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Phillip Lim: 'Industry puts too much strain on designers'

Phillip Lim: 'Industry puts too much strain on designers'

Phillip Lim has expressed disdain for what he sees as top fashion houses’ tendency to churn through designers.

Speaking on the recent coming and going of designers from labels such as Dior, Saint Laurent, Lanvin and Balenciaga, Lim thinks this is due to companies looking to generate buzz for their brands.

“It’s so obvious to me that (this) is a sickness of this industry," he told WWD. "The designer has to get to know the house, feel the house. It’s like you should live in the house for a little bit. You should be given time to really understand all the rooms, the corners, the needs."

The American designer, who is known for his chic streetwear and minimalist tailoring, likens the fashion industry to a "factory" which pumps out designers, who he feels often don't get the creative support they need to create business. He adds that while he has never worked for another fashion brand, he thinks the system puts a strain on designers who are pressured to "get more noise" and commit themselves to companies.

Lim added that he may consider working for another brand if the right opportunity came along but developing his own business is his main priority for now. “I’ve never been interested in someone else’s history,” he shared. “I want to create my own path."

Meanwhile, the designer is basking in the success of his independently owned brand and enjoying the freedom to grow his business as quickly. Visiting Hong Kong this week as part of a tour of Asia, the 42-year-old is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of his label and reveals he feels his achievements have been down to his measured approach.

Currently the brand counts 16 stores, with number 17 set to open in Bal Harbour, Florida, this year (16), and is also looking at potential retail locations in the Middle East. Lim is also taking his time in terms of product extensions but does admit that footwear and fragrances are on the cards.

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