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Anna Sui

Anna Sui

Anna Sui (Chinese: 蕭志美; )[10][11] is an American fashion designer from Detroit. She was named one of the "Top 5 Fashion Icons of the Decade"[12] and in 2009 earned the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), joining the ranks of Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Diane von Furstenberg.[13] Her brand categories include several fashion lines, footwear, cosmetics, fragrances, eyewear, jewelry, accessories, home goods[14][15] and a gifts line. Anna Sui products are sold through her free-standing stores and distributors around the world in over 50 countries. In 2006, Fortune estimated the collective value of Sui's fashion empire at over $400 million.[16]

Anna Sui
Born(1952-08-04)August 4, 1952
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
ResidenceNew York City
EducationParsons The New School for Design
OccupationFashion designer
Anna Sui
Dolly Girl by Anna Sui[1]
Anna Sui Mini[2]
Anna Sui Vision[3]
The Souvenir Shop Anna Sui[4]
AwardsCFDA Perry Ellis New Talent Award
Time Magazine – Top 5 Fashion Icons of the Decade[5]
CFDA Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award[6]
Bravo A-List Award[7]
Classic Icon of Fashion and Design
Identities – Leadership in the Arts Award[8]
2017 Honorary Doctorate Recipient, The New School[9]
Websiteannasui.com [258]
Anna Sui
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese蕭志美
Simplified Chinese萧志美
Japanese name

Early life and family origins

Sui is a first-generation Chinese born in Detroit, Michigan. Her father, Paul Sui (Chinese: 蕭惠光, pinyin: Xiāo Huìguāng) and mother, Grace Sui Fang (方光琪, Fāng Guāngqí) met while studying at the Sorbonne in Paris where Sui's father was studying engineering and her mother, painting. [17] Her paternal grandparents were Xiao Yulan (蕭毓蘭, Xiāo Yùlán), a Tahitian-Chinese businessman, and his wife Qiu Daidi (丘帶娣).[18][19] Her maternal grandparents were Fang Chih, a Chinese diplomat and his Japanese wife Fang I-chih (born Masue Ueki).[20][21][22]

Sui is a matrilineal descendant of the prominent Fang clan of Tongcheng, Anhui, notable for its many scholars and philosophers.[23] She is an 18th generation descendant of Fang Bao, an influential Chinese poet who founded the Tongcheng School of literary prose popular throughout the Qing Empire.[24][25][26] Notable ancestors also include Fang Gongcheng, tutor of the imperial palace, and Fang Guancheng, Viceroy of Zhili seated at Tianjin from 1749 to 1768 amongst other Qing era scholars.[27][28]

By the time she was four years old, Sui knew she wanted to be a fashion designer.[8][29] Sui's mother taught her about putting together a wardrobe, bringing a young Sui with her to shop for fabrics. Sui would spend hours watching her mother sew and would collect the fabric scraps to clothe her Barbie dolls and her brothers' army action figures. Through this process, Sui learned the basics of making clothing and soon she was putting together her own outfits. This was accomplished by buying pattern pieces for the sleeves of a dress, and swapping them to match other dresses, to create her own look for the garments.[8] As a teen, she read an article in Life Magazine about the achievements of Mia Fonssagrives-Solow who graduated from Parsons The New School for Design in New York City and then moved to Paris, where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton opened a boutique with the girl. Sui credits reading this article as a pivotal moment in her youth, which gave her clear direction on her goals for her future.[30] Sui moved to New York and attended Parsons.[31]

Early career

After finishing her second year at Parsons, Sui was hired by Erica Elias' juniors clothing label Charlie's Girls,[32] where she learned by designing for sportswear labels and doing styling on the photography shoots of friend and former Parson's classmate Steven Meisel.[33] Sui's work as a stylist for Meisel's shoots featured in the Italian magazine Lei specifically were very well received.[17] After the closing of Charlie's Girls, Sui worked for several other sportswear designers including Bobbie Brooks and Simultanee.[8][17] During this time, she began designing and making clothes out of her apartment.[34] Sui stated that she was inspired to branch out on her own by a desire to dress rock stars and people who attended their concerts.[35] Indeed, during this period, the majority of her personal business was focused on targeting sales to music stores.[17] While working for the sportswear company Glenora, she brought her collection of five pieces to a New York trade show, and caught the attention of New York department stores Bloomingdale's and Macy's.[8] A few weeks later, those clothes were featured in an advertisement in The New York Times.[36] The manager at Glenora, where Sui was still on the payroll, was furious when he saw the advertisement in The Times and fired her on the spot. Left without a job, Sui took her $300 in savings and started a business out of a little corner of the living room in her apartment.[37] For several years Sui ran the company out of her apartment, doing odd-jobs for spare income and reinvesting every penny of earnings into her business.

The 1980s was the height of "power-dressing", with companies such as Chanel, Lacroix and Versace setting the standard. Sui struggled to stand up next to the big-name fashion houses. Sui was one of the few designers of the period who distanced herself from the traditional fashion houses and explored the grunge fashion scene together with designers such as Marc Jacobs, Daryl K and Todd Oldham. Around 1987, Sui got the opportunity to move her line into Annette B, a showroom curated by Annette Breindel. Breindel, who had a history of nurturing young designers, was a major influence for Sui and helped the designer emerge onto the fashion scene. During this period, Sui finally was able to move her operation out of her apartment and into the garment district.[17] By the late 1980s, Sui had gained a global cult-like following, getting the attention of Japanese fashion powerhouses such as Onward Kashiyama. Sui would go on to majorly expand Japanese operations in the mid 90s.[38][39]

In 1991, Meisel, Paul Cavaco and Sui's supermodel friends, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista, got together and encouraged her to try a runway show.[17][40] Sui rented a small space in the Meatpacking District and paid the models by giving them the clothes. The successful show was the biggest breakthrough of Sui's career, with The New York Times commenting in reference to Sui's celebrity runway models: "That those beauties [Campbell and Evangelista] were then at the height of their fame helped stoke the reception Sui got from buyers and the news media."[41]

Anna Sui line

Caroline Trentini for Anna Sui Spring/Summer 2011.

