Born and raised in Detroit, educated and discovered in New York, Anna Sui reinvented pop culture fashion with her signature rock-and-roll romantic label in the 1990s and has remained a design icon ever since. Beginning with her premiere catwalk show in 1991, Sui has shaped not only the garments, textiles, accessories, cosmetics, and interiors that comprise her design universe, but also the course of fashion history by popularizing the boutique fashion look. Sui’s unique approach to creating narratives through her work is legendary: a self-taught historian of culture, art, and fashion, she samples music, books, exhibitions, movies, time periods, photography, and art movements in her designs.
Over the years, Sui has explored wide-ranging materials and inspirations, including papier-mâché mannequin heads; linens by Vera; Claire McCardle sportswear; army surplus jackets; Japanese hankies; qipao dresses; wood-soled platforms from Goody Two-Shoes; the style of Jane Holzer, Zandra Rhodes, and Anita Pallenberg; and Minnie Mouse. Her collections are replete with references, processed and creatively reimagined through the filter of Anna Sui.