Without designers, there would be no NYFW. And without a fleet of vehicles ready and waiting to whisk editors and influencers alike to their respective shows and destinations, one can imagine the madness that would ensue. That's why BMW is returning to NYFW this year as the official automotive partner of NYFW: The Shows and is partnering with IMG to celebrate "new and timeless voices in fashion, culture and beyond" with its video series Road Less Traveled. First up? Jason Wu.
Jason Wu, the Taiwanese-born fashion designer who launched his eponymous label in 2007, has a history of dressing prominent women in his refined, polished ensembles. Remember the white one-shouldered chiffon dress Michelle Obama wore to her inaugural ball? Yeah, Jason Wu did that. But dressing "powerful" women has always been Wu's goal.
"The story I want to tell with my clothes is that of beauty, craftsmanship, intricate design. And then I want the women wearing my clothes to feel powerful," Jason Wu says in the video.
Wu explained that he only had two options: Work under another designer or launch his own label. But 12 years later, the latter was a high-risk that resulted in high rewards.
"There were two routes I could've pursued: One was to go the normal route and apprentice for another designer [and] the other one was to take the risk of starting my own business with not a lot of money under my name, six garments from my living room and starting a fashion label on my own and thinking that I could succeed," he continued. "I took the risk, and here I am 12 years later with my own fashion label."
Wu is just one of many designers and influential figures tapped for BMW's series, including model Halima Aden, beauty journalist and co-founder of Milk Makeup Zanna Roberts Rassi, and fellow designer Christian Siriano.
Nerisha Penrose Assistant Editor Nerisha is the assistant editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty and fashion.