Caroline Trentini for Anna Sui Spring/Summer 2011.

The original flagship Anna Sui store at 113 Greene Street, New York City.

The original flagship Anna Sui store at 113 Greene Street, New York City.

At Paris Fashion Week in 1991, Sui received one of the first major breakthroughs of her career. Sui was driving with her friend Steven Meisel to see the Jean Paul Gaultier show. On the way to the show, they stopped to pick up Madonna, a friend of Meisel's. Madonna surprised Sui by wearing her clothing to the event. The notoriety Sui received from this event was instantly tremendous and far reaching. Madonna would later wear the same outfit again for Meisel's photoshoot for Vogue.[42][43][44][45] Sui's first runway show took place later that year upon her return to New York City.[46][47] From her first show, Sui was known for her light-hearted, whimsical, homemade and entertaining approach to showcasing her collections.[48] The influences came from contemporary shows by designers such as Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier where one of the goals was to charm the audience with the atmosphere created.[17] The atmosphere often had a distinct party vibe and the antics of guests and participants were described as a distinct cultural scene of the period.[49]

The designer opened her first retail location in 1992[46] at 113 Greene Street in New York City's Soho District. The flagship store was known for its red floors, antique black furniture, signature dolly head mannequins and its purple walls which Sui painted herself.[50] Later in the year, Sui won the CFDA Perry Ellis award for new talent.[8]

In 1993, the Anna Sui Corporation opened a store in Hollywood at La Brea Avenue expanding coverage and controlling North American distribution.[51] The same year, Sui introduced menswear into her runway collections with Mick Jagger later appearing on Saturday Night Live in one of the designer's suits.[52]

Anna Sui Shoes, manufactured in Venice, Italy, premiered on the runway for the fall collection in 1994. Later, Sui began production of a diffusion fashion line called "Sui by Anna Sui" and a jeans line called "Anna Sui Jeans" with Italian fashion house, Gilmar S.p.A. The same year, Sui and Marc Jacobs also began consulting for Gilmar's Cento x Cento and Iceberg brand lines respectively.[53][54][55][56]

Starting in 1995, Sui's designs were showcased regularly in Vogue Patterns. Her debut with the style magazine featured dresses from her Spring/Summer 1995 collection inspired by period pulp comics and the puffed sleeve, square shouldered, floral dress fashion popular during the war rationing years of 1940's era fashion.[57] Vogue would later announce this 1940s floral style as the season's trend.[58]

Global expansion

Liu Wen on the runway at Anna Sui Fall/Winter 2010.

Liu Wen on the runway at Anna Sui Fall/Winter 2010.

1997 marked one of the pivotal years in the emergence of Sui onto the world stage. The first freestanding Anna Sui boutiques opened in 1997 in Tokyo and Osaka through a distribution and sales license with Isetan.[46] Sui also partnered with Italian shoemaker Ballin to create a shoe line.[57] For the Spring/Summer 1997 fashion collection, Sui drew considerable media attention when Dave Navarro of the Red Hot Chili Peppers appeared on the runway for her show in underwear only.[59][60] The same year, Sui designed her iconic mannequins together with New York gallerist Ralph Pucci. The mannequins were based on the measurements of actress Michele Hicks and would later form the inspiration for Sui's first diffusion brand, Dolly Girl.[8] Japanese magazine Spur featured a portrait of Sofia Coppola in one of Sui's 1997 Fall/Winter dresses complete with a beaded devil horn headband in its October edition. The Fall/Winter collection, which took place at the Church of Divine Paternity, a gothic style church in Manhattan, was noted at the time for its infusion of whimsy and lightheartedness and its repudiation of the conspicuously dark undertones traditionally associated with gothic fashion.[57]

In 1999, Anna Sui launched her fragrance, Anna Sui Classic, with Wella AG and cosmetics line with Albion.[46][61]

In 2000, Sui launched a skincare line, also with Albion.[8] The same year, her collections were featured as a part of the Fashion in Motion exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum.[17]

In 2003, the designer launched her Dolly Girl fragrance together with several limited edition sets in the Dolly Girl series.[46] The same year, Wella AG was acquired by Procter & Gamble who continued the partnership.[62] In 2003, Sui launched a long term collaboration collection with Peruvian designer Ali Rapp called Ali Rapp for Anna Sui. The collaboration consists of ready to wear, handbags, fashion accessories, T-shirts and cloth dolls. Items have been featured in Sui's shows in 2008 and 2013.[63]

In April 2004, the designer entered a collaboration with Dark Horse Comics and William Tucci designing the wardrobe for several of the main characters in Tucci's Shi: Ju-Nen,[64] a miniseries in the hit comic Shi. Sui took the wardrobes from her Fall 2004 fashion collection, with items including yukata kimono minidresses and purple hose and high-heels.[65][66] In October, Sui partnered with Gonzo K.K. Studios to design costumes for the characters in their 2004 television series Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, a series loosely based on The Count of Monte Cristo by French author Alexandre Dumas.[67]

In 2005, Sui was contracted by Samsung Electronics Co. in partnership with Vogue to design a Samsung SGH-E315 cell phone.[68] The limited edition handset which was available through T-Mobile sold out in the first month with products occasionally coming for sale on eBay.[69][70][71] Sui also partnered with Anthropologie to launch a fashion collection called Anna Sui for Anthropologie.[72][73] The same year, Sui also entered into a 2-year deal with Victoria's Secret designing a lingerie line for the company.[8]

In 2006, Anna Sui launched a limited edition Anna Sui Boho Barbie doll in partnership with Mattel. She later launched a limited edition collection with Victoria's Secret called Anna Sui for Victoria's Secret.[46]

For the Hello Kitty 30th Anniversary in 2007, Sui partnered with the Japanese company to create a limited edition collection in tribute to the milestone. The stuffed animals from this collection sell for over US$100.00 on eBay.[74] In November 2007, Sui followed up on the success of her US cell phone collaboration with the launch of the Dolly Girl by Anna Sui model fanfun. 815T cell phone in collaboration with Softbank Mobile which was distributed online in Japan.[75]

In 2008, Sui launched the Dolly Girl clothing collection in Japan to follow up on her previous fragrance lines. Later in 2008, Sui partnered with Nissan to design a customized car, the Nissan 350z Anna Sui Limited Edition which was featured at various roadshows.

