Anna Sui designs with Keith Richards in mind
Anna Sui always asks herself whether her clothes are cool enough for Keith Richards when designing.
The 51-year-old fashion designer opened her first ever boutique in New York in 1992, and now boasts 375 shops in 35 different countries. Famous for her edgy aesthetic, with countless colourful and punky creations to her name, Anna has no plans to change her target audience.
"I think I’ve always been very consistent," she told website Asia Society. "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 am designing, I still think to myself, 'Is this cool enough for Keith Richards and (his ex-girlfriend) Anita Pallenberg?'”
Anna's passion for fashion began when she was just four years old, with the star guessing she must have seen something on TV to trigger it. As a youngster she saw the industry in a glamorous light, predicting designers must find themselves constantly surrounded by luxury fabrics and oversized sketchbooks.
As for how she managed to bring her clothes to the spotlight, Anna credits her parents for helping educate her.
"My father was a structural engineer and my mother studied painting," she explained. "They met when they were both students in Paris. I get the business side from my father and the artistic side from my mother. After they married, they travelled throughout Europe for three years and finally settled in the U.S. My father continued studies at the University of Michigan. I was born in Detroit.
"Growing up and learning about Chinese culture from my parents, and hearing them talk about all the different places they had lived, prepared me for thinking globally. This perspective took away any fears of being able to function in a foreign country. Their experiences were a gift to me."