Anna Sui taps 'inspiring' Karen Elson for new campaign
Anna Sui tapped Karen Elson to star in her new Western campaign because of her vintage beauty.
The designer and model have known each other for 20 years, with Elson walking in Sui's 1997 fall show.
And because the flame-haired beauty is also a singer, it made perfect sense for her to front Sui's new Americana-themed line for Macy's INC International Concepts.
"Her first season modelling, she opened my show (the Goth Collection)," Sui told Billboard Style of the model. "She has done more shows for me than any other model. Karen is so inspiring. She's a musician, she loves vintage clothes and looks like she stepped out of a Pre-Raphaelite painting."
The collection, which will be available from September (17), is made up of fringed shirts and dresses as well as Western boots. Elson and male model David Alexander Flinn even rock Stetsons in the imagery.
"My spring 2016 collection was called American Pie," the designer said of what influenced the new line. "It was composed of iconic elements of Americana including cowboys, cheerleaders, and Hollywood movie queens. I revisited the Western segments for the Macy's INC project."
As well as reteaming with Elson on the project, the Macy's collaboration also resonates personally with the designer, as it was the famous department store that gave Sui her first big break.
While working for a sportswear brand when she first started out in the early '80s, Sui was approached by Macy's after she began designing her own clothes as a sideline, and also bagged an advert in The New York Times.
"My boss said: 'Is this girl on our payroll? Why does she have her own New York Times ad?' He said if I didn't stop, he would fire me," she recalled. "I had orders to fill, so I got fired! That's how I started my business, So it went full circle. I was so excited that Macy's came back and proposed this collaboration with them."