Specialized collections

Jessica Stam walking the Anna Sui show in February 2009.

Jessica Stam walking the Anna Sui show in February 2009.

The model parade during Sui's Winter 2010 show.

The model parade during Sui's Winter 2010 show.

In 2009, Sui partnered with Target to produce a Gossip Girl inspired line combining Upper East Side style with a "downtown" edge called Anna Sui for Target. The limited edition collection was available for several weeks in September being sold in over 800 stores and online.[76] A children's line known as "Anna Sui Mini" debuted in early 2009 in Japan[77] and her Rock Me! fragrance launched later in the year.[77] She further entered into a distribution agreement with Mondottica for eyewear distribution under the Anna Sui Eyewear brand[78] and launched a collaboration collection with Bliss called Anna Sui for FitFlop.[79][80]

Later in 2009, Sui was presented with the Classic Icon of Fashion Design award at the China Fashion Awards in Beijing and with the CFDA's Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award in her native New York City.[77][81]

In 2010, Sui collaborated with Andrew Bolton to publish a book chronicling her 20-year career.[82] Later in the year, she launched her Forbidden Affair fragrance. The 2010 SAT test given to students across the United States as a university entrance examination featured a question on the designer.[83]

In 2011, she partnered with Hush Puppies to create a limited edition shoe collection which debuted in the Fall 2011 fashion show. She went on to also partner with Tumi to create a line of suitcases and travel items.[84] Later in the year, Sui collaborated with Google to create a themed Google Chrome web browser extension.[85] She also entered into a fragrance license with InterParfums for fragrance and perfume distribution.[46] In April, Sui attended the Identities 2011 fashion show at Harvard College where she spoke to the students and was honored with the program's Leadership of the Arts Award.[86]

In 2012, Sui collaborated with Coach and created a handbag line called Anna Sui for Coach.[87] The designer also worked on a collaboration between Mondottica and Fellow Earthlings to produce sunglasses for the designer's fashion shows.[88]

From May to November 2013, clothing from Sui's 1999 and 2000 collections were featured at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology as a part of their RetroSpective: Fashion & Textile History Gallery exhibition.[89] In November Sui and Albion partnered with Asos to launch a Fall/Winter 2013 Anna Sui Cosmetics line in Europe. The series featured a collaboration with Disney.[90]

On February 2, 2014, Lee Min-ho announced the Anna Sui for Fila collection on behalf of Anta Sports Products[91] and Fila China which launched in 2015.[92][93] In April, Sui returned to her native Detroit to partner with the Ford Motor Company in creating the Mustang Unleashed Collection celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the Ford Mustang.[94] Later in April, Sui and Hong Kong based I.T. Apparels Ltd partnered with Lab Made, a Hong Kong ice cream vendor famous for pioneering the obscure market of liquid nitrogen ice cream to create an Anna Sui × Lab Made pop-up store which was featured at the company's Tsimshatsui branch throughout April 2014. The collaboration also featured Sui's own flavor of purple ice cream and the opening was announced by Hong Kong celebrity Alfred Hui, a contract artist for Hong Kong's Television Broadcasts Limited.[95] In July, Sui launched a lingerie line in Korea with Alvin Korea Co. Ltd. which was launched with a full scale lingerie fashion show at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Seoul.[96] In October, Sui partnered with the CFDA to launch a collaboration with Best Buy called Anna Sui × Best Buy as a part of their designer's series.[97]

In March 2015, Sui and Isetan partnered with Sailor Moon to launch the Sailor Moon × Anna Sui collection which was featured at the Isetan store in Shinjuku.[98][99] Sui also partnered with French dessert maker Ladurée to create a collaboration called Anna Sui × Ladurée as a part of the Les Merveilleuses Ladurée collection.[100][101] In April 2015, Sui partnered with O'Neill to launch the collaborative collection titled Anna Sui for O'Neill, a collection inspired by the California beach scene.[102] Later, in June 2015, Sui relocated her Soho flagship store to Broome Street from its previous 23 year long location on Greene Street.[50][103] In August, Sui partnered with American boot-maker The Frye Company to launch a limited edition collection titled Anna Sui × Frye, which expanded a previous collaboration between the two houses to develop boots for Sui's Fall/Winter 2015 fashion show. The collection was inspired by Nordic culture and History Channel's show Vikings.[104][105][106][107] Later, on August 13, the 20th anniversary of Sui's entry into the Japanese market, Anna Sui Japan launched Anna Sui Mag., an online Japanese language magazine and lifestyle blog.[108] For Singapore's Golden Jubilee, Sui partnered with Uniform and Shentonista to create a commemorative SG50 tote featured in a blog series by Shentonista.[109] Later in November 2015, the Starbucks × Anna Sui collection was announced, a holiday collaboration between the coffeehouse chain and the fashion designer.[110][111]

