jason Wu is known for making women feel confident, powerful and beautiful. From dressing the Former First Lady, Michelle Obama at both Inaugurations to being adored by many, Jason is sophisticated in his craft and committed to his cause.

111SKIN champions and celebrates game changers and innovators in leading industries. Each discussion uncovers the insight and knowledge into their individual approach and within the 111ICONS interview, we share their journey, business and approach to life.

From harnessing his love for food with @mrwueats to creating a lifestyle brand that sits outside of the design house, Jason Wu is pulling his creative talent together to leave his stamp on every platform imagined.

NS: How did you establish the brand Jason Wu?

JW: As the Creative Director since my brand launched 12 years ago it has been a crazy but rewarding journey. I started my career right out of college and kind of went into it with almost no fashion experience. I had to learn a lot through trial and error and wear many hats; it was both an exciting and daunting time!

NS: Who has supported your journey the most?

JW: My mother is my ultimate inspiration. Growing up in Taiwan in the 80’s, the arts wasn’t looked at as a serious career. When I asked for a Barbie doll, my mother bought me not only one, but many! I am so lucky to have such open-minded parents who supported me even though it was not culturally normal back then. My mother even got me my first sewing machine when I was 10.

NS: With this support I can only imagine the amazing projects you have gotten to work on, do you have one that sticks out in your memory?

JW: So many but my moment must be having the honour of dressing former First Lady Michelle Obama for both inaugurations was definitely surreal and one of the most meaningful things I have done in my career. I never dreamt as a Chinese immigrant living in the US that something so monumental would actually happen—having my work permanently displayed at the Smithsonian is incredible.

NS: I can only imagine such an honour, congratulations again! From the past to the future, what are the plans for the future?

JW: We are opening our first flagship store in Shanghai this year which is very exciting! I am also working on several lifestyle projects to expand the scope of the Jason Wu brand which is really interesting. I love the idea of designing on many different platforms.

NS: In relation to your routine now, what is the first thing you do when you wake up and last thing before bed?

JW: I always wash my face as a daily and nightly routine, and of course, never without my favourite 111SKIN products, the Celestial Black Diamond Cream is divine.

NS: Do you have a morning routine?

JW: My morning routine is pretty simple; I have shaved my own head for more than 15 years so it’s kind of a shower and go situation. I have a uniform of all black with my favourite white Common Project sneakers, so I never have to think about what I have to wear. I spend most of my time on skincare in the morning, using my favourite serums and creams and then massaging them with a roller-nothing is better than glowing skin in the morning!

NS: I couldn’t agree more! Do you change anything specifically for you evening routine?

JW: I usually do a lot of my personal sketching at night and I love to cook at home too. However, in relation to my routine, before I go to bed, I repeat my morning skincare routine but apply slightly richer creams to keep my skin moisturised throughout the night.

NS: Do you have a signature product that you can’t live without?

JW: I couldn’t just pick one so I would say my 111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Facial Cream, 111SKIN Sub-Zero De-Puffing Eye Masks, eyedrops, facial roller, and lip mask.

NS: Any on the go essentials?

JW: My phone and my Moleskine sketchbook.

NS: From your routine then, what is a typical day in the life like for you?

JW: It’s different every day, which is what I love so much about my work. We do not work in a corporate environment, so we have a much more fluid way of operating. Sure, we have schedules and deadlines to follow, but as a design driven firm, we always put creativity at the top of the list.

NS: Do you have any wellness or fitness habits that you are obsessed with?

JW: I try to work out every morning because I love to eat so it's essential that I keep myself healthy and also an early run gives me so much energy-even though I am really not a morning person.


NS: Speaking of habits, are there any that you would like to add into your routine?

JW: Definitely to snack less and cook at home a lot more. During this time of quarantine, I have found a new sense of balance in life and I want to keep that going forward.

NS: How do you wind down in the evening?

JW: I like to watch a show or a movie with a glass of wine (or 3!) Right now, I am watching Hollywood by Ryan Murphy on Netflix.

