Anna Sui Spring-Summer 2024 - New York Fashion Week

Anna Sui Spring/Summer 2024 – New York Fashion Week

September 12, 2023

Anna Sui, the iconic fashion designer, finds herself immersed in the underwater world for her Spring/Summer 2024 collection. The ecological crisis and the stunning beauty of the Great Barrier Reef have inspired her to create a statement collection that reminds us of the urgent need to protect our precious oceans. Although she confessed to not being an activist, she felt compelled to address the climatological issues we are facing. Her new collection reflects her deep appreciation for the ocean, demonstrating her commitment to raising awareness about the environment, even during the heat of New York Fashion Week.

The ongoing crisis of coral reef bleaching and the record-setting heatwaves of the past summer are hard to ignore. Anna Sui is one of the few designers at New York Fashion Week that has used her platform to remind us of the urgency to act. In a season where climatological and social statements have been sparse, it’s commendable that Sui has chosen to bring our attention to the vital issue of climate change. The destructive power of Hurricane Lee, now threatening the Eastern seaboard, and its classification as one of only 40 Category 5 storms since 1924, underscores the importance of her message.

Sui’s passion for the ocean was evident even before the show started. Inspired by the documentary “My Octopus Teacher,” she adorned her studio walls with mermaid illustrations and vintage sea-themed pieces. These inspirations informed her fabric development, resulting in textiles that shimmered with iridescence like mother-of-pearl, rippled with color, and dripped with water-droplet paillettes. Despite the variety, when the models assembled on stage at the end of the show, they formed a complementary ecosystem reminiscent of our precious and endangered reefs.

Never one to shy away from expressing her intentions, Sui showcased chunky pastel cardigans knitted with fish motifs and a t-shirt featuring a mermaid conversing with a school of fish. Additionally, her program notes included a link to, an organization dedicated to raising public awareness and support for a global network of marine-protected areas.

While Sui acknowledged that she does not typically create message-driven collections, the state of the world compelled her to speak out. Had she not shared her thoughts on ocean heat before the show, it might not have been apparent that these issues weighed heavily on her mind. Yet, as with all of her work, this collection was the product of thorough research and a deep love for the subject matter.

Reflecting on the need to address the current ecological crisis, Sui remarked backstage, “I’m not an activist or anything like that, but I’ve just never seen anything more beautiful than the Great Barrier. So I think it’s important to make a statement now.” Her words resonate with a global audience that is witnessing the devastating impacts of climate change firsthand.

As the Spring/Summer 2024 season unfolds, it’s refreshing to see a designer like Anna Sui use her influence to highlight the beauty of the natural world and the urgent need to protect it. Through her carefully curated collection, she has created a visual narrative that not only captivates but also educates. Despite the challenges we face, it’s inspiring to see the fashion industry play a role in raising awareness and advocating for change.

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©Photo: Anna Sui