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Jason Wu Targets New Customers

Sunday is a big day in America.

Sure, it's Super Bowl Sunday — but for non-sports lovers, the Jason Wu collection launches in Target stores and online.

Designer Jason Wu attends the Jason Wu For Target launch at Skylight SOHO.
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Designer Jason Wu attends the Jason Wu For Target launch at Skylight SOHO.

Wu first earned fame for dressing First Lady Michelle Obama at the inaugural gala. Now he’s teamed up with Target to offer an affordable line to dress the masses. The 53-piece collection is inspired by Wu’s love of French new-age film. The collection includes apparel, handbags and scarves ranging in price from $19.99 to $59.99.

When CNBC asked the designer why he chose to work with Target for the collection, he said that he has always been a fan of what Target does.

“They are not just known for really great designer partnerships," Wu said. "They are really fashion design partnerships, they are known for great designs period. They are the originators of this designer collaboration — whether it be Missoni or me...It’s a wide range of creative people. It felt like they were the people who would be able to translate my vision the best for something like this.”

And Target is a fan of Wu, who earned fame for dressing First Lady Michelle Obama.

The discounter hopes the collection will bring shoppers into the stores and online to add a unique piece of fashion to their wardrobes. Dustee Jenkins is vice president of Communications for Target describes the Jason Wu collection as “fun, flirty, feminine and perfect for spring."

"We have no doubt that our guests are going to love this collection,” Jenkins said.

For Wu, the collection helps the designer reach a wider audience at affordable price points.

“What Target is doing is bringing the boutique experience back into America," he said. "I think they are really bringing a fantastic experience to all of America, to people that may not otherwise be able to experience it. It’s an excellent strategy, and it’s also great for me as a designer because I am reaching a whole new audience that I wasn’t able to reach before.”

And according to Jenkins, the Jason Wu collection puts the retailer in the middle of American conversation.

“It’s certainly about creating buzz for Target…we are known for that surprise and delight…the buzz factor is incredible," she said.

But this time around, Target is applying some of the lessons it learned in the past. When the Missoni for Target collection was launched in the fall, the website crashed under the heavy traffic. Target says it has enhanced the website to prevent this from happening again, but notes the collection — and supply — is limited.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com. Follow Courtney Reagan on Twitter @CourtReagan.

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