She recalls how it all began. It was the first of many defining crossroads in her life. "Take this and, whatever happens, protect it," Sue Wong recounted her mother's instructions, handing the little girl her jewelry. One can tell that the memory of that particularly grave moment decades ago still dwell deeply in the burrows of her spirit.
Without a doubt, she is a survivor. Wong will prove this time and time again throughout her life. But the genesis was that exodus in 1955, the day they escaped using her mother's wedding jewelry to bribe the border guards.
She was six. It was her first crossing of the boundary, dared by necessity to explore an unknown world. The journey in that case was literal. They moved to escape Communist China, crossing over to Hong Kong. Later, mother and daughter would rejoin her father who was already living in Los Angeles.
Although she still calls the City of Angels home, the regal fashion designer is now far removed from that innocent little girl. She still journeys to explore new worlds, except now it is stoked not as much by grave necessity but by creativity. That said, for Sue Wong creativity is as necessary and as fundamental as freedom and air. The symbolism is vivid, brilliant and unmistakable.
Wong's fashion signature bears radiance and are always enchantingly intricate. Beauty. Magic. Transformation. These three words are her mantra. Perhaps, no other words better encapsulates her as a designer, as a person, and as a spirit. Thanks to her mother's jewelry, a world was opened up to her. Today, she harnesses such beauty's powerful energy to transform, creating beautifully "bejeweled" magical dresses.
She comes to town like a visiting goddess descending to an alternate world; draped in a frock of celestial hues of blue, red and gold, tastefully complemented with equally exquisite handmade jewelry of rich colored stones and gems. Sue Wong is simply resplendent.
Time and again fashion industry experts say that the appeal of clothing depends almost entirely on the self confidence of the person wearing it. Such self assuredness exudes from every pore of Wong's being.
That she can lure and entrance is self evident. Knowledge of her history coupled with an understanding of self allows the designer to openly share her energy with people. Simply put, Wong's charm is irresistible because she knows and wholeheartedly believes in her truth.
Her appointments with various editors are tightly scheduled back to back that day. She had a day or two to spend in her New York studio before she had to fly back to her glorious home in California. Wong was determined to see every credible editor who was interested in covering her work, and if what it took was a marathon of interviews, then so be it.
Sue Wong began each conversation by opening "The Book," an enormous, beautifully printed portfolio. In its pages was a retelling of her life–a compilation of ideas, thoughts, sensibilities, aesthetics, philosophy, influences and inspirations. By the time she reached the end, she had thoroughly demonstrated how each connected with her designs. But till then, ever patiently and exhaustively, she flipped through the pages, going over details, explaining nuances, and describing the processes from concept to production. She concluded the narration by expounding on how beauty has permeated every aspect of her life.