Designer Diary: Anna Sui

CMD 2012 portrait - b-w smjpg

Anna Sui is a fashion industry tour de force. Her eponymous fashion and beauty empire boasts 65 boutiques, 90 accessory stores and 200 beauty counters worldwide, with new lines and products being unveiled each season. BELLA NYC caught up with the veteran designer to see what’s in store for fall 2014. Read on…

You’re well-known for your dedication to the things that move you, like rock and roll. How did your passions inspire your Fall 2014 collection?
I had never really done a Chinoiserie-inspired collection before, and I started watching a lot of old movies and revisited some of the Anna May Wong films, which led me to start thinking about new ways to MOD-ernize her. I also looked at Serge Luten’s photographs for Shiseido, fashion
 illustrations from La Gazette du Bon Ton, Biba, Art Deco jewelry, the interiors of Rose Cummings and Chinoiserie rooms and pavilions from European palaces, all of which were part of my inspiration for this collection.

What about Anna May Wong did you find so appealing?

She was a pioneer – the first Chinese-American actress in Hollywood. In the beginning of her film “Piccadilly” (1929), she appears dressed in a beret, black and white striped sweater and mini skirt … she looked so quintessentially Mod. In fact, s​he looked exactly the way Mary Quant did on the day I met her! 

There are some really amazing Art Deco-inspired prints in this collection. How did these prints develop?

I’m always on the lookout for vintage prints to inspire me. This season I was looking at Chinese Art Deco carpets from the 1930s in particular.  

You launched your first collection in 1981. After more than 30 years as a designer, what about your work still excites you?

As a designer, I am on a creative journey, so I am constantly learning and growing. That is what makes designing so interesting and rewarding. I am really lucky that everything around me can serve as inspiration for my collections, whether it is a new place that I visit or even one that I have been to many times but see in a different way or something that I see on my walk to work. I love art and history, too. When I’m interested in something, I want to know everything about it. I really enjoy that process and find that it influences so much of what I do and create.

What’s next for Anna Sui?

I just launched a new fragrance called La Nuit de Bohème. It is an elegant, sophisticated, romantic fragrance that captures the allure and glamour of the Bohemian woman at night.

Tags from the story
Written By
More from BELLA Magazine

BELLA’s Agenda: The Essential Guide for a Girl on the Go

By Janene Mascarella Set Sail: Guests in town? Skip the tourist lines...
Read More