For my second ever Q&A installment in The Zoe Report, I had the inspiring privilege of interviewing one of fashion’s lady veterans, Anna Sui, about her new book by Andrew Bolton! An out of this world addition to anyone’s living room library or end table, this 288-page tome is filled with beautiful photographs and behind-the-scenes stories from Sui’s twenty-year career. Beyond a-mah-zing.
RZ: Since 1991, you have inspired the fashion world with your collections, which are distinctively feminine yet rock and roll. Browsing the pages of your eponymous book, Anna Sui, is there one look or collection that stands out to you the most? AS: Look 31 from my spring ’11 collection features a lot of the signature elements that I’m known for: collages of vintage floral prints on floaty chiffon, handkerchief hems, embroidered velvet, tall boots, long feathered beaded necklaces. The total boho rocker chick look.
RZ: Growing up and into adulthood, how did you develop your own personal sense of style? Who are your muses? AS: I always like a rock and roll influence. I still always ask myself: Is it cool enough for Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg?
RZ: As a global influence, you have built an empire through your clothing, accessories, fragrance and cosmetic lines-what advice do you have for young men and women looking to follow in your footsteps? AS: Build a recognizable brand; establish icons that are identifiable to you. Make sure that each product that you develop has your signature. Every tube of Anna Sui lipstick should give you the same thrill as you get from an Anna Sui dress.
RZ: What is one fashionable item that you are coveting this fall? AS: Look 47 from my fall collection, a champagne deco patterned paillettes on tulle dress.
RZ: Just like your clothing, your book is exquisitely designed and full of images by legendary photographers and insider’s commentary on your world—I can’t wait to display it in my home! What are some of the inspiring tomes on your own coffee table? AS: World of Madeleine Castaing by Emily Evans Eerdmans Emilio Pucci by Vanessa Friedman and Armando Chitolina Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballet Russes 1909-1929 by Jane Pritchard and Geoffrey Marsh.
P.S. I have received many Ask Rachel questions inquiring about my favorite piece of jewelry—and though it is impossible to pick a single cherished piece, I will say that I deeply treasure all of my Cartier LOVE jewelry including my Cartier rose gold LOVE bracelet and rings.