Target is basically attached to Jason Wu's name right now: the hype for the February 5 launch of his collection for the mass retailer has reached fever pitch with a celeb-filled pre-shop party that went down last night. The Target buzz it's almost enough to make you lose sight of the lovely work his does for his eponymous line--that is until he shows his fall 2012 collection next month.
We checked in with Wu to find out what's going on outside of the Target hysteria. He's excited about his new "it-bag" called the Daphne which he unveiled as part of his pre-fall collection. We found out why it's called the Daphne, learned about his design process for accessories, and used this interview as shameless excuse to make him show us his adorable pet cats Jinxy and Peaches (perhaps the inspiration behind Milu, the muse for his Target collection?).
Fashionista: Tell me about the Daphne--how did model Daphne Groeneveld inspire it, how did you arrive at the shape, why is it your signature? Jason Wu: The Daphne bag is my take on a '40s frame bag, modernized by a much softer structure and a chic relaxed attitude. I love that it can work as either a dressed up or dressed down bag. I met Daphne Groeneveld a few seasons ago when she first arrived in New York and just fell in love with her. Daphne’s striking, classic with a twist look reminds me so much of this bag that I decided to name it after her. Why is a signature bag so important to a brand? I always think of a signature bag as something that represents the very DNA of a brand. When I created Daphne, I felt that it embodied all the qualities my designs. How do you approach designing accessories? How does it differ from your approach to designing clothes? I have to put on a different thinking cap when designing accessories, while staying true to my design esthetics. I think a main difference in accessory design is that you have to put a lot of consideration into its everyday functionality-it not only has to look good, it has to last forever too.
There's obviously a lot of hype right now for your (awesome) Target collection--the bags look great there too. How did you adjust for the lower price point? Thank you! I had a great time designing my capsule for Target. I used the same approach to designing the bags for this collection as I did the RTW. I designed them so that they are uniquely different and can stand on their own. Instead of attempting to recreate a more expensive bag, I designed canvas and raffia bags which are such a chic addition to this “New Wave” inspired Target collection. Owls, cats, animals seem to inspire you, too. Do you have any? Tell us about them! Yes, I have two cats-Jinxy and Peaches and they are the loves of my life!
Click through to see the Daphne it all it's various forms.