Earlier this year, noted designer and Michelle Obama darling Jason Wu launched his diffusion line, Miss Wu, exclusively at Nordstrom. The contemporary collection embodies the best of Wu's feminine shapes and ladylike charm from his high-end line, but with a more playful, edgy side (and a lower price point).

Below, we chat with the designer about the insight and execution behind Miss Wu. Stay tuned for part two of our interview where we delve into Wu's design theory and the inspiration behind this fall collection.

Want to ask him something for yourself? This week Wu stops by the Bellevue Nordstrom for a cocktail reception and collection presentation on Thursday, August 1 from 6 to 8 in the second-level Via C department. All customers are invited to attend.

Image via jasonwustudio.com

Shop Talk: How do you approach design differently when it comes to Miss Wu versus Jason Wu?
Wu: Instead of just doing Jason Wu for less, the idea for the design of Miss Wu was to explore the other side of myself. I always see Jason Wu [the collection] as my aesthetic, my design sensibility. Miss Wu is my personality. It was really fun to explore that facet of who I am: slightly more downtown with a more relaxed attitude. 

What kind of adjustments did you make to accommodate affordability? 
I really played with great knits, graphic prints, and easy-to-wear shapes. The idea was not to create an overly complex collection and to let the fabrics speak for themselves. 

Who is the Miss Wu girl?  
The Jason Wu woman is much more polished and manicured. The Miss Wu girl, on the other hand, she's a little more worn-in, a little grittier. Her hair is a bit more messy; her makeup might be from the night before. At the base of it all, like with Jason Wu, this collection just hits on the things I love.