Phillip Lim is an eminent American designer of Chinese descent. Born September 16, 1973 in Thailand, Lim moved to the USA as a baby, growing up with his five older siblings in Orange County, California, Lim’s mother working as a seamstress and his father as a professional poker player. Following his studies at California State University in Long Beach, he successfully gained an internship at Katayone Adeli, eventually becoming a design assistant there.
Lim co-founded his own label, 3.1 Phillip Lim in 2005 with his long-time friend and fabric company CEO Wen Zhou, the 3.1 referencing the fact they were both 31 at the time. With estimated sales of over $60 million, 3.1 Phillip Lim has gone from strength-to-strength since its foundation, a testament to the talent of Lim and the business acumen of Wen Zhou.
3.1 Phillip Lim has expanded into the accessories and footwear markets, and their business model of selling at a contemporary price point has seen it become a pioneering and visionary force in the industry. Today, the brand has flagship stores around the world including New York, Tokyo, LA Singapore and Hong Kong, and its designs can be found in department stores and boutiques in more than 50 countries.
Phillip Lim’s trademark is taking the everyday classic and injecting it with a touch of madness, resulting in clothes for both men and women that combine cool and easy elegance with a youthful zest of street chic. Vogue’s Laird Borrelli has described Phillip’s designs as being “pretty-but-cool clothes” that “don’t try to hard”, and her colleague Mark Holgate described Lim’s work as “brilliantly effortless, and wonderfully special”. His work has been recognised by awards too, Phillip winning the CFDA’s Emerging Talent in Womanswear award in 2007, and their Swarovski Menswear award in 2012.