In June, Anna Sui announced that she would be moving her iconic Soho store at 113 Greene Street to 484 Broome Street. After 23 years on the block and one of Soho’s pioneering retailers and designers, Sui was being forced out of her space due to rising rents thanks to huge conglomerate-owned luxury brands taking over the neighborhood. Last night, Sui celebrated her new digs, which look remarkably like her old space. The designer said she hardly noticed the changing neighborhood. In fact, she hadn’t paid attention to the change until Louis Vuitton moved in across the street from her on Greene Street, which really wasn’t all that long ago. “All of the sudden it became a luxury block and you were left wondering what happened to all of the cool boutiques,” Sui told The Daily.
Sui reminisced about her first store opening 23 years ago. ” I had just met Anita Pallenberg that day at the Mudd club and invited her and I had met Marianne Faithful earlier and I told Anita to invite Marianne so she came too,” said Sui. “Anita was wearing a big raccoon fur hat and a matching coat and I saw her in the bathroom and I said, “Ohhh, Anita!” and she turned around and said, “You must be Anna” and so that’s how we first met. It was like my two idols coming to the party. That was really quite a time for supermodels and they were all there.” This time around supermodels like Karen Elson were on hand to celebrate with Sui along with Sarah Sophie Flicker and Michelle Hicks.
As for the design? Expect Sui’s calling card of purple and black. “The black lacquer, the red floors, and the purple walls of my old store all became icons of my brand. That’s my packaging now,” said Sui. “That store was so instrumental in establishing the world of Anna Sui. That’s why I’m so nostalgic about having to find a new place, but I really wanted to keep all of those original elements. I think the new space with all the windows brings more light in and then I found this incredible wallpaper that brings a whole other element to the store that is still so me.” Sui is at once both deeply wounded by the move and optimistic about the future. She told us she hasn’t been back to that part of Greene Street since and tries to avoid the block. But she said the new area shows promise for cool, downtown brands like herself. “I think this area that we moved to is sort of the cool place to be now,” said Sui. “Tomorrowland, which is a really cool Japanese company, just opened up down the street. It has more of the flavoring of what Soho used to be.” Here’s to another 23 years Anna!