3.1 Phillip Lim Has a Totally New Approach to Menswear

3.1 Phillip Lim Has a Totally New Approach to Menswear

by Matthew Velasco

While weathering the worst of the New York City's COVID outbreak, Phillip Lim was reimagining the core tenets of his eponymous label. Started in 2005, 3.1 Phillip Lim has been a go-to for chic, sexy womenswear that reinterprets classic silhouettes. Technical knits, versatile outerwear, and sensible accessories have become a mainstay of the New York brand. Lim's exploration of ingrained sartorial codes — deconstructed blazers and thoughtful separates — has long made him one of the hottest tickets of NYFW.

The designer has also been a vocal advocate for #StopAsianHate, a movement created in response to racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lim's Instagram has also doubled as a platform for raising awareness about the rampant anti-Asian sentiment over the past year. He's appeared on news outlets like CNN and participated in a virtual event titled "Doing Something About It: Conversations about Culture, Community and our Collective Power" that raised over $2 million for various AAPI organizations.

Lim's latest endeavor now sees him fostering a refreshed outlook on menswear — a curated "kit" collection that is an homage to the tenacity of New York City. The collection features a variety of versatile staples for the modern man. Although the brand has released men's items in the past, this new format marks a new chapter for how Lim will approach menswear dressing.

Indeed, this month's drop is a stark departure from the traditional fashion system of large "see now, buy later" seasonal collections. Instead of releasing the line six months prior, Lim dropped the collection in mid-June to ensure that consumers can readily access the pieces just in time for the summer months. His business model is the latest in a long line of brands flouting the usual fashion calendar for less dense drops — Acne Studios, Marc Jacobs, Helmut Lang, among others.

The collection itself subtly toys with print and color and is a simplistic exploration of menswear silhouettes. Basics like t-shirts and pleated trousers ground the collection while playful red and black motifs create a sense of energy for the modern New York man. The kit also places a distinct emphasis on utilitarian accessories and details. The selection of crossbody bags, backpacks, and messengers are a must-have for the man on the go and details like side zips and closures add to the utility of the collection. All meant to be mixed and matched, the brand's men's collection creates the ideal city-ready summer wardrobe.

"When we were redesigning men's, we wanted to go off instinct; what pieces felt essential to his wardrobe," Lim said in a statement. "It is a reboot and rebuilding of the pieces he needs to create his perfect wardrobe. The kits are meant to be styled within each other."

Photos courtesy of 3.1 Phillip Lim