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Travel, according to Anna Sui |


Travel, according to Anna Sui

KISS - Ana G. Kalaw - The Philippine Star

At the start of the year, you probably promised to do one or maybe even all three of these most common resolutions: 1) lose weight, 2) quit smoking/drinking/maxing out credit card/ and 3) travel more. One-twelfth of the year is over and you’re still probably trying to find an escape clause for the first two self-pledges. The third, however, is a non-negotiable. We may procrastinate or struggle with fitness plans or cold-turkey requirements but, soon as the next long weekend comes, we can’t resist the lure of a trip, whether it’s just driving out of the city or going on the great getaway.

The promises of romance and adventure that travel offers are not lost on Anna Sui, either. For the American designer and fashion icon, travel is a way to “disconnect,” albeit temporarily, from the demands of running a retail conglomerate. Like many artists and travel buffs, destinations and experiences, both exotic and familiar, serve as inspiration and escape for the prolific designer.

Sui’s love for travel, in fact, is given a bit of posterity through a collaborative effort with luggage brand Tumi. For the second time, Sui, best known for her spirited runway renditions and whimsical prints, teams up with the luxury luggage purveyor to come up with an expansive set of meant for stylish jet-setting.

This time, the designer and Tumi resurrects a pattern from the former’s spring 2009 runway collection and reinterprets it onto a set that includes lightweight, hard-shell cases in three sizes, a carry-all duffel, an assortment of small accessories, and even iPhone and iPad cases. Bold and done in fun colors of raspberry and pansy, the Orient-inspired print is a nod to the fashion world’s recent obsession with everything floral. More significantly, the signature print recalls a light-hearted fancy that Sui probably gathered from all her travels in Europe, India and Thailand.

An interview via e-mail gives us a peek into Anna Sui’s travel philosophy and more of her holiday plans for this year.

YStyle: What makes up the perfect holiday for Anna Sui?

ANNA SUI: I love experiencing new cultures; to disconnect, relax and enjoy an adventure. I love the romance of travel, being open to surprising experiences and visuals that you’ve never seen before! That’s the best way to escape.

Which place do you keep going back to? What’s so special about it?

London is a favorite. I have a lot of good friends there. There are always great museum exhibitions. Plus, I love the shopping, and the flea market on Portobello Road.

Where would you go for…

The best market shopping?

India and Thailand. Their street markets are full of the authentic indigenous crafts I adore: textiles, jewelry, clothing, souvenirs.

The best luxury dining?

Caviar Kaspia in Paris is one of my favorite restaurants.  This tsarist-decorated jewel box of tiny rooms serves the best caviar of every type imaginable.

The best art attack?

New York and London. 

The best outdoor adventure?

Australia, for the unusual animals, foliage and the breathtaking landscapes.

What is the one thing you can’t travel without?

A good book. I may never open it but I have to have one!

Who is your favorite travel companion?

My nieces and nephews. Now that they are older, I feel strongly about really getting to know them and developing a meaningful relationship with them.  So it has become a tradition that, each year, I plan a vacation for us.

What are your dream destinations?

The Taj Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur and the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, India, which are like fairytale castles filled with peacocks.

What is the craziest thing you’ve done while traveling?

The Shinjuku Robot Restaurant in Tokyo was a mindboggling, sensory overload.

What is your best piece of travel advice?

To avoid jetlag, force yourself stay to awake until midnight. That is the quickest, most painless way to accustom yourself to a new time zone.

Are you particular about packing? 

Absolutely! I make a checklist for every trip and always pack according to my itinerary so I know exactly how many outfits I need and for what occasions. I also pack in color themes, like in shades of purple or blue. In my experience, I have found this is the best and easiest way to organize my wardrobe otherwise it can get overwhelming, especially if it is a long trip. 

What do you look for in a suitcase?

I always pack too much so my go-to bag is a large bag that I can check in. I like a suitcase that has a hard shell but is not too heavy. This way you can protect those treasures you have bought without worry. Tumi suitcases are my go-to. They are so functional and every detail is so well thought-out.

What is your travel resolution for 2013?

To travel more for pleasure. I really want to go on safari in Africa. I have also never been to South America, so that is on my list as well.

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Tumi by Anna Sui  is exclusively distributed in the Philippines by the Primer Group of Companies and is available at Tumi stores in Greenbelt 5 and Bonifacio High Street Central, and in Ladybag Ayala Cebu.

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