WWD.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/3-1-phillip-lim-adds-shades-484940/

Phillip Lim is adding sunglasses to his 3.1 roster.

The designer behind the eponymous clothing brand whose voluminous dresses and tailored jackets draw a following from both the uptown and downtown set is partnering with Modo to produce and distribute eyewear for spring.

“This felt like the natural evolution of building 3.1 Phillip Lim into a lifestyle brand,” Lim said in an e-mail. “Clothing, accessories, shoes and optical — it’s a slow gathering of all the nuts and bolts.”

The Kitt, a unisex aviator, will launch at Lim’s show Sunday night at New York Fashion Week. Colors include red, yellow, light blue and navy. The style will retail for $240 exclusively at the 3.1 Phillip Lim store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.

The brand will add a full range of eyewear styles for its fall 2008 runway presentation next winter. They will be available at the 3.1 boutique as well as select retail locations. Retail prices will range from $180 to $325.

As one of fashion’s rising stars, Lim has been lauded for his innovative vision in ready-to-wear. The eyewear collection is just one accessories category where Lim is looking to establish his point of view.

“I think the next steps would be shoes and a full range of handbags,” he said. “It’s an exciting time for us, but at this point, it is more about the trimming to the main collection of clothes.”

Lim is coy about whether he is looking to build a fashion empire through the world of licensing.

“I never say never,” he said. “My philosophy on that is, it’s about who you meet at that particular point.”

Lim cited his partnership with Modo as having stemmed from a “parallel philosophy” toward creative design.

“They’re a smaller, intimate company with a fierce independent mind frame,” he said.

Giovanni Lo Faro, Modo’s director of marketing and business development, said, “We appreciate how the brand works. We are two small companies and we move fast. We’re both spontaneous and seamless. There was a good energy from our first meeting and we began the collaboration right away with no complications. We are aligned in terms of style and execution.”

This story first appeared in the September 5, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Lo Faro said Lim’s upcoming collections will feature sunglasses only. Modo will begin work on an optical collection in the next two years.