It’s summer and that means on Fridays everyone should be sneaking out of work a little bit early to go on a weekend jaunt or grab a drink on a sunny rooftop. The fashion industry, which works really hard, also knows how to cut loose and play hard. In our new weekly column, called Summer Fridays, we catch up with industry insiders to find out what they do, where they go, and what they bring with them when they escape the daily grind. Last week we jetted off with the duo behind Timo Weiland. This week, we’re catching up with designer Anna Sui. Bon voyage!
Anna Sui is one of the few American designers who’ve earned the highly coveted Lifetime Achievement Award from the CFDA. Her signature boho-inspired looks with a tough girl edge has earned her a dedicated worldwide following of fans who flock her stand alone stores to purchase a part of the Sui empire: apparel, accessories, shoes, fragrances and a Barbie, to boot.
Now estimated to be worth over $400 million, the Parsons grad—-whose friends Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista helped walk in her first ever show in 1991—-can now relax and do things she loves, like travel. That includes shopping her way through India, Turkey, Thailand, and Egypt–and riding some elephants and eating some kangaroo, too. We’ll let her explain…
Fashionista: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done on vacation?
Anna Sui: Riding elephants in Jaipur, India.
What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you on vacation?
I bought these beautiful inlaid tables in Sirince Village, Kusadasi, Turkey from Umut Arabul of Antique de Scalanova and he never shipped them. [Ed. note: Now you've been warned--do not buy from Umut Arabul!]
Who do you travel with the most?
I’ve been vacationing a lot with my nieces and nephews now that they are older (we’ve been to Russia, India, Egypt, Thailand, Australia, Turkey). Not all are available for every trip because of summer jobs, internships, etc.; but my niece, Isabelle Sui, has been a consistent presence on almost every adventure. This is the best way to get to know them and for them to know me. Plus they are fun traveling companions!
Where would you never go back to?
I’m happy I had a chance to go to Syria and Egypt before all the upheaval. I adored traveling to both. I’m not saying I’d never go back, just not right now.
What is the most exotic thing you’ve eaten on vacation?
Kangaroo in Australia.
What do you wish you had done on vacation?
I always say, if you see something you want to buy while on vacation, don’t hesitate, just buy it. You always think you will go back, but usually that never happens.
What did you fall in love with on vacation?
Jeweled flat sandals from Canfora (Capri, Italy).
What is your song of the summer?
“Thirteen Thirtyfive” by Dillon
What would you do again if you got the chance?
Eat at Caviar Kaspia in Paris. This Tsarist-decorated jewel box of tiny rooms serves caviar of every type imaginable.
What are your packing essentials?