NS: Your favourite travel destination?

JW: Japan-everything! It is so considered and beautifully done by design. My sister in law is Japanese so I love visiting with her.

NS: What things bring you joy everyday?

JW: Waking up and getting to do what I love-to create!

NS: In regard to the fashion industry, where do you see it going?

JW: I think people will really consider quality vs. quantity again-it will be more important than ever before. There is too much mass production in the world and if we all consume less and invest in fewer, but more meaningful things, we can make the world a better place.

NS: Finally, the best advice you have ever received?

JW: The best advice I ever received was from my mother and that is to “never stop being a student”. I do not ever think I have all the answers, but I want to learn from others, it is an integral part of my creative journey, to stay curious.

SHOP the edit

SUB-ZERO DE-PUFFING ENERGY FACIAL MASK

SUB-ZERO DE-PUFFING EYE MASK

Y THEOREM BIO CELLULOSE FACIAL MASK

ROSE GOLD BRIGHTENING FACIAL TREATMENT MASK

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND CREAM

MESO INFUSION LIP DUO

Y LIFT NECK AND DÉCOLLETAGE SERUM

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND EMULSION

SUB-ZERO DE-PUFFING ENERGY FACIAL MASK

SUB-ZERO DE-PUFFING EYE MASK

Y THEOREM BIO CELLULOSE FACIAL MASK

ROSE GOLD BRIGHTENING FACIAL TREATMENT MASK

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND CREAM

MESO INFUSION LIP DUO

Y LIFT NECK AND DÉCOLLETAGE SERUM

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND EMULSION

If you were to advise a London guide, what would be on your list?

Well, As I grew up in Notting Hill, it will always have my heart and if I was recommending spots in London, a wander around Notting Hill would be high up on my list. From there it would be all the best shopping destinations, the iconic private members club, Annabels, Harrods and Liberty’s for any cute and unique gifts. I would always pop into 111CRYO at Harrods for the Cryo Facial and treatment for the ultimate recharge. Sometimes the city is great, but the beautiful secrets of the English countryside is something that should be experienced.

Your In-Flight Essentials?

I don’t have a routine per say and I am certainly not as thorough as Naomi Campbell but I would apply the Meso Infusion Lip Duo and I would always wipe my phone down with anti-bacterial wipes, in fact I do this every day, the bacteria build up is no good for the skin.

In terms of Industry, where do you see the hair industry going?

Well Instagram has changed so much and has impacted the way we consume and learn within the industry, especially with so many creatives, but I still find that a massive amount of people come to the professionals to share the knowledge on how to carry out or complete a desired look, more than ever there is power behind ‘how-to’ videos.

A very valid point and in terms of 2020?

In terms of what we are to see in 2020, things are going to be super creative and we will see a wider awareness for people doing their own thing and it will be expressive and artistic. People will move away from the overtly glamorous looks and will create looks they can tailor to their everyday. As it’s currently Award Season which is the busiest time of the year leading up to the Met Ball, hairstyles are certainly more elaborate, and everyone loves an up do. I would say the most timeless look has to be the blunt bob, it comes around year on year, but it is effortless and timeless.

Outside of hair, what other industries are you into?

I am hugely into Interiors and I would describe my style as 60s/70s glamour, think elaborate and dramatic but I often fantasise about 80s Dallas and Joan Collins and I have to reign myself in. I also love Baking; it is the ultimate way to relax and I find that it is my meditation and therapy. If I’m in the USA I would bake a lot of cookies as everyone is obsessed with then over here and in the UK, I would bake more traditional styles like a lemon tart or an apple tart – it allows for me to be creative outside of my job.

Finally, the best advice you have ever received?

It would have to be from my grandfather, he would often say to me “it’s not how well you’re doing but how well people think you’re doing”. I haven’t successfully implemented it however you can look to Instagram today and people see our work and are blown away by it, but we can be so hard on ourselves and not appreciate our own work ourselves.

 

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