Phillip Lim

Phillip Lim

Designer, 3.1 Phillip Lim

The Chinese-American designer has hit a market sweet spot by offering beautifully made, well-designed clothing at a contemporary price point.

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United States Designers


Born in Thailand, of Chinese descent, Phillip Lim is a key figure in New York’s wave of Asian-American fashion designers. Together with his business partner, and fellow BoF 500 member Wen Zhou, the designer has successfully established his brand, 3.1 Phillip Lim as one of a handful of important, fast-growing contemporary brands, with a thriving wholesale business and four own brand stores in New York, Seoul, Tokyo and Los Angeles.

The son of a seamstress and a professional poker player, Lim believes he learnt more from his father, but remembers directing his mother as she made his clothes. His style has remained unchanged. Lim told New York Magazine, “I look at pictures of myself when I was 5 years old and I think that, yes, that is exactly what I like.”

Lim worked at Barneys in Orange Country, which led to him unpacking a box of Katayone Adeli merchandise. Immediately taken, Lim called for an interview with the designer and managed to secure himself an internship.

Lim was initially backed by a surf wear company to create his first line, Development. However, shifting trends led Lim’s backers to cease their financial support. However Wen Zhou, 3.1 Phillip Lim’s chief executive and co-founder, who was at the time was running a successful textiles company that supplied Development had seen Lim’s designs, “just knew that it was good.”


  • 3.1 Phillip Lim
    3.1 Phillip Lim

    Designer 2005 - Present, New York, United States

  • Development

    2000 - 2004, Los Angeles, United States

  • Paul Frank Industries
    Paul Frank Industries

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