Creator of her eponymous fashion and beauty empire, Anna Sui lets us in on her inspiration and must-haves
AS: Style is about spirit and attitude. I believe in making an effort, experimenting with new ideas, opting for a little glamour, not taking yourself so seriously…
AS: For over-the-top fantasy and luxury, I adore the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel in Jodhpur. Being there is like staying in a fantastical fairy-tale castle!
AS: Last summer we went to Tahiti and it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. My vision of an exotic Polynesia was already developed before I left on my recent summer vacation there with my family. Of course the reality of being there far surpassed any preconceived expectations. The entire culture is singularly concerned with nature: the clarity of the water, the colour of the sand and sky, the flowers, the landscapes. All inspiring.
AS: I love a good beach look. I always carry a straw tote, an Emilio Pucci beach towel, a thin black cotton mousseline slip dress with lace trim and a great pair of sunglasses.
AS: Secret Wish from my own line. I love its sparkling freshness. Right now though, I’m wearing my new fragrance a lot, Romantica Exotica. It takes me back to my Polynesian beach holiday – the scent of tropical flowers and exotic fruit.
AS: The statement coat, in the winter that’s the first thing people will see, a long floral printed dress – you can wear it with a sweater or blazer and it doubles as a long skirt, and a chunky heel Mary Jane shoe in a fun colour.
AS: I find that going home to see my mum in Detroit is always the best place for me to rest and just relax.
AS: I like starting with the gel primer from my Anna Sui Cosmetics collection; it moisturises and keeps my make-up looking fresh all day. I love mixing and matching different shades of reds in my collection, and I always finish applying with a lip colour topcoat and lip balm, for the perfect look.
AS: When I started designing, my intention was to dress rock stars and people who went to rock concerts…and that’s what I still do. Music has always been a major influence on me. The Rolling Stones were always my favourite style icons. When I design, I often think to myself, “Is this cool enough for Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg?” I inevitably incorporate elements of their look into my personal wardrobe, and into what I design for my collection (pinstriped pants, ruffled shirts, tall boots).
ON THE PLAYLIST
AS: I like the young neo-psychedelic bands, like Tame Impala and Temples.
THE ULTIMATE LUXURY
AS: Time. It is the most precious of all luxuries, which we seldom have enough of. When I get the chance to spend time with my family and close friends…that is real luxury to me.