Anna Sui is one of the most-celebrated names in fashion history. She is famous for her timeless designs and playfulness with dark, edgy, feminine, and romantic styles. In 1999, Anna Sui launched her signature makeup brand, which showcases an extensive library of luxurious hues for the eyes, cheeks, lips, and nails. Anna Sui’s whimsical collection of high-quality cosmetics are little masterpieces in their own right because of their unique and artistic packaging. Truly a cut above the rest, these makeup collectibles come in elegant black-lacquered containers with intricately painted or carved roses.
Get a hold of the latest beauty must-haves from Anna Sui Singapore only here at Sephora.
About Anna Sui
Anna Sui was born on August 04, 1955 in Detroit, Michigan, United States. Her parents were Chinese emigrants who both studied in France.
At the tender age of four, Sui said she already knew what she wanted to be when she grows up: to be a designer. In an interview, she shares that an article in Life magazine initially sparked her interest in fashion:
“As a child, I remember reading an article in Life magazine about two girls who graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City. They then moved to Paris, where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton opened a boutique for them. As a kid, you think, “Wow, you’ve found the magic ticket. All you have to do is move to New York and go to Parsons, and everything will fall into place.” The funny thing was, years later when I went back and re-read that article, I realized that one of the girl’s fathers was the legendary photographer, Irving Penn—which might have given her certain advantages. But that was my original fantasy.”
In real life, Anna Sui did go to Parsons School of Design in New York City. After leaving school, she worked as a designer for the sportswear label, Glenora, while doing some freelance styling in photoshoots of a friend, who also happens to be the popular fashion photographer, Steven Meisel. By this time, Sui was already designing and creating her own clothes out of her tiny apartment.
At one point, the young Anna Sui brought her five-piece collection to one of New York’s trade shows, where she was discovered by a couple of NY-based department stores. In a matter of few weeks, her designs were featured in an advertisement published in the New York Times. She got fired shortly by the management of Glenora, where she was still under contract.
After the unfortunate incident, which has left her jobless, Anna Sui continued designing and making clothes, and started her own business using a mere 300 dollars from her savings. Life was not easy for her all the time. Sui ran her company in her own apartment while juggling odd jobs to make ends meet. In the 1980s, which was also known as the peak of the “power-dressing” giants like Chanel, Lacroix, and Versace, Anna Sui worked her way to join the ranks of these high-end fashion companies.
But in 1991, due to the help and encouragement of her supermodel friends, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista, Anna Sui entered the runway scene. Sui rented a small space in the Meat Packing District as the venue, and paid her models by giving them the clothes they modelled. Anna Sui’s first fashion show was the ultimate breakthrough of her career.
The very same year, Anna Sui opened to the public her first boutique at 113 Greene Street in New York City's Soho District. Like all Anna Sui stores around the world, this first ever Anna Sui boutique has soft lavender walls, rich red floors, black antique furniture, and iconic dolly head mannequins.
Through the years, Anna Sui has established her own mark in the fashion realm as a designer. Her masterpieces have been worn by many of her top-notch clients from Hollywood such as Blake Lively, Sofia Coppola, Liv Tyler, Patricia Arquette, Christina Ricci, Lindsay Lohan, Hillary Duff, and Courtney Love. She is also known to have a huge cult-following in the Far East.
In 2009, Anna Sui collaborated with Target to produce a trendy clothing line inspired by CW’s hit series Gossip Girl, which combined the glamorous style of the Upper East Side with a subtle downtown edge. The limited edition collection was only made available for a few weeks in September of the said year.
Anna Sui was named as one “The Top Five Fashion Icons of the Decade,” along with other fashion deities Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Diane von Furstenberg. In 2009, she had also won the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), which serves to honor contributions made to American fashion by outstanding individuals in the industry.
Anna Sui’s worldwide luxury fashion brand includes clothing, shoes, cosmetics, eye-wear, and accessories, as well as her renowned line of signature fragrances – not to mention a child-friendly version of all this, known as Anna Sui Mini, which was launched in 2009. But that’s not all. Anna Sui also designed a limited edition cellular phone for top-grossing South Korean brand, Samsung Electronics.
In 2006, Fortune magazine estimated the collective value of Sui's fashion empire at over 400 million US dollars. Today the Anna Sui brand has grown internationally in American, European, Asian, and Middle Eastern markets. It has more than 38 fashion boutiques and is sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. Anna Sui Singapore is also available online at Sephora
Anna Sui’s Beauty Inspirations
Did you know? The first Dolly Head Anna Sui envisioned, her iconic brand mascot, was fashioned after the beautiful Liza Minnelli’s character as Sally Bowles in Cabaret.
Asked about why she eventually explored the world of cosmetics, Anna Sui said:
“When I started my own beauty line, I felt the whole cosmetic industry had become so staid. I was longing for something more fantasy-oriented. I wanted women to feel free to experiment – to have more fun, to not take themselves so seriously, and to opt for a little glamour. It was such a thrill to imagine a collection that would include everything I’ve always loved about makeup, everything I personally use daily, and all the colors and special effects that I’m currently obsessed with.”