Jason Wu's New Daphne Bag - Neiman Marcus
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Jason Wu’s New Daphne Bag

Regina Campbell

January 23, 2014

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As Spring collections launch at Neiman Marcus, thinking about a new handbag is the perfect way to transition into a warm-weather mood, even if the weather doesn’t cooperate. This handbag is as practical as it is a modern fashion statement, and it’s en route to becoming an icon, just like its campaign muse, Karen Elson.

We chatted with Wu about his Spring handbag collection, his design inspiration and how he ended up starring along his muses in his advertising campaigns shot by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin.

NM: We love the design of the Daphne tote, because we see the balance of a timeless, classic bag with modern lines and practical elements. Can you tell us a little about the creative process for the new Daphne tote bag?
JW: It is important to me that the accessories translate beyond the runway and work with the different kinds of women who wear my designs. The Daphne tote is a chic and timeless option for women who need a larger everyday, multifunctional bag.

Karen Elson starrs in Jason Wu's Spring 2014 campaign
Karen Elson starrs in Jason Wu’s Spring 2014 campaign

NM: How has your handbag collection grown in the past few years?
JW: The collection is centered around the Daphne and Jourdan series and there has been consistent growth within each group. It is nice to evolve both stories that I built my handbag business on, and develop different shapes that can be super functional while maintaining the sophisticated and glamorous DNA of the collection.

NM: We’ve seen the botanical print and the python leather versions of the Daphne tote, as well as the more classic ivory suede bag. How’s does the Daphne tote fall into your Resort and Spring collections?
JW: I explored a lot interesting textures and material mixes for both handbag collections. What is important to me is that all the leathers and suedes are of the most exquisite quality and the softer structure and chic relaxed attitude of the Daphne tote works perfectly with the spirit of the collection, which was themed around “a dialogue between construction and ease.”

NM: What’s your favorite color or print for Resort?
JW: I love the botanical print. It really embodies the overall feel of the Resort collection.

NM: What defines the Jason Wu girl that carries the Daphne bag?
JW: When I am designing handbags the Jason Wu woman is always on my mind. What does she want? What does she need? She is sophisticated, confident and always glamorous!

NM: What made Karen Elson the perfect muse of your Spring 2014 campaign?
JW: I have always been inspired by Karen’s personal style and how she always manages to look so effortlessly chic. When I was designing the Spring collection, her images kept popping up on my inspiration board, so I decided that it was going to be a very “Karen” collection. It just felt like she really embodied the spirit of the entire collection.

NM: What was the inspiration for the campaign? We love to see you in it as well.
JW: I absolutely loved working on the first two campaigns with Inez and Vinoodh, so it was a really organic decision for us to continue the story via my Spring 2014 campaign. I love that each of the three campaigns so far show women who are not only fiercely fashionable, beautiful, and sexy. They each also live such unique lives that inspire me. There is something so unapologetically glamorous about these images that seem to embody everything that I adore and want to express through my clothes.

Shop Jason Wu in select Neiman Marcus stores and neimanmarcus.com

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