Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Phillip Lim, Fashion Designer

Phillip Lim has just arrived to Il Faro. He’s wearing three Chrome Hearts bracelets on each arm. They shake as he orders a dirty martini. Lim is rolling West Coast-style. The Thailand-born designer was based in Los Angeles until he moved to New York in 2004 at the request of friend We Zhou. “She said, ‘We’re staring a company,’ and she never let me go back,” he says. They founded Phillip Lim 3.1 on what Lim calls the “Bobby Brady principle.” He explains the theory behind it, “I can’t afford expensive clothes, but I don’t want throw away clothes.” The idea was to push for quality at a lower price point. The result: sixty-four pieces from T-shirts to evening dresses. Lim’s been watching the evolving needs of the New York girl from day one. “A tribe of dandelions,” is how he refers to the new crop of style eccentrics. “Everything around us is so fragile; the world is so loud. Dandelions hold the eccentricity inside,” he says. “It’s the opposite now.” He cites his trench that can be rolled into a scarf as the ultimate versatile piece for day-within-day-dressing. “The world’s changed into day within day, not day to night. It feels like two days to me and it’s only 5:30.” Lim’s been going strong ever since the start of his company seven years ago, which means long days that start with a meditation in his “Charlie Brown garden” of a refurbished fire escape. Here amid the grapevine and honeysuckle, he takes deep breaths and eases into his first day within a day.

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