The World of Anna Sui 

  Mint Museum Randolph
November 20, 2021 – May 1, 2022

The World of Anna Sui  presents 100 looks from the iconic designer’s archive with a roll call of 12 archetypes that capture the Sui aesthetic

The World of Anna Sui at The Mint Museum
Designer Anna Sui. Photograph copyright Joshua Jordan
Anna Sui on a runway surrounded by models wearing her fashion at her Spring 1994 show.
Anna Sui on a runway surrounded by models wearing her fashion at her Spring 1994 show. Image by Raoul Gatchalian/Courtesy of Anna Sui

No other fashion designer captures the zeitgeist of a historic period, place, or artistic movement in such a timeless yet contemporary look as Anna Sui. She does so by designing the entire look — from dress to accessories, hair styles to makeup, and even sound and scent.

The World of Anna Sui shines a spotlight on the designer’s heroes from her youth and the importance of her collaborators, including the New York City Garment District. The exhibition gives insights into her process, allowing the viewer to step inside her imagination and watch it unfold.

The first iteration of this exhibition debuted at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London, in the summer of 2017.

About the Artist

Anna Sui reinvented pop-culture fashion with her signature rock-and-roll romantic label in the 1990s. Unlike other popular American designers, Sui is driven by telling stories head-to-toe about the worlds of cowgirls, grunge girls, hippie chicks, hula girls, Mods, pirate rock stars, Pre-Raphaelite maidens, and surfer nomads.

Beginning with her premiere catwalk show in 1991, Sui has shaped not only the garments, textiles, accessories, cosmetics, and interiors that comprise her design universe, but also the course of fashion history by popularizing the boutique fashion look. Sui’s unique approach to creating narratives through her work is legendary. A self-taught historian of culture, art, and fashion, she  references music, books, exhibitions, movies, time periods, photography, and art movements in her designs.

Sui signature fashions, accessories, and products, explore wide-ranging materials and inspirations, including papier-mâché mannequin heads, linens by Vera, Claire McCardell sportswear, army surplus jackets, Japanese hankies, qipao dresses, wood-soled platforms from Goody Two-Shoes, the style of Jane Holzer, Zandra Rhodes, Nirvana, Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg, and Minnie Mouse. Her collections are replete with historicism, processed and creatively reimagined through her signature filter.

Organized by the Fashion and Textile Museum, London, The World of Anna Sui was curated by Dennis Nothdruft. Annie Carlano is curator of The Mint Museum’s iteration. The exhibition has toured the globe from New York to Shanghai. The Mint Museum is the last stop for the current international tour. 

Craving more? Check out Mintwiki, The Mint Museum Library’s exhibition resource site for all things Anna Sui.

Models walk the runway during the finale of the Anna Sui spring 2004 collection shown in New York's Bryant Park, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2003. (AP Photo/Stuart Ramson)

The exhibition organized by the Fashion Textile Museum, London is generously presented by PNC Financial Services. Generous individual support provided by Deidre and Clay Grubb, with additional support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary.

Additional individual support 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.

Special thanks to:

Media Partners