All About Anna Sui: Fashion And Style

Anna Sui stepped into the New York fashion scene as an instant classic. Learn more about her history and the enduring designs that make her fashions consistently successful.

In the early 1960s when Anna Sui began dressing her own dolls and a neighbor's toy soldiers to recreate the Academy Awards, her parents may have had a hint that their daughter was destined for fame and fashion.At age 16 when she was accepted from her Detroit, Michigan, high school to the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City, it was clear that Anna Sui was on the fast track to fashion success.

At Parsons, Ms. Sui (pronounced "Swee") quickly formed a close friendship with fellow student Steven Meisel, and worked as his stylist.Today, Meisel is considered one of the world's best fashion photographers, working with everyone from Madonna to Versace.Likewise, his college collaborator Anna Sui has achieved well-earned fame in fashion as well.

After Parsons, Anna Sui designed junior sportswear for several companies, but soon broke out with the 1980 Boutique Show where her six original designs earned her instant acclaim.With an order from Macy's and her work featured in the New York Times, she launched her own business from her apartment.


By 1991, Ms. Sui was ready for greater projects and wider recognition, as well as a showroom in New York's Garment District.Her first runway show was celebrated in the pages of the New York Times, and her signature head-to-toe attracted a loyal following overnight.

One success quickly followed another.Less than a year after her successful runway show, Anna Sui opened a boutique in New York's trendy SoHo area.Her shop's interior design with purple walls, red floors, and flea market furniture earned as much attention as her designs.Then in 1993, she was recognized with the CDFA Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent, and her success was almost guaranteed.

In 1997, Anna Sui boutiques opened internationally, first in Tokyo, then two in Osaka.Like her first boutique, they also featured her signature purple walls.That same year, Anna Sui Shoes appeared on the runway, and she signed an agreement with Wella AG of Germany to develop Anna Sui fragrances, followed by her own cosmetics.

Two years later, West Hollywood welcomed Anna Sui's most daring boutique to date where her mix of high fashion and endearing vintage influenceswon her a devoted following among Los Angeles celebrities.

Anna Sui's moderate prices--including her secondary line, "Sui"--have kept her designs within the reach of most shoppers.Her flattering styles have attracted clients as diverse as Cher and Naomi Campbell, Nicole Kidman and Christina Ricci.

Ms. Sui's designs are always a mix of clever innovations, combining a fresh approach to color and texture with the best from fashion's past.Ms. Sui is never one to insist on change for the sake of change.Each season her influences are clear, whether she has reinvented the clean lines of Chanel in startling new ways, or draped her models in flowing layers and ethnic detailing from the hippie era.

If you are looking for a mix of understated elegance and the most flattering fashions of the season, Anna Sui's designs are an obvious choice.She remains one of fashion's most admired leaders influencing both haute couture and ready-to-wear.Ms. Sui's sense of elegance and dignity exude quiet beauty, and a welcomed sense of calm in a fashion world where loud trends barely last 15 minutes.

Anna Sui consistently earns high praise from fashion critics.Her growing legion of fans eagerly anticipate each season's new designs, knowing that Anna Sui's consistently beautiful clothing is certain to delight the fashion world.

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