1. Style is not about "age", it's more about spirit and attitude. My mother wears my designs, and so do my nieces. It's all about having fun, making an effort, opting for a little glamour, not taking yourself so seriously.
2. Be true to yourself. It is better when you are young to decide for yourself what your main interests are and take only steps (schools, internships, jobs) that move you in the right direction. Find your own voice, focus, learn your craft.
3. Be curious. I keep my eyes open. I've got the best job in the world. I'm lucky that everything I'm interested in (films, exhibitions, music, books, travel, flea markets) can serve as inspiration for my work. I love doing the research, learning about something new, sharing it with my fans. I find it so important to maintain that spark of curiosity, the romance of adventure and the charm of an unexpected surprise.
4. Live your dreams. That has always been my motto. I always imagined that I would be living the life I am now leading; I have been planning for it my whole life. I dreamt up a fantasy of what I hoped my world would be like. Instead of waiting for my dreams to come true one day in the future, I decided to start behaving as if I were already living in that world. Whenever I accomplish one of my dreams, I think it's time to think up a new one.
5. Work hard. My father told me that if I wanted to have my own company, I should be in the office before the rest of my staff and stay later. That has always inspired me.
As told to Jemma Nicholls
Anna Sui Autumn/Winter 2011-2012 is available at Symphony, The Dubai Mall, www.symphony.ae