Look closely at the Jason Wu Fall 2017 ready-to-wear runway and you’ll spot a small structured bag—a simple rectangle topped by circular metal hardware. “Everyone thought it was a little camera bag,” laughs fashion designer Jason Wu, reminiscing about the February show for his eponymous brand. “I didn’t say anything about it so no one knew; I just sent the models down [the runway].” In reality, the small bag was not Wu’s latest crossbody design, but a custom carrying case for his first fragrance, and unbeknownst, the show’s models were strutting the catwalk with full bottles of the jasmine, peony, lily of the valley, mandarin orange, and pink peppercorn scent. Six months since the subtle sneak preview, the Jason Wu fragrance will debut on August 15, exclusively at Saks, revealing the bottle design he perfected with architect Andre Mellone of Studio Mellone, a midcentury-inspired crystal container with the perfect circle cap first seen on the runway.
The bottle design was Mellone’s first dive into the world of product design, but the two had worked together before on the designs for Wu’s apartment and his first store in Saks. With self-proclaimed “helicopter mom” Wu by his side (physically, or via constant text message), Mellone approached the project as he would any architecture or interiors design. They made a mood board of all of “Jason’s favorite things,” said the architect, and found that midcentury art, architecture, and design heavily featured—from Richard Neutra to Josef Albers.