In January 2016, Starbucks continued its collaboration line with Sui via online sales.[112] In February, Sui partnered with Opening Ceremony to collaborate on the label's "Year of China" Spring Summer 2016 collection which also featured brands like Renli Su, Ms Min and Vivienne Tam amongst others.[113][114] For the collaboration, Sui and Opening Ceremony reissued pieces from Sui's 1993 and 1994 collections.[15] Later in March, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings and its subsidiary Mammina announced the launch of new brand partnership with Anna Sui Corp called The Souvenir Shop Anna Sui[115] which covers travel retail items and fashion accessories.[116] Stores launched in downtown areas and at airports marking the first time Anna Sui fashion products were available as duty free goods.[117] In June 2016, a historical retrospective of Sui's designs was on display at the Beijing SKP department store. The collection featured iconic Anna Sui design items and outfits dating from Sui's first show in 1991 through her 2016 collections.[118][119] Late in the year, Sui launched a new product line called Anna Sui Home & Interior for global rollout with initial distribution covering Japan.[14]

In January 2017, Sui collaborated with Kenner/Takara to launch Blythe Adores Anna doll collection.[120] The collection released in Japan with a further 500 dolls being further released via international lottery.[121][122] In May, London's Fashion and Textile Museum debuted an Anna Sui exhibition titled The World of Anna Sui. The exhibition marks the first ever museum retrospective in the United Kingdom featuring an American fashion designer and the first time Sui has been the sole subject of a museum exposition.[123][124] The exhibition announcement coincided with the announcement of a new book on Sui's career by The Business of Fashion's Editor-at-Large, Tim Blanks.[15] The Anna Sui X INC International Concepts collection for Macy's was announced for September 2017 featuring model Karen Elson.[125]


Karlie Kloss on the runway at the Anna Sui show in September 2011.

Karlie Kloss on the runway at the Anna Sui show in September 2011.

For her innovative work, Sui has been called a designer who "never panders" by The New York Times,[126] and earned the distinction of being named to Time magazine's list of the decade's top five fashion icons.[5] Sui's work has been extensively covered both by the journalist industry as a whole and by the fashion press in particular. Her seasonal shows are regularly covered by Vogue, Style.com, Women's Wear Daily and many other news and editorial platforms. In general, the ambiance created in the designer's shows is particularly well received with the media commenting on details such as the anticipation surrounding the soundtracks to the playful and lighthearted environment.[127][128] Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week called Sui's career "a classic American success story," quoting Sui's determined attitude: "You have to focus on your dreams, even if they go beyond common sense. How could this young girl from the suburbs of Detroit become a success in New York? It was always that dream."[129] Reviews generally refer to the thoroughness of the designer's research and her tying together of various trends and topics both historical and current.[17]

Sui's designs continue to attract many famous clients such as Blake Lively, Naomi Campbell, Sofia Coppola, Liv Tyler, the Duchess of Cambridge[130] and Courtney Love.[131][132][133]

Charity and community involvement

Sasha Pivovarova at the Anna Sui show in February 2008.

Sasha Pivovarova at the Anna Sui show in February 2008.

In 1996, Sui partnered with General Motors Corporation as a part of the GM/CFDA Concept: Cure collaboration between General Motors and various fashion industry companies, raising awareness about and raising research funds for breast cancer. As a part of the program, Sui designed a GMC Yukon which was sold at silent auction to raise funds.[134]

Following the September 11th attacks in 2001 on New York's World Trade Center, Sui worked with Ellen Barkin designing an outfit to raise funds to benefit the Leary Firefighters Foundation and the firefighters who perished in the response.[135]

Sui designs and manufactures her signature collection in her New York City headquarters on Fashion Avenue and has been an advocate of her Made in USA approach.[136] In addition to her work as a designer, Sui has ardently fought to keep the industry alive and has spearheaded a campaign to "Save the Garment Center," which was highlighted during Fashion Week in September 2008.[137][138]

Following the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Sui put several of her designs up for auction on eBay, donating the proceeds to Citizens for Justice and Peace, a Mumbai-based civil-rights organization.[139]

In 2010, Sui partnered with Isetan and Bearbrick in a charity event benefitting the World Wildlife Foundation and Malaysia's Forest Restoration and Orang-utan Monitoring Project, with proceeds from a limited edition collection going to the cause.[140]

In March 2011, following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan, Sui designed and sold shirts in lavender and black printed with the words Japan, We're All in This Together. All proceeds were turned over to the Japan Disaster Relief Fund.[141][142]

In 2012, Sui worked with musician and friend Jack White to design uniforms for employees at White's Third Man Records retail store which opened in Nashville in November 2012. A second location also opened in Detroit's Cass Corridor in November 2015 also featuring Sui's uniform dresses.[143][144]

In September 2014, in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, Warner Bros. and the Tonner Doll Company organized the creation of a collection of commemorative dolls designed by several famous American designers including Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Charlotte Ronson, Trina Turk and Sui. The collection of dolls was exhibited at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Bloomingdale's between September and October 2014 before being auctioned on eBay Giving Works with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity's There's No Place Like Home campaign.[145][146]

In June 2015, Sui partnered with New York restaurant Serendipity 3 in a charity fundraiser to celebrate the restaurant's 60 year anniversary benefiting the Bowery Mission, a rescue mission and shelter in the Bowery area of Manhattan.[147][138]

Sui regularly gives lectures to students and around the United States to inspire future generations to pursue their dreams. In October 2015, Sui spoke to local students about her experiences at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor as a part of the University of Michigan's Penny Stamps Speaker Series hosted by the Stamps School of Art and Design.[148] Sui emphasized the need to not be intimidated by the industry which is sometimes described as cutthroat, even recounting her experiences from when she had been fired from a position at a sportswear company early in her career. Following the lecture, some of Sui's designs went on display as part of the Detroit Historical Museum's Booth-Wilkinson Gallery exhibition Fashion D.Fined: The Past, Present and Future of Detroit Fashion.[148]

