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Anna Sui, a fashion designer, is an avid reader with a collection of thousands of books. She credits several books with changing her life, showcasing her wide-ranging interests. The books she lists fall into categories such as formative, inspirational, fashion, and rock. For example, books like “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis and “Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris” by Paul Gallico inspired her with their tales of adventure and overcoming obstacles. Sui also finds inspiration in fashion and rock literature, such as “Goodbye Baby and Amen” by David Bailey, which showcases iconic photographs of celebrities and models from the ’60s.

In terms of inspirational reads, Sui mentions “Out of Africa” by Karen Blixen, a story about a woman who rebuilt her life in Africa, and “Allure” by Diana Vreeland and Christopher Hemphill, which delves into the behind-the-scenes workings of Vogue and the creation of style icons. Additionally, Sui discusses her fascination with the punk rock era, citing books like “Please Kill Me” by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, and “England’s Dreaming” by John Savage, which provide an in-depth look at how music influenced fashion during that time.

When working on her Fall 2024 collection, Sui drew inspiration from the works of Agatha Christie, particularly “At Bertram’s Hotel: A Miss Marple Mystery.” Sui references the allure of glamour and luxury that Miss Marple associates with the hotel, despite the darkness that lurks beneath the surface. This contrast between illusion and reality resonated with Sui, highlighting the idea that what we dream and fantasize about may not always align with the truth.

Overall, Anna Sui’s list of 10 life-changing books reflects her diverse interests and the ways in which literature has influenced her work as a designer. From classic fairy tales and tales of adventure to iconic fashion and rock literature, Sui’s reading list provides insight into the various sources of inspiration that have shaped her creative vision. By drawing from a wide range of genres and themes, Sui demonstrates how different types of storytelling can impact and inform one’s perspective on art and design.

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