YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund Dinner: Jason Wu on Interns, Karlie Kloss on Fashion Week, and More

Karlie Kloss Jason Wu
Photo: Randy Brooke/WireImage
Jason Wu with Karlie Kloss at the YMA SFS Awards

Jason Wu is very hands on.

In accepting the Future of Fashion Award at the YMA FSF Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner on January 10, the designer admitted that he was a bit of a one-man show when he launched his namesake company.

“I did everything from answer the phones and customer service, packing my own shipments, and spending Saturday nights reading the Bergdorf Goodman shipping manual,” Wu designer revealed, to much laughter.

The ballroom at New York's Waldorf Astoria was packed with students who were there to receive scholarships, internships and mentorships from some of the fashion industry's finest, including Bibha Mohapatra, Yigal Azrouël, Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs, Sophie Theallet, and Nary Manivong, all in attendance.

Not surprisingly, intern tasks were the talk of the night.  

“They [interns] do everything,” Azrouël told us. “They are there to help so they do everything from sketching to cleaning to making coffee.”

“I actually like to get my own coffee,” Wu spilled to FashionEtc. “I expect a little more from my interns. They want it—they really want it.” Adding, “they usually leave inspired and challenged or they get hired.”

Cushnie and Ochs sometimes call upon interns for McDonald’s runs, “but only if they’re [already] going,” Ochs admitted to us.

The tables are turned at Bibhu Mohapatra’s studio. “I may send my interns to Queens to pick up a roll of fabric,” he said, but when it comes to local errands, the designer does them himself. “I like to breathe some air.”

And what does he bring back? “The worst thing—Popeyes Chicken, which is a popular thing in my studio. It’s so unfashionable,” Mohapatra smiled.  

Wu was accompanied by models Karlie Kloss and Anja Rubik, both dressed in custom Jason Wu dresses and both enjoying a night off, so to speak, before Fashion Week craziness kicks off.

“It is exactly two weeks from today that Couture starts and two weeks after that are collections in New York and then it all goes nuts,” Kloss told FashionEtc.

We can’t wait!