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05.01.13

CHARACTER STUDY: ANNA SUI

CHARACTER STUDY: ANNA SUI

The Sephora Glossy pays a visit to Anna Sui to talk about her quartet of scents.

“Here’s a little girl in Detroit saying to her parents, ‘I’m going to be a fashion designer.’ Well how does that happen? How are you going to get to New York?” says Anna Sui, sitting in her opulent showroom in New York City’s Garment District. “But I just stayed with that focus my whole life. You have to dream.”

Sui’s dreams certainly paid off: She came to New York for design school and never looked back, beginning her professional career in the early 1980s. Despite being a consistent hit at New York Fashion Week, Sui credits her beauty endeavors with helping to launch her into a global success. “I truly like fragrance, and I like makeup,” she says. “I’ve had perms, no eyebrows, crazy colors in my hair, all different color eyeshadows….”

As far as perfume, Sui’s first love was Kenzo’s now-discontinued King Kong. “I think I was attracted to it because of the name,” she says with a laugh. “But I fell in love with the scent. When I heard it was being discontinued, I went to a department store where it was on sale for $8 and filled a shopping bag with it—not realizing that perfume doesn’t last forever! I just thought I would die without my King Kong!”

Now, Anna Sui has four scents of her own exclusively at Sephora: Flight of Fancy, Forbidden Affair, Fairy Dance, and Secret Wish. Here’s what she has to say about them. HOLLY SIEGEL

“Secret Wish is inspired by the idea of living your dreams. The fairy on the bottle symbolizes that magic.”

“Flight of Fancy is inspired by all the travel I do for inspiration. Every summer, I go on a big trip to somewhere exotic like India, Egypt, or Australia. But you don’t have to get on a plane—it’s just about being open to new experiences.”

“Fairy Dance is a celebration of friendship. How many times do you reflect on your grade-school friends, your high-school friends, your college friends? It’s a celebration of those bonds.”

“Forbidden Affair is a little bit darker and more romantic. I love to wear it in the evening.”

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