NSU ART MUSEUM FORT LAUDERDALE TO PRESENT MAJOR RETROSPECTIVE OF AMERICAN FASHION DESIGNER ANNA SUI
Fort Lauderdale, FL –October 13, 2020 NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale will present a major
retrospective exhibition of fashion designer Anna Sui from February 28 – October 3, 2021.
With over 100 looks, The World of Anna Sui explores the glamorous and eclectic world of one of
New York’s most beloved and accomplished designers and invites viewers to step inside Sui’s
imagination to discover her creative process and the diverse influences that contribute to her
signature aesthetic sensibility. The World of Anna Sui is organized by the Fashion and Textile
Museum, London and is curated by Dennis Nothdruft.
“Originally displayed at the Fashion and Textile Museum in 2017, The World of Anna Sui
continues to highlight a fresh and engaging cultural perspective. The exhibition showcases a
fashion designer who is not only highly creative and entrepreneurial, but also playful and
positive,” said Nothdruft. “I’m delighted that as the exhibition continues to tour internationally,
the joyous and influential work of Anna Sui will be celebrated among ever-greater audiences.
After successful runs in Shanghai, Tokyo and New York, I’m very much looking forward to
another exciting incarnation of The World of Anna Sui at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale.”
Anna Sui said, “I am delighted to partner with NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, and to be able
to once again see The World of Anna Sui exhibition come to life this February. I can’t wait to
share all my treasured designs, collections, and inspirations and more from shows past. See
you soon, Fort Lauderdale!”
Since her first catwalk show in 1991, Anna Sui has become known for creating fabulously
original clothing inspired by intensive research into vintage fashion and popular culture. The
exhibition ranges from early looks – such as the exuberant Carnaby Street schoolgirl outfits
worn by supermodels Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell in the first runway show in 1991,
to the cowgirl and cheerleader modeled by Gigi and Bella Hadid during the Spring/Summer
2017 Americana-themed collection.
“NSU Art Museum’s exhibitions explore the full range of visual culture as expressions of
contemporary life,” notes Bonnie Clearwater, NSU Art Museum Director and Chief Curator.
“Anna Sui shares with other artists of her generation a renewed interest in storytelling and an
exploration of societal archetypes. Throughout her career Sui has inventively blended global art
history, music and popular culture for each new collection. Her designs are inspired by
extraordinary and creative women and her embrace of collaborations across disciplines keeps
her at the forefront of fashion, art and design. We are delighted to present this compelling
Born in the suburbs of Detroit, Sui joined New York’s cultural underground at an intensely
creative time in the 1970s, forming important relationships in the worlds of fashion, photography,
art, music and design. The exhibition looks at Sui’s artistic journey through her creative process,
collections, interiors, and collaborations.
Thematically arranged, the exhibition explores Sui’s lifelong engagement with an array of
‘archetypes’ including the rock star, the schoolgirl, the punk, nomads, and surfers — motifs that
are featured throughout her work. From fairy tales and fables to Victoriana, Sui researches her
current cultural obsessions in minute detail to create a different story with each collection.
Hallmark outfits include Sui’s “Silver Peruvian Ensemble” and iconic sequined silk organza
“Babydoll Dress” from Spring 1994. Featured looks will be displayed in context with the original
backdrops used in Sui’s arresting fashion shows. Items on view will also include fashions worn
by Sui’s personal style icons who include Anita Pallenberg and Jane Holzer.
Sui is known for the richness of her printed textiles, combining a complex layering and mixing of
patterns, texture and colors. The show highlights Sui’s own distinctively graphic textiles as well
as those created with high-profile partners such as Ascher Studio, Zandra Rhodes, Jeffrey
Fulvimari and Barbara Hulanicki. In addition, the exhibition explores her design processes
through mood boards, photographs, sketches, runway shots, and cultural ephemera. A section
on collaborations documents her long- term creative partnerships with models such as Linda
Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell, as well as with make-up artists Pat
McGrath and Francois Nars, jeweler Erickson Beamon, knitwear designer and milliner James
Coviello and hairstylist Garren. The influence of music is seen throughout the exhibition, from
Sui’s continuing love of Bohemian chic to her seminal 1993 grunge collections.
The range of different styles on display emphasize Anna Sui’s consistent design approach as
she incorporates her current passions into every garment. As it celebrates American fashion,
the exhibition also provides a fascinating guide to the history of American pop culture, and an
inside look into the creative process and unique world view of this iconic designer whose daring
and experimental approach to design has become a mainstay of the international fashion scene.
The presentation of The World of Anna Sui at NSU Art Museum is generously sponsored by
The Douglas A. Hirsch and Holly S. Andersen Family Foundation in honor of Jane B. Holzer.
Additional support provided by The David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation.
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is located at One East Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL.
For additional information, please visit nsuartmuseum.org or call 954-525-5500. Stay
connected with NSU Art Museum on social media @nsuartmuseum
About 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.
About NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale
Founded in 1958, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is a premier destination for exhibitions and programs
encompassing many facets of civilization’s visual history. Located midway between Miami and Palm
Beach in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s arts and entertainment district, the Museum’s 83,000 square-foot
building, which opened in 1986, was designed by architect Edward Larrabee Barnes and contains over
25,000 square feet of exhibition space, the 256-seat Horvitz auditorium, a museum store and café. In
2008, the Museum became part of Nova Southeastern University (NSU), one of the largest private
research universities in the United States. NSU Art Museum is known for its significant collection of Latin
American art, contemporary art with an emphasis on art by Black, Latinx and women artists, African art
that spans the 19 th to the 21 st -century, as well as works by American artist William Glackens, and the
European Cobra group of artists. Two scholarly research centers complement the collections: The Dr.
Stanley and Pearl Goodman Latin American Art Study Center and the William J. Glackens Study Center.
Exhibitions and programs at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale are made possible in part by a challenge grant from
the David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation. Funding is also provided by the City of Fort Lauderdale,
AutoNation, Community Foundation of Broward, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as
recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, the State
of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. NSU Art
Museum Fort Lauderdale is accredited by the American Association of Museums.
About 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.