Anna Sui is a New York-based Chinese-American fashion designer known worldwide for her playful creations and whimsical runway shows. Sui was born in 1955 and raised in Detroit, but relocated to New York City after graduating high school to study at Parsons School of Design.
While attending Parsons, Sui found a collaborator and close friend in Steven Meisel, who has gone on to become one of the world’s top fashion photographers. In 1980, Sui showed a mere six original pieces at the Boutique Show and immediately received an order from Macy’s department store, who in turn one used of her designs in a New York Times advertisement.
That same fateful year, she launched her own label that was headquartered out of her apartment throughout the 1980s. Sui’s debut collection hit the catwalk at New York’s fashion week in April 1991. It featured her signature “head-to-toe” look, and prompted the New York Times to declare it “pastiche of hip and haute styles.”
She is known for her mixing of styles finding inspiration in everything from the classic Chanel suit to Haight Ashbury hippie chic to glam rock of the 1970s. A favorite ofPatricia Arquette, Christina Ricci, Cher, Naomi Campbell, Sofia Coppola and Courtney Love, Sui’s funky, purple-walled boutiques can be found in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Osaka, Japan.