In January 2017, Sui showcased a pair of Vans shoes she designed to benefit the Vans Custom Culture competition, an annual campaign by Vans raising funds and awareness for high school art programs.[149][150]

In 2018, Sui received the Women's Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Award[151] at the United Nations in recognition for her achievements in fashion.[152]



In 1997, Sui entered into a partnership with Isetan to create a fashion accessories line.[46] The line is distributed by Mammina in Japan and present in the United States, Korea, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.[153]


The Anna Sui Cosmetics line launched in 1999 via a distribution sales agreement with Albion Cosmetics. An Anna Sui Skincare line, similarly with Albion followed this up in 2000.[8][17] The cosmetics line releases two seasonal collections per year based on the fashion cycle. The cosmetics line covers various categories including base and makeup, eyes, lips, nails, skincare, hair and body, and cosmetics accessories.[154]

In 2010, Anna Sui Cosmetics announced Park Min Young as the brand's key opinion leader in South Korea.[155][156]

In October 2016, Anna Sui Cosmetics and Nylon Japan launched a Halloween collaboration called Anna Sui × Nylon: Halloween Makeup Room at MODI in Shibuya.[157] In August the same year, Sui released her Autumn 2016 collection called Mysterious Fairy Tale.[158]

The following is an incomplete list of Anna Sui's Cosmetics collections:

Spring 2007Glamour Meets Retro: Art Deco GirlAlbion CosmeticsGlobal Seasonal collectionLily Cole[159]
Autumn 2007Glamour Meets Retro: Art Deco GirlAlbion CosmeticsGlobal Seasonal collectionLily Cole[159][160]
Autumn 2009Asia CollectionAlbion CosmeticsAsian Seasonal collectionAgyness Deyn[159]
Spring 2010Asia CollectionAlbion CosmeticsAsian Seasonal CollectionAgyness Deyn[159]
Autumn 2010Kaleidoscope of ColorAlbion CosmeticsGlobal Seasonal CollectionFrida Gustavsson[159][161]
Autumn 2010Asia CollectionAlbion CosmeticsAsian Seasonal CollectionAgyness Deyn[159]
Spring 2011Albion CosmeticsGlobal Seasonal CollectionFrida Gustavsson[159]
Autumn 2011Albion CosmeticsGlobal Seasonal CollectionFrida Gustavsson[159]
Spring 2012Albion CosmeticsGlobal Seasonal CollectionFrida Gustavsson[159]
Autumn 2012Rebel Girl[162]Albion CosmeticsGlobal Seasonal CollectionChrystal Copland[159]
2013Anna Sui Beauty 2013Albion CosmeticsGlobal Annual CollectionChrystal Copland[159]
Spring 2013Drama Queen[163]Albion CosmeticsGlobal Seasonal CollectionChrystal Copland
Spring 2015Albion CosmeticsGlobal Seasonal CollectionIne Neefs[159]
Autumn 2015Albion CosmeticsGlobal Seasonal CollectionIne Neefs[159]
Spring 2016Albion CosmeticsGlobal Seasonal CollectionMaartje Verhoef[159]
Autumn 2016Mysterious Fairy Tale[158]Albion CosmeticsGlobal Seasonal Collection
October 2016Anna Sui x Nylon: Halloween Style[157]Albion CosmeticsJapanese Non Seasonal CollectionNairu Yamamoto, Amy, Shinjyu Ried


Sui has done 2 seasonal fashion shows every year since 1991 representing the Anna Sui global fashion collections with the exception of the Spring/Summer 2002 show which she canceled in respect to the victims of the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers.[57] Design and production takes place in New York City's Garment Center.[136] The designer also has produced two seasonal Japanese collections since 1997 based on the global collections and a Resort collection since 2007.[164] In addition to the seasonal shows, Sui also has partnered with a variety of brands and companies such as Hush Puppies, Target Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Tumi, Isetan, Fila, O'Neill, Samsung, Mattel, Coach, T-Mobile, Victoria's Secret and Vogue to produce limited edition collections.

In 1997, Sui began a partnership with Isetan Mitsukoshi covering Sui's fashion label in Japan.[46]

In April 2016, the Anna Sui Japan Spring/Summer 16 show was premiered in Tokyo to kick off the collection's launch with much fanfare in celebration of the designer's 20th Anniversary in Japan.[165]

The following is an incomplete list of Sui's fashion shows and collections:

