Phillip Lim CDFA interview (2006)
The former designer for Development, this 33-year-old from the O.C. has quickly built a following on the strength of his pretty yet cool, beyond-basic clothes.
How would you describe your clothes?
Classic with a sense of madness.
What was your big breakthrough?
Pulling off the spring show. It was my first, and it was amazing. To see these real, beautiful, professional girls walking out like fluttering butterflies into this sea of people, I thought, "Is this us? Is this for real?"
Who is your favorite designer, living or dead?
It's definitely Dries Van Noten. I just love that he's such a die-hard romantic. From the invitation to the refreshments at the show, the whole thing is such a dream.
What is the best trend of spring 2007?
For me, it's white. White, white, white. It's all about that freshness, the innocence, the naiveté.
What's the worst fashion faux pas?
Leggings worn as pants without covering the middle portion. Only a girl like Kate Moss can get away with that. One girl in the world, and that's it.
What was your worst look?
Polka-dot socks. With shorts. It was back when Wham was big. You know: shorts, vest, polka-dot socks.
What is your greatest inspiration?
Chanel or Elsa Schiaparelli? and why?
I love both, but I'd have to say Chanel. She was always modern, always stylish, but with a wicked sense. She had such a rebellious attitude, and I love that.
What would you be if you weren't a designer?
I'd love to work in a flower shop. I feel like I have a good hand for that. I'm always arranging things.
In what specific areas of business would you invest the $200,000 cfda/vogue fashion fund award?
Additional staff. And I'd put more into a marketing budget. Grassroots marketing. We can't advertise, but we could propose trunk shows, things like that.
If you didn't need the money for business, what would you do with it?
I'd be sitting in it. Not literally. I'd be sitting in a Porsche. I never dreamed of being a designer, but I've always wanted a Porsche 911. I've been fixated on that car since age seven. I'm crazy about it.