celebrity shopping

What Anna Sui Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked fashion designer Anna Sui — who recently collaborated with St-Germain on a limited-edition bottle tote — about the shampoo she has introduced her entire family to, out-of-the-box Christmas ornaments, and the fishnet tights that get her stopped on the street.

I still like to write down all my appointments. I don’t know, I’m old-school, and it just resonates more that way. This planner was gifted to me with my name on it. It has the whole month on two pages so you can kind of look at everything and then write things down. I’m a very visual person, and this gives me a visual idea of what I need to do for the week, what’s coming up, all at once.

Thirty minutes in this store and I’m transported to a magical shopping experience with endless eye candy. The latest thing I bought there were Christmas-tree ornaments. John Derian has the best and craziest selection ever, from ceramics to decoupage, and there’s always vintage stuff, too. It just makes you dream, especially at Christmastime. I bought these lamp ornaments that look like Chinese lanterns. But I have friends, like Bill Mullen, who have bought all the devil ones and the kind of scary ones. John was pointing out recently that he had a whole tree of pickles, all different kinds of pickles. I mean, it’s just so fun to look at.

[Editor’s Note: The ornament Sui bought is currently out of stock, but this butterfly that she also bought is still available.]

I’m currently reading both of these books simultaneously. I started reading Answered Prayers after the documentary The Capote Tapes came out. I wanted to go see it, but I could never get it together to actually go, so I missed it. Then I remembered I had the book Answered Prayers from when it first came out. I had seen some of the women in the book from pictures Avedon did, but there are so many more characters in Answered Prayers, some of whom are real and some of whom aren’t. Then, at the same time, this book about his “swans” came out, too. It’s a great reference as you’re reading about a character in Answered Prayers to look them up in the second book and see if it was a real person or not. I still haven’t watched the documentary. But I heard it’s on streaming, so I have to find it.

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The Psychedelic Furs have always been one of my favorite bands, and “Heaven” is one of my favorite songs. Sometimes when I’m getting dressed, I’ll just ask Siri to play it. I’ve been listening to all of their albums lately, but I just bought the newest, Made of Rain. I know they’re touring with it, and I believe they’re going to play the Apollo in March. So I can’t wait to see them perform. Richard Butler comes to all of my shows, so it will be very special.

I love the whole Brit invasion, and I love rock history. Mojo is my favorite magazine. It always comes up with great images from the past and great stories. It’s like being a fly on the wall. You are there when bands are recording or something’s launching, but it could be from back in the ’60s or the ’70s, or they’ll even find the musicians and interview them today. It’s just always so informative and entertaining. And I love to read it on the plane, especially, because you can really concentrate.

Garren, who has done every show for me, is a hair genius and makes these great products. But I’m really addicted to his Television shampoo and conditioner. I just love the way it makes my hair feel really silky. In fact, I’ve introduced all my family members to his products, and they’ve all become addicted too. Now everybody uses some version of his products according to their hair.

I found her on Instagram. I loved her butterfly rings, and she made some special colors for the spring show. The colors matched the collection: pink and orange, green and blue. They were a little darker and more intense than what she normally does. I wrote to her and said, “Oh, would you ever make me a black one?” So she made a black one. She lives in Belfast. I wear rings almost every day, and I wear black almost every day. So it’s easy to incorporate.

Great fishnet tights are harder and harder to find in retail. The best ones I have found are by We Love Colors. They are available in 53 colors, but I love the black ones. I love that they offer two sizes as far as the scale of the fishnet. All summer, I wore these black fishnets, and people would stop me and say, “Oh, where’d you get those?” I always tell them about this great website. They’re based in Florida, so I’ve only ever ordered from them online.

These are the most spectacular dahlias you’ve ever seen. They’re huge. They’re almost ten inches in diameter, and they come in beautiful colors. When they’re in season (September through November), I go every Saturday to the farmers’ market in Union Square to get them. I think Bear Creek has cultivated all its own colors. It also offers the bulbs for sale off-season so you can plant them for the next. I got some for my mom for Christmas last year.

This tote bag is the thing I am most excited for this holiday season. It was originally from my spring 2021 fashion show, made by the same person who did all the jewelry for it. Then we thought, Oh, this would be so cool to carry the St-Germain bottle. It’s such a great gift, this incredible bottle, incredible liqueur that comes in this great carrying case. Once you finish the St-Germain, you could use the carrying case afterward, too. You could even use it to carry water.

[Note: This product will not ship to certain states, depending on liquor laws. It is currently available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.]

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

What Anna Sui Can’t Live Without