List of Anna Sui fashion collections by date
Anna Sui 19911991Press Week of New YorkUnknownUnknown
Anna Sui Winter 19911991Press Week of New YorkUnknownSwinging Sixties London[57]
Anna Sui Spring 19921991Press Week of New YorkUnknownBarbie[57]
Anna Sui Fall 19921992Press Week of New YorkUnknownSwinging Sixties London[57]
Anna Sui Spring 19931992New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkLondon Grunge[57]
Anna Sui Fall 19931993New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkCharles Baudelaire[57]
Anna Sui Spring 19941993New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkGrunge[57]
Anna Sui Fall 19941994New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkChanel, Balenciaga, and McCardell[57]
Anna Sui Spring 19951994New York Fashion WeekBryant Park1970's Funk[57][166]
Anna Sui Fall 19951995New York Fashion WeekBryant Park1940s and 1960s[57][167]
Anna Sui Spring 19961995New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkPreppie[57]
Anna Sui Fall 19961996New York Fashion WeekBryant Park1920s British Vogue and 1970s Twig[168]
Anna Sui Spring 19971996New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkHippie[57]
Anna Sui Fall 19971997New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkLeicester Square[57]
Anna Sui Spring 19981997New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkSurfer[57]
Anna Sui Fall 19981998New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkFairytale[57]
Anna Sui Spring 19991998New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkEuro/English[57]
Anna Sui Fall 19991999New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkTechnicolor, golden age cinema[57]
Anna Sui Spring 20001999New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkIndia/Rococo Gypsy[57]
Anna Sui Fall 20002000New York Fashion WeekBryant Parkhippie-chic[57]
Anna Sui Spring 20012000New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkMudd Club/Grunge[57]
Anna Sui Fall 20012001New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkThe Factory (Warhol)[57]
Anna Sui Spring 20022001Show cancelled due to 9/11N/AN/A[57]
Anna Sui Fall 20022002New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkFairy Tale[57]
Anna Sui Spring 20032002New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkSport[57]
Anna Sui Fall 20032003New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkLondon boutique Biba[57]
Anna Sui Spring 20042003New York Fashion WeekBryant Parkteenage surfer girl[57]
Anna Sui Fall 20042004New York Fashion WeekBryant Park60s London[57]
Anna Sui Spring 20052004New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkWild West[57]
Anna Sui Fall 20052005New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkLouise Nevelson/Junk Art[57]
Anna Sui Spring 20062005New York Fashion WeekBryant ParkGazette du Bon Ton[57]
Anna Sui Fall 20062006New York Fashion WeekBryant Park60s chic[57]
Anna Sui Spring 20072006Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekBryant ParkThe New York Dolls/Marie Antoinette/Suleiman the Magnificent[57]
Anna Sui Fall 20072007Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekBryant ParkPre-pop[57]
Anna Sui Resort 20082007UnknownUnknownOssie Clark[57]
Anna Sui Spring 20082007Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekBryant ParkBusby Berkeley/Biba[57]
Anna Sui Fall 20082008Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekBryant ParkPre-Raphaelite/Medievalism/Gustav Klimt/American Indians[57]
Anna Sui Resort 20092008UnknownUnknownPsychedelia[57]
Anna Sui Spring 20092008Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekBryant ParkSpanish toreador[57]
Anna Sui Fall 20092009Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekBryant Park1890s[57]
Anna Sui Resort 20102009UnknownUnknownSundress
Anna Sui for Target[169]2009Collection LaunchUSAGossip Girl
Anna Sui Spring 20102009Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekBryant ParkSpring Fling
Anna Sui Fall 20102010Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekBryant ParkAmerican Arts and Crafts Movement
Anna Sui Resort 20112010UnknownUnknownromantic and dreamy
Anna Sui Spring 20112010Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekBryant ParkPioneer/60s L.A.
Anna Sui Fall 20112011Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekBryant ParkOrmsby-Gore sisters, Ballet Russes
Anna Sui Resort 20122011UnknownUnknownDavid Hicks' Paris shop
Anna Sui Spring 20122011Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekBryant ParkAntonio Lopez/Club Sept/Paris 1970s[170]
Anna Sui for Tumi 2012[171]2013Collection LaunchGlobalLuggage Sets
Anna Sui for Hush Puppies[172]2012Collection LaunchGlobalVintage and Rock
Anna Sui Fall 20122012Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekBryant Parkfantasy/textile design
Anna Sui Resort 20132012UnknownUnknownArt Nouveau
Anna Sui for Coach[173]2012Collection LaunchGlobalArt Nouveau
Anna Sui Spring 20132012Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekBryant ParkLondon/New York Punk/Second French Empire
Anna Sui Fall 20132013Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (Fall)Lincoln Center'60s nostalgia/French New Wave Cinema[174][175]
Anna Sui Resort 20142013UnknownUnknownBoho-chic
Anna Sui for Tumi 2013[171]2013Collection LaunchGlobalLuggage Sets
Anna Sui Spring 20142013Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (Spring)Lincoln CenterPre-Raphaelite[176]
Anna Sui Fall 20142014Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (Fall)Lincoln Center1920s Art Deco[174]
Anna Sui Resort 20152014UnknownUnknownArt Deco
Anna Sui for FILA[177]2014Collection LaunchAsiaSportswear
Mustang Unleashed Collection[94]2014Collection LaunchGlobalVintage
Anna Sui Spring 20152014Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (Spring)Lincoln CenterRetro 70s prints[178]
Anna Sui Fall 20152015Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (Fall)Lincoln CenterVikings[105]
Anna Sui Resort 20162015UnknownUnknown'70s boho[179]
Anna Sui for O'Neill[102]2015Collection LaunchGlobalBeach-Ready
Anna Sui × Frye[107]2015Collection LaunchUSAFootwear
Anna Sui × Sailor Moon[98]2015Collection LaunchJapanCollectibles
Anna Sui × Starbucks[111]2015Collection LaunchAsiaHoliday Collectibles
Anna Sui Spring 20162015Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (Spring)Skylight at Moynihan Stationexotic Polynesia[180]
Anna Sui Fall 20162016Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (Fall)Skylight at Moynihan StationPeter Blake, Niki de Saint Phalle, Barbara Hulanicki[181]
Anna Sui Resort 20172016UnknownUnknown90's Grunge[182]
Anna Sui Spring 20172016Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (Spring)Skylight at Moynihan StationMiss American Pie[183]
Anna Sui Fall 20172017Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (Fall)Skylight Clarkson SquareElsa Schiaparelli, Elsie de Wolfe, Dorothy di Frasso, Blithe Spirit[138]


In 1994, Sui launched Anna Sui Footwear through a partnership with Italian shoemaker Ballin with design taking place in New York and production in Venice, Italy.[46]

Since 2009, Sui has collaborated with British ergonomic footwear company FitFlop to produce a shoe line called Anna Sui x FitFlop, comprising multiple collections.

In September 2016, the Anna Sui Loves FitFlop collection was launched. Product design was based on Sui's Spring/Summer 2016 fashion collection and the designer's Tahitian heritage. It is distributed globally by FitFlop to Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, US, UK and Vietnam.[184]


Karmen Pedaru at the Anna Sui show in November 2011.

