Glam Globetrotting with Phillip Lim

By  August 14, 2013

We’ve been fawning over Phillip Lim’s designs since he launched his eponymous label in the fall of 2005. From the beginning, the talented designer has been delivering stunning street-inspired wares to the runway. His aesthetic, which has always been simultaneously modern and romantic, tailored and ethereal, has recently absorbed a bit of sparkle in the form of sequins, metallic, and stones. Plus, Lim’s handbags have become an industry obsession. Thanks to his recent Target collaboration, women everywhere -or at least those who get in line early- will be able to rock his effortlessly elegant packable pieces.  In between his constant globe-trotting and the “Limsanity” that has taken over the style set, Lim sat down with Glam to talk shop.

Q:

So what's inspiring you now?

 
A:

Overall, the beach is always inspiring to me. And time off – or at least the thought of.

 
Q:

What are your favorite beaches to frequent?

 
A:

Easy ones are Turks and Caicos because the water and the sand are phenomenal. I also like Tulum. Three hours by plane and direct. Try it.

 
Q:

Have you been traveling a lot?

 
A:

This summer has been crazy for work. I've been everywhere… every continent I think.

 
Q:

Collecting lots of passport stamps?

 
A:

Lots of passport stamps. I look back -I have a couple of passports actually- and I'm like, Wow, this is a good memento, a keepsake.

 
Q:

Speaking of travel, what three destinations are on your bucket list?

 
A:

Tibet, the Galápagos, and Fiji.

 
Q:

What's the last vacation you went on for fun?

 
A:

It's so hard to answer that one because I don't really have vacations. I take a couple days here and there, or before and after wherever I'm at. The last city I was in was Berlin. It was after the men's show in Paris, and we just hopped over to Berlin… a group of friends come over and hang out.

 
Q:

What do you think are the most stylish places in New York City?

 
A:

What is amazing about New York is style can be found in any corner. I don't think it's a destination. When it becomes a certain neighborhood, then it's not so stylish anymore because everyone thinks that when they live there or go there, they're automatically stylish. And it's not about that. It's actually about standing your ground whichever corner or street you're at.

 
Q:

You've had an incredible career trajectory – do you remember the first time you ever showed at New York Fashion Week?

 
A:

Yes, it was my fall 2006 collection, and I did a presentation in Chelsea. It was a static presentation, and for two hours there was a string quartet doing instrumental versions of all Prince songs. It was really beautiful.

 
Q:

It was amazing. Do you prefer a presentation to a show?

 
A:

I think that it's about context, you know what I mean? A presentation is better for context because then you can actually sit, stand, look, talk, speak, converse. But if you're going after something that needs an emotional value or just breadth – then walk. Work it!

 
Q:

What advice do you have for young designers who are starting out and trying to make it in this industry?

 
A:

Do the work. Put in the time. There's no such thing as a free ride. There's no such thing as “quick.” “Quick” is actually a quick-fall.

 
Q:

If you weren't a designer, what would you be doing?

 
A:

Farming. I'd be a farmer seaside somewhere… maybe a seaweed farmer.

 
Q:

That sounds like a solid plan B.

 
A:

Yeah, people like seaweed!

 
Q:

What's your go-to takeout order?

 
A:

Anything from my friends' Vietnamese restaurant because they make me special things.

 
Q:

Do you have any Vietnamese restaurant recommendations?

 
A:

There's a place called Co Ba in Chelsea, on Ninth Avenue near 17th Street, and their five-spice spare ribs are to die for.

 
Q:

You're never fully dressed without a…

 
A:

Perfect smile.