The Find

Jason Wu's Furniture Collection For Interior Define Offers Elegance, If You're Paying Attention

The collection is perhaps more casual than you'd expect from Michelle Obama's favorite designer, but look closely—his signature is there.

Unapologetic femininity, traditional moods, modern strength: this is what comes to mind when discussing Jason Wu. The Taiwanese-Canadian fashion designer became a fast-rising comet for translating now-outdated and outmoded notions of womenswear into a modern context. Simply, he picked up a certain kind of day-to-day glamour women abandoned during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and made it sharp, feminist, and daring enough to be wearable—and buyable—in the ’00s. The market, and famously Michelle Obama, paid attention. The former First Lady wore one of his pieces to her husband’s 2008 inaugural balls, and the rest was history for Wu.

What hasn’t truly been part of his history is furniture. But then again, we shouldn’t be all that surprised that the designer who once aligned himself with a brand as deep and broad as Hugo Boss would branch out into the category with a new collection for Interior Define. (Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Renzo Rosso, and many other fashion leaders have all played with furniture to one extent or another). What is somewhat surprising is how relaxed, how casual, how comfort-oriented his line of chairs and sofas appears at first glance. You don’t expect this from the man who dropped this for fall.

Certainly, a good part of that is the brand he’s working with. (The direct-to-consumer company is known more for durable, practical pieces with an attractive bent than it is for knocking out the curatorial class at ICFF.) But, then again, little details do suggest Wu’s trademark elegance. There’s the tapering of certain brass feet, the elegant curving of certain armrests. It all points to that same ’40s and ’50s era when Pre-War glamour met the Post-War living room and women grocery shopped in tea-length dresses that he channels in his fashion practice.

Wu says he’s attempting to create “new classics” with these relaxed cushions, stiff wood and metal structures, and midcentury references. It’s hard not to think Wu may have done exactly that—provided you look at the details.

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