Jason Wu

Jason Wu has signed on as an ambassador for the Woolmark Company. Part of the gig included judging the Australian and American portions of this year’s Woolmark Prize, and Wu also has to find ways to incorporate Australian merino wool, which is what the trade group represents, into his own work. There are a few certified Woolmark pieces in Wu’s fall collection, but for spring, he’s working with the idea of cool wool.

“We did this trip to Australia to see how the wool is harvested and the different things they can do,” Wu said. “Michelle [Lee, Woolmark’s head of Americas] took me with her and said she felt that wool had been pegged as fall and winter. People don’t see wool as a lighter material for spring.” So for his spring collection, Wu is increasing the number of lightweight, second skin merino wool pieces in his collection, working in bright colors, as well as wovens, including an open gauze and lace and embroidery techniques for pieces that are seasonless. “I think that’s where fashion really is right now,” he said.

“He worked with wool in ways you probably wouldn’t see in a spring collection when it comes to wool because there’s that preconceived idea that you don’t see wool a lot in the spring [and] summer season,” Lee said. “We really want to tell the story of the fact that wool can be lightweight.”