By  on February 3, 2010

Everyone knows Michelle Obama helped put Jason Wu on the map. But the subsequent publicity blitzkrieg couldn’t have come at a more apropos time. Wu was already riding a high from a previous (self-dubbed “breakthrough”) spring 2009 show, which saw a $1.2 million jump in sales. “We were ready for that next area of expansion,” Wu, 27, remarks.

And expand he has. Of all the designers in the Obama fashion tribe, Wu has taken most obvious advantage of his fortuitous moments in the spotlight. In the past year, the Taiwanese designer launched a pre-fall collection, sales of which are already 45 percent over initial projections; sunglasses, with Modo Eyewear; his own GE digital camera, licensed by General Imaging; a capsule collection with Tse Cashmere, and has plans to enter the footwear market by 2011. He will also debut a collection of dolls for Madame Alexander this fall (in addition to his ongoing role as creative director of Integrity Toys). But perhaps the greatest example of Wu’s steroidal growth is the recent relocation of his offices from cramped quarters on 37th Street to a studio more than four times the size: a sprawling 9,000 square feet. WWD got an exclusive first look at the finished premises.

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