LONDON — Phillip Lim has brought his cool, insouciant brand of ready-to-wear to London’s South Kensington.
Earlier this month the 3.1 Phillip Lim label unveiled a 3,200-square-foot store at 91 Pelham Street, which the designer has opened in partnership with Club 21 U.K. The long term partnership with Club 21 — the fashion and accessory arm of the Ong family’s Como Group — will see a number of 3.1 Phillip Lim locations open in the U.K., with a second London store set to bow in 2014.
“London has always been so welcoming to us,” said Wen Zhou, chief executive officer and cofounder of 3.1 Phillip Lim, noting that the label has taken a cautious approach to expanding into the U.K. “We have waited it out and chosen our partner wisely….We want to make sure we are in the right locations with the right message at the right time, and Club 21 are really on board with helping us to do this,” she said.
Lim collaborated with the London design firm Campaign to create the store’s interiors in a palette of muted tones and contrasting materials that echo the subtle handwriting of his collections. The space boasts stark white walls, a gray concrete floor inlaid with glinting strips of brass and randomly placed blue onyx tiles, while mannequins stand atop a series of marble plinths dotted about the store.
To underline the store’s concept of “studio luxury,” there are blank canvases propped up on the walls, while one-off pieces of furniture picked out by Lim — such as a tiger print sofa and an angular plywood armchair — lend a warm touch to the boutique’s clean lines.
Lim invited 500 people to fete the 2,700-square-foot, two-story 3.1 Phillip Lim flagship at the Taikoo Li, the luxury brand end of Sanlitun Village compound.
The store stocks men’s and women’s rtw and features an accessories studio with footwear, belts, bags and sunglasses.
Lim, who will next open a store in Shanghai’s Kerry Center mall, said his 3.1 brand fits with the emerging style of China. Though he is American through-and-through, Lim’s parents are both from China and he feels at home here as well as the U.S.
Alice Wong, executive director of ImagineX, the Hong Kong brand management and distribution company partnering with Lim for his China rollout, said the look and feel of his designs are exactly right for China at this moment.
“Luxury consumers are fast evolving from status-seeking and logo-loving to a more discreet expression of their own individual style,” said Wong. “Phillip is leading a new generation of designers that cater to that individualistic approach. There is a true spirit behind the brand. His clothes represent a certain attitude that is not dependent on trend. This really is something new for the market.”
Lim said the explosion in fashion in China fascinates him, as does the speed at which consumers here have adapted their tastes.
“I make clothes that pick up the energy of what is happening around me,” said Lim.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast