The pragmatist

A self-dubbed introvert and social media recluse, US fashion designer Phillip Lim has nevertheless managed to build a mini fashion empire based on 'It' bags, quirky cool looks and decidedly Asian work ethics. By May Yip

Published Fri, Jan 3, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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IN a time when the grande marques of fashion like Chanel have Facebook accounts, 67-year-old British designer Paul Smith blogs, and Burberry - long lauded for its savvy approach to digital marketing - lost its CEO to Apple Inc, 40-year-old trend-maker Phillip Lim is an anomaly.

"A lot of people play the social media game," says the American-Chinese co-founder of his eponymous brand 3.1 Phillip Lim (the numbers stand for the age at which Lim and business partner Wen Zhou started the label). "But it's not about people liking and tagging you. You may have the most followers on social media but the smallest business. I don't Tweet, Instagram or have a Facebook account. I have nothing."

This refusal to succumb to the digital age is perhaps in line with the designer's elusive, introverted nature. "When I signed up to be a designer, it was about making clothes backstage," admits the articulate, rather earnest Lim, who was in Singapore to speak alongside Ms Zhou, who is the chief executive officer of the company, at the International New York Times Luxury Conference.

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