Far from the (still) blustery streets of New York, style enthusiasts gathered in balmy Miami to celebrate the opening of the 3.1 Phillip Lim boutique at Saks Bal Harbour. But this was no ordinary ribbon-cutting. Instead, the iconic Raleigh Hotel, smack dab in the heart of the South Beach’s Deco district, served as the perfect backdrop for guests to toast Lim and his geode-inspired spring collection.
While the designer schmoozed with guests, a performance by New York-based indie duo MS MR added an extra dose of city-cool. What could be better? Oh right, this: the evening benefited the National YoungArts Foundation, a charity devoted to discovering and aiding the next generation of artists. As the beachfront celebration came to a close, Lim chatted about his inspirations and how he spends his spare time (you know, when he’s not changing the fashion landscape).
There was a strong allusion to nature in your spring collection. What inspired a return to the elements?
Lim: There’s always a nod to nature and natural surroundings in the collections – I guess it comes from my California upbringing. I grew up by the water and living in New York now, that’s something I always reflect on.
As a designer, you’re well-immersed in the world of art & culture. What are you loving outside of fashion right now?
Lim: I’m renovating my apartment so I’m looking at marbles, textures and surfaces, fixtures and fittings all the time, it’s taken over my life! I’m also counting down the days for the weather to be warmer again so I can go paddle boarding again.
You’re thought of as a New York designer, but are you taking any fashion cues from your travels—both for work and pleasure—around the country and world?
Lim: Always – I try really hard to always be present wherever I am and that lends itself to being inspired by everything around me. It’s never really a literal reference though. I always try to translate things in a subtle way.
What advice would you give to someone breaking into the fashion industry right now? What advice did you hear when you were starting out?
Lim: I think now the only advice to give is that you will need to know exactly what you want to be – it’s really tempting to be led astray and also get wrapped up in everything so I always think that being grounded and focused makes for good advice, in any endeavor!