designer, Fashion Dictionary

Phillip Lim

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Phillip Lim is on the line now as I wanted to explore the young designer’s background and inspirations. I liked him as soon as I came to know of him and he has stayed put on my favorites list from season to another. He isn’t stuck in the past and creates new things in a way that looks effortless to the rest of us. Those reasons are why I wanted to share this with you too.

Phillip Lim’s parents were Chinese immigrants, his mom was a seamstress and dad, a professional poker player. Lim didn’t nurse any aspirations to design as a child, but when he one day was unpacking Katayone Adeli’s inventory while working at Barneys in California he got attracted to what he deemed her “no-fuss chic,” he immediately tracked down Adeli and landed an internship; that led to a spot on her design team. In 2000, he co-founded the L.A. label Development, then moved to New York in 2004 to start his own venture with his business partner, Wen Zhou.

Phillip Lim launched his collection with start-up cash from friend and fabric supplier Wen Zhou in 2004. Almost overnight, his line became both a critical and commercial darling. Lim’s 3.1 collection debuted in 2005, and he has quickly distinguished himself as both an editorial and commercial darling. Both were 31 at the time, thus the name 3.1 Phillip Lim.

Lim’s coveted dresses were quickly spotted around town on “It” girls Natalie Portman and Kate Hudson, fueling demand upwards of $12 million wholesale by his third season. His womenswear look combines girlish refinement and laid-back ease with moments of quirky romance. But Lim didn’t stopping at womenswear. In 2007, he expanded into menswear, eyewear, and childrenswear, and in 2008 opened freestanding boutiques in Tokyo and Los Angeles, bringing his total to three (including the original, in Manhattan).

Headbands splashed with Swarovski crystals and shift dresses adorned with pearls exemplify his burgeoning arty side and were rewarded with a CFDA’s Emerging Designer laurels in 2007. His clients include Kate Hudson, Kate Bosworth, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley, David Neville, Amanda Brooks, Debra Messing and Camilla Belle.

“Classic with a sense of madness” is how New York designer Phillip Lim once described his work. He knows how to make everyday clothes look really unique and trendy, : A khaki trench might get military epaulets, a silk blouse might sport an oversize self-tie below the chin. His clothes always give a modern and fresh look and he has the gift to recognize where does the limit go between minimalist and decor and acheaves to create detailed yet simple clothes


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