The Mint Museum presents The World of Anna Sui, a retrospective of the iconic fashion designer

For Immediate Release 

Charlotte, North Carolina (November 2, 2021) — The Mint Museum is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition The World of Anna Sui, a major retrospective of the iconic fashion designer, on view November 20, 2021- May 1, 2022, at its Mint Museum Randolph location. The exhibition — presented by PNC Bank — provides a look inside the creative process of Sui, who recently was featured in T: The New York Times Style Magazine’s 2021 Greats issue and is known for her mastery of street-chic style from mod to punk, surfer to bohemian.

The World of Anna Sui is organized by the Fashion and Textile Museum, London and curated by Dennis Nothdruft, head of exhibitions at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London. The first iteration of the exhibition debuted at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London in the summer of 2017, and has toured the globe, from New York City to Shanghai to Tokyo. The Mint Museum’s iteration — curated by Annie Carlano, the Mint’s senior curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion — is the last stop for the exhibition’s current international tour. It presents more than 100 looks from the designer’s archives, with a roll call of archetypes that capture the Sui aesthetic, such as rockstar, Americana, fairytale, grunge, retro and nomad. It is the first full fashion exhibition at The Mint Museum to be devoted to a woman’s body of work, as well as the first dedicated to an Asian American designer. As the museum celebrates the 85th anniversary of its founding, the exhibition brings to life aspects of The Mint Museum’s evolution.

“One of the rare women-owned fashion brands, Sui and her innovative spirit are a fitting complement to the pioneering spirit of the donors who launched the Mint’s notable fashion collection in 1972,” says Todd A. Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum.

Since her first catwalk show in 1991, Sui has shaped not only the garments, textiles, accessories, beauty and interiors that comprise her design universe, but also the course of fashion history. This fun and raucous exhibition takes the visitor through the many phases and influences of Sui’s career that have made her such a darling of both street fashionistas and the runway, says Herman.

“In addition to capturing the output of Sui’s creativity and artistic vision, this exhibition celebrates what it takes to build a successful business — entrepreneurship, innovation, determination and hard work,” says Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas. “PNC is excited to help the Mint bring this meaningful exhibition – the first of its kind — to Charlotte.”

Part autobiography and part cultural commentary, Sui uses her fashion to reflect her experiences as part of a vibrant New York City art and music scene in the late 1970s. Her designs point to her friendships with fellow Parsons School of Design students Steven Meisel and Marc Jacobs; and models Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington. Her fashions are a product of her own high-fashion-meets-thrift store and biker-meets-princess style, as well as an ongoing fascination and study of London’s art and music world, from Aubrey Beardsley to The Beatles.

“Through her meticulous research of history, art and design, Anna Sui creates not simply fashions, but an entire gesamtkunstwerk, with head-to-toe touches: earrings, sunglasses, coats, bags, socks and shoes, and even bottle carriers,” says Annie Carlano, senior curator for craft, design & fashion at The Mint Museum. “Our installation brings the world of Anna Sui alive, with a killer soundtrack and vibrant interiors.”

The exhibition is organized by the Fashion Textile Museum, London and presented by PNC Bank. Generous individual support is provided by Deidre and Clay Grubb, with additional support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary. Additional individual support is provided by Posey and Mark Mealy, Celene and Marc Oken, Kati and Chris Small, Ann and Michael Tarwater, Rocky and Curtis Trenkelbach, the Fashion Task Force, and friends of fashion.

Ticket Information

The Mint Museum exhibition is free for members and children age 4 and younger; $15 for adults; $10 for seniors age 65 and older; $10 for college students with ID; and $6 for youth age 5–17. Frontline workers and their immediate families receive complimentary admission through December 31, 2021.

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About The Mint Museum 

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations—Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community. 

PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

Anna Sui

Anna Sui’s collections take people on a creative journey that is unparalleled in the world of fashion. Mixing vintage inspiration with current cultural obsessions, she effortlessly designs hip and exuberant original clothing. Anna Sui’s first fashion show in 1991 earned her international acclaim. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) recognized Anna Sui with its Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent in 1993 and honored her again in 2009 with the prestigious Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. She received an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design at the New School in 2017. Anna Sui’s products are sold in over 300 stores in 30 countries. The Anna Sui line also includes her very popular fragrance and cosmetic collections, as well as successful footwear, eyewear, and jewelry licensees. Anna Sui designs and manufactures directly from her New York City studio. Her runway shows continue to inspire and set trends through her signature lens. The Anna Sui brand has been independently owned since its inception in 1981.

The Fashion and Textile Museum

The Fashion and Textile Museum is the only museum in the UK dedicated to showcasing contemporary fashion and textile design. The Museum is committed to presenting varied, creative and engaging exhibitions, alongside an exciting selection of educational courses, talks, events and workshops. In place of a permanent collection is a diverse program of temporary exhibitions, displaying a broad range of innovative fashion and textiles from designers and makers around the world. The Fashion and Textile Museum was founded in 2003 by icon of British design, Dame Zandra Rhodes. Today, the Museum is operated by Newham College, London — one of Europe’s largest further education colleges. Situated in the heart of fashionable Bermondsey Village, the Museum is housed in a beautiful and distinctive building designed by renowned Mexican architect, Ricardo Legorreta.

Contact: 

Caroline Portillo, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at The Mint Museum caroline.portillo@mintmuseum.org| 704.488.6874 (c) 

Michele Huggins, Communications and Media Relations Project Manager at The Mint Museum michele.huggins@mintmuseum.org | 704.564.0826 (c)