If you don’t know this designer, you should look him up ASAP! He’s an American designer with Chinese ancestry, and boy, can he make clothes! He designs womenswear, menswear, and childrenswear. His company has only been in operation for 5 years and the company is already worth over $40 billion. Genius I’m telling you. Pure genius.
Today I had the opportunity to hear Phillip speak. In fact, I was in the third row, and towards the center of the isle (how in the world did I score that?!?). Booth Moore, from LA Times, interviewed him about his Spring/Summer 2010 womenswear collection. I was totally expecting him to be a prideful, self-centered, egotistical fashion designer due to his instant fame and success, but he was the exact opposite. I wasn’t expecting to take as many notes as I did, but Phillip was so down to earth, and has a great view about clothes I couldn’t write fast enough! It would be a shame if I didn’t share what I learned with you…
- When asked if he viewed clothes as art he said that clothes are not art. He doesn’t think it’s right to be afraid of clothes. He wants his customers to wear his clothes, live in his clothes, laugh in his clothes, and cry in his clothes. What good is it if it only hangs in your closet. If you have to alter it, alter it!
- His Spring/Summer 2010 collection was inspired by Picasso’s late works. When Phillip was looking for inspiration, he was searching for transparency, which he found in Picasso’s works.
- His S/S 2010 collection is full of monochromatic, utilitarian, and collage pieces. His choice of runway music was a collage of Bob Dylan and tribal beats.
- Phillip believes that what you do with your clothes (how you wear it, and when/where you wear it) is totally up to you, and that’s the beauty of clothes.
- “If you love something wear it.” Phillip Lim
- When asked about disposable clothing Phillip responded by saying clothes are like your friend. You purchase it, take care of it, and at the end of the day you don’t dispose of it. The notion of disposable clothes was a gross thought for him!
- When talking about the industry he said that people should do what they believe in. When people are confident it is because the believe in who they are and what they do. He also suggested for everyone to answer the question, “Why are you doing this?”, especially if you are in the fashion industry. Not everyone will become a designer.
- BE THERE! Be present, always. Inspiration comes from everywhere, at any time. Embrace it!
- Phillip sees himself as a dressmaker, not a celebrity.
- He also explained how pattern-makers are dying artisans. He is always looking for new pattern-makers to collaborate with him in making his vision a reality, but cannot find anyone.
- When asked about his perspective on time he explained that sometimes there is nothing that comes next. Celebrate the present. The future will come, then you can deal with it.
- The two most gratifying moments for Phillip as a designer are; one, when his team and himself can understand each other and come to the same conclusion; two, when a customer comes into a store, tries on his clothes, looks in the mirror, and says “Wow.”
- Phillip doesn’t design for a specific woman (doesn’t have a muse). He says he just makes clothes. He designs clothing for women who are passionate, elegant, are old fashion, they have a “crazy sense of fabulousness”, and have a sense of fun.
- Phillip dropped out of business school because he didn’t understand what was being taught. He then studied fashion and thrived.
- Phillip sees himself as a traditionalist who adapts to the present
- He is unique compared to other runway designers because he produces 92% of what they show on the runway. Phillip’s view, “Why show it if you can’t have it?”
- “The less you put on the page, the more you leave to the imagination.” Phillip Lim
- Regarding social media Phillip said that we can’t deny the fact that social media is such a significant part of our culture, so we should just go with it. The only choice we have is how much information you withhold. Phillip holds information back to keep the dream and mystery of his clothing alive. “Don’t be the victim, be the victor.”
Website: www.31philliplim.com (check out his S/S 2010 collection for yourself)
Retail Store: 631 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069. Tel: 310.289.0888 (One of his several retail stores. I’m told this store is an architectural phenomena. You might even see him there! He dresses the mannequins and does his own visuals)