We've been huge devotees of Anna Sui ever since we sent her fan mail at the age of 12—and she actually took the time to write back—on gorgeus stationery in her trademark purple, no less. As the designer celebrates 30 years in the biz with a self-titled retrospective book, re-releases of her three "greatest hits" from her collection with Anthropologie, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the CFDA last year, here are just a few more reasons why Anna Sui is a quintessential New York designer.
1. Anna Sui, the label, is entirely owned by Sui herself, which is a rarity in this era of big businesses and conglomerates owning a slew of different brands. Being her own boss and owner means Sui only has to answer to herself. She doesn't compromise her designs or creativity for anyone!
2. A tireless fan of rock'n'roll (and probably a musician in a past life), Sui has excellent taste in music. Her fashion shows' playlists are always some of the best each Fashion Week. "Right now I'm listening to Karen Elson's new album and country-influenced stuff like Band of Horses," she tells the WSJ.
4. Her first apartment in New York had a leopard-print kitchen, her living room was red, and her bed was draped in black chiffon (WSJ).
5. She's a huge proponent for the garment district. A few seasons back, Sui filled goody bags at her Spring 2008 runway show with "Save the Garment Center" t-shirts, rather than the typical throwaway tchotchkes. "It’s not just designers who are affected,”she said in an interview in the NYTimes, on her responsibility to her vendors and the local district's businesses.