Karmen Pedaru at the Anna Sui show in November 2011.

Frida Gustavsson on the runway in November 2011.

Frida Gustavsson on the runway in November 2011.

Sui introduced her fragrance and line in 1999 with Wella AG, to date the designer has launched a variety of cosmetic items and 30 individual fragrance products with most coming in different sizes. The designer's current fragrance license is with French company Inter Parfums and generally releases two hero fragrances per year.[8]

The following is a list of Sui's fragrance collections:

1999Anna Sui Classic[185]Wella AGJacques Huclier
2000Sui Dreams[186]Wella AGPart of the Sui Dreams CollectionPhilippe Romano
2002Sui Love[187]Wella AGJean-Louis Grauby
2003Dolly Girl[188]Wella AG/Procter & GamblePart of the Dolly Girl CollectionBenoist Lapouza
2004Dolly Girl Ooh La Love[189]Procter & GamblePart of the Dolly Girl CollectionFrank Voelkl
2005Secret Wish[190]Procter & GamblePart of the Secret Wish CollectionMichel Almairac
2006Dolly Girl On The Beach[191]Procter & GamblePart of the Dolly Girl Collection
2006Secret Wish Magic Romance[192]Procter & GamblePart of the Secret Wish Collection
2007Dolly Girl Bonjour L'Amour[193]Procter & GamblePart of the Dolly Girl Collection
2007Flight of Fancy[194]Procter & GamblePart of the Fancy Collection
2008Dolly Girl Lil' Starlet[195]Procter & GamblePart of the Dolly Girl Collection
2008Night of Fancy[196]Procter & GamblePart of the Fancy Collection
2009Live Your Dream[197]Procter & Gamble
2009Rock Me![198]Procter & GamblePart of the Rock Me Collection
2010Forbidden Affair[199]Procter & Gamble
2010Rock Me! Summer of Love[200]Procter & GamblePart of the Rock Me Collection
2012Secret Wish Fairy Dance[201]Inter Parfums
2013La Vie de Bohème[202]Inter ParfumsPart of the Bohème CollectionPhilippe Romano
2013Tin House Fairy Dance[203]Inter ParfumsPart of the Tin House Collection
2013Tin House Flight of Fancy[203]Inter ParfumsPart of the Tin House Collection
2013Tin House Forbidden Affair[203]Inter ParfumsPart of the Tin House Collection
2013Tin House Secret Wish[203]Inter ParfumsPart of the Tin House Collection
2014La Nuit de Bohème[204]Inter ParfumsPart of the Bohème CollectionJérome Epinette
Michel Almairac
2014La Nuit de Bohème Eau de Parfum[205]Inter ParfumsPart of the Bohème CollectionPhilippe Romano
2014Sui Dreams in Pink[206]Inter ParfumsPart of the Sui Dreams CollectionClaudette Belnavis
2015Romantica[207]Inter ParfumsPart of the Romantica CollectionSteven DeMercado
2015Sui Dreams in Green[208][209]Inter ParfumsPart of the Sui Dreams CollectionPierre Negrin
2016Sui Dreams in Yellow[210]Inter ParfumsPart of the Sui Dreams Collection
2016Lucky Wish[211][212]Inter ParfumsPart of the Secret Wish CollectionMathieu Nardin
2016Romantica Exotica[213]Inter ParfumsPart of the Romantica CollectionJerome Epinette
2016L'Amour Rose[214]Inter Parfums
2017Fantasia[215]Inter Parfums
2017L'Amour Rose Versailles Eau de Toilette[216]Inter Parfums
2017L'Amour Rose Versailles Eau de Parfum[217]Inter Parfums


In 2009, Sui launched Anna Sui Vision with Mondottica Limited for manufacture and distribution of spectacles and sunglasses as Anna Sui Eyewear.[78]

In 2012, the designer worked on a collaboration between Mondottica and Fellow Earthlings to produce sunglasses for Sui's fashion shows.[88]

In 2016, Sui introduced a contact lens line under the agreement distributed in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.[218]

Bridge lines

Anna Sui Jeans

Anna Sui Jeans was a bridge line launched in 1994 by the designer and Italian fashion company Gilmar S.P.A. The Italian company was also involved in collaborating on the designer's main Anna Sui line and Sui had been designing and consulting for several Gilmar brands including Cento X Cento together with Marc Jacobs.[219] Around this time, Gilmar also rolled out a jeans line for Christian Lacroix. Sui collaborated on branding for the line with New York artist Michael Economy and the collaboration with Gilmar lasted until 2004.[220][221]

Anna Sui Mini

In 2009, Sui partnered with Isetan and Narumiya International to create Anna Sui Mini, a line for babies, toddlers and children. The line is distributed in Japan through 25 stores, at Isetan and Mitsukoshi department stores and through online sales.[222]

Dolly Girl by Anna Sui

Sui designed her iconic dolly-head mannequins that populated her store together with New York gallerist Ralph Pucci. The mannequins were based on the measurements of actress Michele Hicks and would later form the inspiration for what would become Dolly Girl.[8] The dolly heads became icons of Sui's fashion style and were given further recognition in 2003 when the designer released a perfume called Dolly Girl. This perfume was later expanded to an entire fragrance collection with multiple Dolly Girl Collection releases since its first appearance.[46] In 2008, Dolly Girl by Anna Sui was formally launched in Japan in partnership with Isetan and Onward Kashiyama to further develop and produce the concept.[1] Sui collaborated with art director Michael Economy on the line's branding elements.[223]

The brand line is sold in over 50 standalone stores throughout Japan and focuses on fashion and fashion accessories. There are typically 3 seasonal collection releases and combined with additional smaller monthly collections.

