On the 10th anniversary of his eponymous label, Phillip Lim shares his best advice.Photo: Getty
After 10 years, how do you keep things fresh?
“I feel like I’m transitioning into the next phase of 3.1 Phillip Lim. I always say I’m an evolutionary designer, not a revolutionary one, because I’m not trying to make giant gestures and reinvent anything; I’m just carrying the conversation and the dialogue forward. And in this next phase, mindfulness and accountability and the way you do things is really important to me. I’ve always questioned why it takes so much ugly to create beauty, and I want to keep questioning that and challenge it.”
Where do you find beauty these days?
“I’m learning more and more to accept that things aren’t perfect and to find ecstasy in that.”
What’s the biggest lesson you have learned?
“I never say never anymore, because the things you run away from or avoid are the things you fear. If you fear something, you don’t have a handle on it and you should probably address that. I think it’s more fun to look at it from another point of view, like, ‘Let me try it and find the solution for it.’”
So, don’t dwell or obsess? Just move on?
“Take a moment. Take a deep breath. Dry your eyes. And then keep it moving.”
That’s very Zen; has that always been your philosophy?
“I think it stems from this yearning to slow everything down for the moment, to appreciate what we do and all the hard work and effort we put into our lives.”
How do you deal with critics?
“There are so many critics; everyone has an opinion, and everyone has a right to their opinion. If you’re true to yourself, then it’s just a little noise that will go away in a second. And at the end of the day, only you can hold light to your own actions.”
What’s your formula for staying true to yourself?
“No matter how hard and difficult and impossible something may seem, if it gives me a laugh still, if it gives me a tickle, then I know I’m being true.”
As told to Lisa Guimond. This article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of ELLE Canada.