3.1 Phillip Lim, West Hollywood

The charmed designer heads home to open his first L.A. boutique. By Christene Barberich
Advertisement
Some designers just have that midas touch. Well, not really some designers, more specifically, Phillip Lim. We won't go into all the bushels of good fortune (awards…collaborations…critical praise). But if you're a fan of Lim's sublimely wearable creations, you know he deserves every bit of it. Unlike a lot of contemporary designers, Lim seems to really understand the complexities of the young, modern women, crafting beautiful things that are just the right measure of sharply confident and delicately sexy.
And, yes, the Lim legend continues to grow with his latest addition, a sprawling new boutique in the designer's native Los Angeles. The luminous, amoeba-shaped space—gorgeously overhauled from a former auto-body shop—marks Lim's second store in the U.S. (his third in the world), and he tells us this new 5,000 square-foot baby, which officially opens tomorrow, feels like a sort of homecoming. "L.A. was always in the bigger picture," he says. "It's where I'm from, so I had to represent the West Coast!" Here, Lim tells us more about his expansion westward and why going with the idea of "totally maybe" always works.
philliplimportrait0608When did you start planning the Los Angeles outpost?
"Los Angeles was [part of the plan] from the beginning. As far as a physical search, we started to poke around last August, thinking it would be a good exercise in looking at options for when we were ready in the future. And as with everything we've done, it just happened. We stumbled upon our present location and had to just dive right in heart first!"
Why Los Angeles? And specifically, why West Hollywood?
"It's where I hail from! I had to represent the West Coast! To me L.A. is like the new frontier—a sorta gold rush if you will. And the mixture of locals and the newly transplanted are creating this interesting future for the city. The decision to be on Robertson was really determined by the particular space that we fell in love with…it was calling to us."
Advertisement
All three of your boutiques are very unique in terms of design and layout. What were you envisioning for this space?
"A place where imagination, traditions, and boundaries are pushed forward. It's a space where we always say 'totally maybe.'"
Why are all your stores so aesthetically different? Does the geography influence you?
"The ideas of each store are about the context—the locale. Each experience is so completely different from the next. The culture in Tokyo is nothing like L.A., the desires, habits of people, etc. In NYC, there are four seasons, whereas in L.A. it's always beautiful. In the end, it's impossible and artificial to control and dictate. Instead, I like the idea of letting go and learning from all these different experiences."
What details of the store are you most pleased with?
"That's difficult, like having to choose your favorite child. However, if pushed to choose, it would be the use of acoustic foam pyramids that line the interior walls—the texture and balance between hard and soft is genius!"
I'm sure you'll have no shortage of guests at the opening, but who do you really hope makes an appearance?
"At this moment, it's not about wishing. It's about celebrating the present. So, everyone who is coming, they are the ones I wish for! And, if I may take a moment to say thank you…'thank you!'"
3.1 Phillip Lim Los Angeles, 631 North Robertson Boulevard. For more information, go to www.31philliplim.com.
Advertisement
The charmed designer breaks ground on his third full-scale boutique.
Advertisement

More from Stores

The term "lady" certainly feels pretty antiquated. But in H&M's latest campaign commercial, the dated word gets a cool, thoroughly modern ...
J.Crew doesn't have the over-the-top quality of some other shows (or, as fashion critic Vanessa Friedman recently called them, "hashtag hoo-has") such as ...
Here’s a sentence my teenage self never thought she’d write: Lane Bryant is seriously killing the plus game. Besides an overall aesthetic shift from “stuff...
Lane Bryant's latest campaign is evidently not suitable for national network TV audiences: Its 30-second spot was banned by ABC and NBC. Featuring plus-...
If you had any lingering doubt that fashion is all about nostalgia, just take a look at Opening Ceremony's new arrivals: Humberto Leon and Carol Lim keep ...
We should probably employ a "believe it or not" clause around all of the epic tales we heard while on our exclusive tour of Cartier's newly renovated ...
When I saw Ashley Nell Tipton on Project Runway, I knew that a sea change had just occurred. It was thrilling to watch her tackle challenge after challenge...
After last month's productive spring-cleaning binge, we imagine your closet's looking a little sparse these days. With all of that freed-up space, the ...
H&M is on a quest for ambitious, innovative green ideas that could change the fashion biz. The Swedish retailer's non-profit arm, H&M Foundation...
Another day, another independent artist calling out fast fashion for ripping off work. Let's get right to it: Azerbaijani artist Faig Ahmed, who is known ...
If you've been a fan of R29's for years, you'll know we have a soft spot in our hearts for J.Crew. Its new arrivals always seem to address exactly what our...
A new book, set to be released in Sweden next week, asserts that the factories in Myanmar under contract with H&M hired employees as young as 14 and ...
Update: H&M just released a second look at its upcoming collaboration with Kenzo — one that teases a very different direction for a fast-fashion ...
Just a few weeks after people rallied behind artist Tuesday Bassen following allegations that Zara copied her original illustrations on numerous ...