The brand launched two Winter 2015-16 collections titled "Fantasy Folklore" and "Glitter in the Woods" featuring models Sam Laskey and Julia Belyakova respectively with both collections drawing inspiration from fairy tales and 70's style folklore.[224][225]

In 2016, Dolly Girl by Anna Sui launched its Summer 2016 collection titled "Colorful Paradise" and a follow up called "Mexican Dolls." The collections explored the colorful indigenous clothing found in Mexican states such as Chiapas and the State of Mexico and included Sui's take on traditional Mexican fashion items such as serapes, rebozos and even traditional Aztec huipils.[226] For the celebration of the designer's 20th anniversary in Japan, Sui released a special edition collection titled "Happy Dolly Girl Land." The collection featured carnival-inspired motifs and patterns infused into the clothing design.[227] Late in the year, the Winter 2016-17 collection was released, titled "Into the Night Forest" with inspiration taken from fairy tales and visuals featuring full-scale layered paper models.[228]

Sui by Anna Sui

Sui by Anna Sui was the designer's second bridge line launched in close proximity with her Jeans line together with Gilmar S.P.A. in 1994. The Sui by Anna Sui line and her jeans line continued under operation after the designer left her designer job at Gilmar's Cento X Cento.[229][230] The line focused on sportswear for men and women with Sui directly controlling branding and design and was distributed globally by Gilmar.[231]

The Souvenir Shop Anna Sui

The Souvenir Shop Anna Sui is a diffusion brand line formed through a collaboration between Isetan Mitsukoshi and Anna Sui Corporation and distributed by Mammina Company which launched in March 2016. The line is sold in locations throughout Japan including airports, significant because it marks the first time Anna Sui fashion accessories were available as duty-free products and online via Isetan and Mitsukoshi.[115] The collaboration features 70 new stores and boutiques and taps into the travel retail market.[116]

Published works


The following is an incomplete list of Sui's literary works:

  • Isetan (February 15, 2008). Sui, Anna; Chigira, Keiko (eds.). Anna Sui が発信するコスメティック We Love Anna Sui [259] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Takarajimasha Inc. ISBN 978-4-8002-4385-0.

  • Sui, Anna (2010). Flight of Fancy Journal [260] . New York: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0811868303 – via Google Books.

  • Sui, Anna (2010). Anna Sui Calico Cabaret Journal [261] . New York: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0811868389 – via Google Books.

  • Sui, Anna (2011). Fashion Idea Book [262] . New York: Chronicle Books. ISBN 1452101442 – via Google Books.

  • Isetan (2011). Sui, Anna (ed.). Anna Sui: 15th Happy Anniversary in Japan [263] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Takarajimasha Inc. ISBN 978-4-7966-8014-1.

  • Bolton, Andrew (May 7, 2013). Sui, Anna; White, Jack; Meisel, Steven (eds.). Anna Sui [264] . New York: Chronicle Books. ISBN 1452128596 – via Google Books.

  • Isetan (August 27, 2015). Sui, Anna (ed.). アナスイ: 日本上陸20周年記念 Anna Sui 20th Anniversary!: Thanks To Japan! [265] (in Japanese). 1. Tokyo: Takarajimasha Inc. ISBN 978-4-8002-4385-0.

  • Isetan (November 12, 2015). Sui, Anna (ed.). アナスイ: 日本上陸20周年記念 Anna Sui 20th Anniversary!: Anna As A Designer [266] (in Japanese). 2. Tokyo: Takarajimasha Inc. ISBN 978-4-8002-4388-1.

  • Isetan (February 23, 2016). Sui, Anna (ed.). アナスイ: 日本上陸20周年記念 Anna Sui 20th Anniversary!: Happy Celebration [267] (in Japanese). 3. Tokyo: Takarajimasha Inc. ISBN 978-4-8002-4390-4.

  • Isetan (May 26, 2016). Sui, Anna (ed.). アナスイ: 日本上陸20周年記念 Anna Sui 20th Anniversary!: Anna's Amazing Collection [268] (in Japanese). 4. Tokyo: Takarajimasha Inc. ISBN 978-4-8002-4407-9.

  • Isetan (August 25, 2016). Sui, Anna (ed.). アナスイ: 日本上陸20周年記念 Anna Sui 20th Anniversary!: "Pop-sydelic" world [269] (in Japanese). 5. Tokyo: Takarajimasha Inc. ISBN 978-4-8002-4409-3.


  • Bolton, Andrew; Sui, Anna; Chen, Eva; Rocero, Geena; Gumpert, Lynn (June 2015). Asian American Life [270] (Video). New York City: City University Television (CUNY-TV) – via MuckRack.com.

Video/film and television appearances

During filming of Confessions of a Shopaholic in 2008, a faux Anna Sui store was mocked up inside the Hearst Tower for the movie set, which also included mock-up stores for Valentino, Catherine Malandrino and Alberta Ferretti. The stunt fooled some New Yorkers into believing an actual stores had been opened.[232]

1994Hi Octane[233]Herself(TV series) Episode 1.3
2008Bravo A-List Awards[233]Herself(TV special)
2010The City[233]Herself(TV show) Episode: "Show 'Em What You Got"
2010America's Next Top Model[233]Herself(TV show) Season 14, episode 11: "America's Next Top Model Is..."
2011Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel[233]Herself(Documentary)
2012Project Runway[233]Herself(TV show) Season 10, episode 8: "Starving artist"
2011Fashion News Live[233]Herself(TV show) Season 15, episode 42
2013Tumi Case Studies[234]Herself(Short Series) Episode: "Anna Sui"
2014Make It in America: Empowering Global Fashion[233]Herself(Documentary)
2017Uncensored with Michael Ware: Fashion Week Wars[235][236]Herself(TV show) Season 1, episode 2

See also

  • Mudd Club

  • Parsons The New School for Design

  • Steven Meisel

  • Naomi Campbell

  • Linda Evangelista

  • Sofia Coppola


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