Photo: Courtesy of Target
“Finally, finally, we get to talk about it,” said Phillip Lim as he walked into the editors’ preview for the 3.1 Phillip Lim collaboration with Target. He took a sweep around the room. “What a relief!” he added. The womens and mens 100-plus piece offering, divided into Morning, Noon, and Night lines, includes spinoffs of some of Lims greatest hits over the years, including a classic trench, an iteration of the Pashli bag (both mini and large), and the Ka-Pow comic-print sweater from a few seasons ago. Also, there are the grab-and-go bags (one of Lims personal favorites), with sweet, lacy shorts and a tank, to be worn underneath or out. We chatted with Lim yesterday to get the full scoop before the line drops on September 15. He opened up about superheroes, cocktail dresses, and whats next for the burgeoning Lim empire.
We heard Target courted you for years before you agreed to do this collaboration. What made you finally agree to do it?
I think in hindsight, thank God I waited. You dont realize how huge Target is. Whatever I put out there, I am a spokesperson for this industry and Target is a behemoth. Its a lot of responsibility. When we were younger, we didnt know what we wanted as a company. Now, we have realized what is realistic, what is manageable, and what we actually want to do. There is accountability with the action, not just, “Lets hop on the collaboration bandwagon.” Also, I wanted to have the time to build a language and bring to a larger audience the codes of my house and the things I use every season as a foundation.
On that note, tell us about the 3.1 Phillip Lim classics you brought into this collection.
When I started [my] brand, the first piece I ever [took on] was a trench coat, and I was obsessed with making that trench coat. Hence, there is a trench coat in this collection. It was kind of insane because it look just like a normal trench, but actually, the fabric research on it is amazing. The [look] is sharp and sleek: Its casual, but has color combinations. We also took one of our classic shirt-dresses and reshaped it. And, we did our classic tuxedo and cocktail dress. I could see it with a leather jacket over it, its so versatile.
What items do you think will be the best sellers?
In my ideal world, it would be a different bag for a different day. Every bag has its own purpose, you know? Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt. The grab-and-go bags are actually one of my favorite parts. Theres one for women and one for men, and its really like meI am always in a rush. Thats what the modern day woman or man has to go through to become a superhero, you know?
You divided the collection into three sections: Morning, Noon, and Night. Why did you chose to make those distinctions?
Target is known for design for the masses, and we are all a part of the masses on different levels. I like to think of us as superheroes and heroines and every single day is a chance to defeat something and conquer it. Just like, win, you know? And I broke it from morning to night and day to night. You have that quick change at work in the bathroom stall and reveal yourself as ready to take on the night.
This versatile, on-the-go lifestyle is a big part of your brand. How do you personally manage that?
Well, this morning I started with these trousers, this T-shirt, a bomber [jacket], and tennis shoes. I left everything else on, and then I switched the jacket out for [a different one]. In the end, its the same core. In the end, it was the modern day wardrobe, and I was just constantly swapping things out and interchanging and taking it from day to night and night to day.
Photo: Courtesy of Target
Having a Target collection has become a hallmark of a designers career. Whats next for the future of Phillip Lim?
Oh my God, you are going to have to stay tuned. You have to focus on the present. Its nice to observe the future, but you live in the present.
What about these rumors of a second New York City store?
I always think its never good to stay still. We are working out new ideas and projects at the moment. You just have to stay tuned.