Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Despite Bargain Prices, Anna Sui Becomes Stars' Designer of Choice

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Despite Bargain Prices, Anna Sui Becomes Stars' Designer of Choice

Article excerpt

THE DAY BEFORE New York fashion designer Anna Sui opened her Los Angeles boutique, Duran Duran rocker Nick Rhodes knocked on the door and asked if he could do a bit of last-minute shopping before leaving on tour.

At the next night's opening party Cher, k.d. lang and Rosanna Arquette showed up, as did a gaggle of offspring of famous people, including Sofia Coppola, Zoe Cassavetes and Donovan Leitch.

Since then, Mick Jagger has picked up a crepe jacket and Keith Richards a ruffled white shirt.

Yet if you ask Sui who her customer is, she says: "My typical customer is in her 30s, she comes in with her husband and sometimes a baby stroller. She could be buying for a party or for her everyday life. She's not a conservative person."

The fact that she has picked up a following in the rock world; is a favorite designer of the super-model pack, which models for her even when it won't for others; and is called by Women's Wear Daily "the designing diva of hippie chic" is icing on the cake to Sui. After more than a decade of designing and manufacturing clothes, she is clearly enjoying the role of "hot, new, young designer."

"After 13 years, it's nice to be a hit and called new," she says, just prior to participating in Macy's recent Passport fashion shows.

"I don't mind the adjectives. I like being described as a young designer," says Sui, who makes a point of not revealing her age, although her points of reference hit a responsive chord with baby boomers.

Growing up in Detroit, she scoured the newspapers for photos of the then-new group called the Beatles. She longed to visit England and invested her allowance in Biba cosmetics.

"My clothing represents all that nostalgia for my childhood and growing up. A time of hopes and dreams and potentials in life - the different things I had fantasies about," she says. "I want to carry that excitement to my customers. …

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