EXCLUSIVE: Jason Wu’s Top Secret Bag Collab Goes on Sale in Asia Today
Today marks a lot of firsts for international fashion designer designer Jason Wu. Not only is he releasing an exclusive debut bag design in Asia, but it is also his first design collaboration with leading bag specialist Sometime by Asian Designers. His platform of choice? Leading fashion website in Asia, ZALORA. At a time when collaboration has become an industry buzz word, Jason goes far and beyond his New York offices to make it not just about hype but as an opportunity. “I embrace collaborations. As a designer, I thrive on exchanging ideas between different design industries,” says Jason in an all-exclusive interview with Metro.
He has done so many, as people call it now, “collabs” in his past but for Taiwan-born Jason, this one strikes closest to home. For his first venture in the region, he came up with the Edie bag, a wear-anywhere vertical tote that comes in two sizes (a regular and a mini) and in six different colors, from Soft Pink and Mustard to Ultramarine. A bag was his item of choice for it is not size sensitive and appeals universally—yes, it is unisex!
The decision to do the project was equal parts creative and strategic. “It is more important than ever to have your own e-commerce to build brand awareness and reach the consumer directly,” says Jason who also sees it a great way to curate a creative narrative. And for someone who shops online himself, the stars have aligned to bring this exciting bag collaboration available exclusively in six countries in Asia, which of course includes the Philippines.
As far as as the product side is concerned, Jason seems to have it all figured out: “The Edie tote strikes a balance between form and function. It is useful, and chic but the colors reflect a sense of fun. I think balancing these elements are at the core of Jason Wu GREY.” But the bag seems to be the start of many more. With expanding the Jason Wu brand on an international platform in mind, he has his eyes set to more projects in the region. And there is no sign holding back. He will do so “in a big way.”
As the Edie tote goes up for grabs in ZALORA today, Metro and Metro.Style caught up with Jason Wu, himself, in this exclusive interview about his brand, the bag, Asia, and his massive love for its food.
For someone who's been designing for quite some time now, where lies the struggle or the opportunity for you Jason to constantly innovate?
It’s hard to keep up sometimes when the industry is constantly pushing for newer and faster. I’ve always tried to stay true to my vision. I truly love what I do and thoroughly enjoy the creative cycle and constantly thinking ahead is both the most challenging and fulfilling part of my job.
You've seen all types of market and retail landscape through the years. How different is the market today than ever before?
The digital age and immediacy of everything right now has changed the way we look at and buy fashion. Social media and e-commerce has expanded the reach of brands beyond traditional retail environment. It is an ever-changing landscape.
You are launching your first-ever Asian collaboration with your brand and with an e-commerce platform, Zalora. How did this big project come about?
ZALORA and Sometime by Asian Designers approached me about a year ago. I didn’t know much about either brand then, so I was really interested in learning about them. This was a great opportunity for me to work brands that have solidly established themselves in the South East Asian market.
Sometime has successfully positioned themselves as a bag specialist. They have worked with many big Malaysian designers and in the last six years. ZALORA has built an impressive reach across the region establishing themselves as the area’s leading fashion ecommerce player. In working with both brands, I am assured that my design will translate into a quality product that will resonate with the fashion customer in Asia.
The partnership is a celebration of Asian creativity and innovation. Given my Asian heritage, I’d like to do more in Asia and when ZALORA approached me for this collaboration, I thought it was an opportunity to do just that.
What can you say about Zalora as a brand, an online shopping destination, and as an experience as a whole?
As a brand, I am impressed with what ZALORA has built in the span of six years. Covering a huge area in the region, serving over 600 million consumers and servicing thousands of islands. To offer them next day delivery with utmost convenience is a huge feat. It is no wonder a lot of the established fashion brands chose to work with them.
The bag is modern yet very versatile. What is the inspiration behind the bag?
The inspiration for the Edie tote comes from my love of mid-century art and architecture. Pairing the old and the new with the ease of a tote silhouette reflects a timeless and modern sensibility.
How does this piece also speak to the new market you are tapping at the moment?
I think consumers are very savvy. We wanted to provide them with a product that was beautiful, thoughtful and well made. I think these are universal themes. We really enjoyed creating color combinations that reflected that sense of fun, which I think is important to the Asian market.
Who do you see wearing the pieces?
The Jason Wu Grey woman is refined, sophisticated, and feminine, but she’s also fun and like any Jason Wu Grey collection, this bag has a real relaxed and casual feel to it.
More and more Asian brands are also gaining prominence globally. How are you to introduce Asian brands to the world?
I agreed on this project on so many levels. I love collaborations, and I’ve done many in my career. With this project in particular, it was not just about Jason Wu GREY, Sometime by Asian Designers, and ZALORA. Everyone knows that Asians know how to buy, but what they need to know is we also know how to make and create. That is something I am proud to share with the world. It’s very impressive, and that is my goal.
What are the exciting things coming up for you pretty soon?
I built my business with the goal of being around for a very, very long time – I see the Jason Wu brand expand significantly globally to encompass an entire lifestyle.
And lastly, name one thing you absolutely love about Asia!
The food! And Asian hotel breakfast is the best.
The Edie tote goes up for grabs online today. The bag retails at Php 8,799 for the large and Php 6,599 for the mini. Shop for it on ZALORA now!