Step off the elevator at Anna Sui’s showroom and you’re greeted by purple walls and posters of models, each made up vintage Anna-style: dramatic eye shadow, black liner, and shiny lips — all-out glam. Inside, the ceilings drip with crystal chandeliers and Tiffany fixtures, and doll heads with smartly bobbed hairstyles decorate just about every surface. We sat down with the designer, a fascinating, cultured, music-savvy world traveler, to learn about the objects and inspirations that influence her inimitable look.
Fave NYC flea market:
The Antiques Garage Showplace on 25th Street
I’m obsessed with black pearls. My cousin went to Tahiti and brought me back two of them, which my favorite 25th street vendor made into earrings; my dad bought me the ring years ago.
The Silk Road, starting in Western China
I carry a pouch containing a ring my mom gave to me at every fashion show. It’s my good luck charm.
Korean mother-of-pearl inlay inspired one of my latest cosmetic bags. I took two trips to Singapore last year. So, I must really like it.
One of my favorite prints from a few springs ago was covered in stars. We repurposed it into books for a special event in Japan – my brother Eddie’s wedding; my grandparents were still alive and we were all together.
My favorite flea market vendor made this for me – some parts are Chinese, mixed with old Victorian amethysts.
I’m crazy for:
Chinese-inspired chinoiserie and Peranakan ceramics and their unusual color combinations.
On repeat :
Mixed tape from my niece
Soko, Something Makes You Feel Like
For inspiration, I love the Jalan Surabaya Flea Market in Jarkarta, Indonesia and NYC museums – NYC has the world’s best.
First dance pick:
“Alfie” from What’s It All About: Burt Bacharach Reimagined