When designer Phillip Lim launched 3.1 Phillip Lim in 2005 with business partner Wen Zhou, he wanted to offer designer fashion at more reasonable prices. Indeed, 3.1 Phillip Lim items usually cost between US$300 and US$900 — nowhere near the prices charged by designers such as Michael Kors and Proenza Schouler. Manufacturing costs are kept low, often thanks to well-established relationships with Chinese factories.
In a little more than five years, 3.1 Phillip Lim has grown to five stand-alone boutiques — three in Asia — and its clothes are sold in more than 400 stores in 53 countries.
In 2007, Mr. Lim, who was born in Thailand to Chinese parents and moved to Southern California as a child, won the Council of Fashion Designer’s Swarovski award for womenswear. Now living and working in Soho, he is a fixture in New York’s fashion scene, which, like his own aesthetic, tends to veer toward the simple and wearable.