Jason Wu Beauty Brings Runway Back to Target | Interview

After a decade, fashion designer Jason Wu is heading back to Target. In 2011, his mass-market fashion collection sold out within hours and kicked off years and years of limited-edition designer collaborations for fast-fashion stores. Now, Wu is bringing his luxe products to 400 Target stores in January — this time, in the form of a permanent beauty collection. Jason Wu Beauty is the beloved couturier’s first time dipping into the category, but he’s not doing it alone. Wu collaborated with Nyx founder Toni Ko and her Bespoke Brand Brands incubator program. 

The duo met at dinner in New York City last year with a mutual friend. “Immediately, I was like, ‘Jason, we have to do a beauty line together,” Ko tells Allure. “Jason is a fashion designer, but he’s very entrepreneurial. This is basically two entrepreneurs with two different skill sets coming together.”

Wu is the “creative genius” behind all the products, Ko says, and she’s the “workhorse.” Wu, however, disagrees, later calling Ko, “the beauty queen” and “an industry leader.” 

They weren’t planning on launching the line right in the middle of a pandemic, but putting it off didn’t feel right either. If they held off, they’d have to wait another full year, Ko admits. “We never know what’s going to happen, so we’re just going to go for it,” she adds.

The duo set out to make a brand that appeals to all ages without overly trendy items and shades. This aspect is what makes the venture most exciting to Wu. “It’s unprecedented for me to have a product that works on anybody: any skin tone, any size, any ethnicity, any gender,” he tells Allure. A nod to this is even in the various shades of nude on the brand’s packing. 

Nude is Wu company’s signature color, he says, but the multiple hues is Jason Wu Beauty’s way of standing out from “all the black-and-white brands” in stores. “This is a beauty line for everybody, a clean beauty line that’s inclusive,” he adds. That’s right: Jason Wu Beauty is cruelty-free and follows the Target Clean Beauty program standards.

Some of the brand’s makeup may feel very of-the-moment, but the inspiration for the line was pulled straight from Wu’s fashion shows. “We’re trying to bring Jason Wu’s creative ingenuity from his runways to the aisles,” Ko says. For example, Wu’s latest collection featured models wearing faux freckles, so of course, Jason the Freckled Boy ($14), a mini liquid liner (seen below) specifically for speckling on sunless spots, had to be a part of the line. 

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