3.1 Phillip Lim

background

3.1 Phillip Lim is a global luxury fashion brand based out of New York City. Since its inception, it has prioritized diversity and bringing awareness to social issues through its collections, collaborations, and media activities. However, many of these activities are disjointed.

How might we create a space for 3.1 Phillip Lim to celebrate and expand these efforts?

CHALLENGE

Digital and physical brand experiences don't align.

OPPORTUNITY

Fashion no longer refers to just clothing. Individual projects carry strong brand value and deserve recognition.

SOLUTION

Consolidate all brand endeavors under one single lifestyle program.

CONTEXT
Independent Masters Thesis
DATE
Sep - Dec 2020
TOOLS
Figma, Principle, Adobe Photoshop, Cinema 4D
Team
Solo Project
role
UX/UI Designer, Interaction Designer, Strategist
skills
Strategy, UX/UI, Prototyping, Interaction Design, Experiential Marketing
target
Young adults, mid-20s to mid-30s, income $100K+
regions
North America (primary US), Europe, Asia
Interests
High fashion, art history, social justice, diversity initiatives
key points

Terrific work, not enough recognition

Since its inception, the company has promised products and experiences that support versatility, authenticity, and aspiration. Some examples of how they've done that include the following:

  • Studio Day: instead of regular exclusive Fashion Week show, public viewing of new collection and chance to meet 3.1 Phillip Lim team
  • Live Free Collection: hired non-traditional models for collection photoshoot, including activists, journalists, and musicians
  • Tougher Than Ever: apparel collaboration with Ruba Abu-Nimah, all proceeds go to relief efforts and charities

Physical and digital have to be unified

No industry was left untouched by the effects of COVID-19. The fashion industry was hit hard, with small, mid-tier brands like 3.1 Phillip Lim needing to streamline efforts between their physical and digital properties.

Expand beyond just clothing

As an individual, Phillip encompasses so many different worlds, from architecture to cooking. He's practically a brand unto himself. How might we incorporate Phillip's personal passions into our core identity to create a more authentic brand experience?

Key insight

Move from being a lifestyle-adjacent brand to a lifestyle brand.

Introducing the 3.1 Salon

A four-channel branded program designed to foster the interaction between fashion, arts, and culture.

The concept of the 3.1 Salon is built off of the tradition of historical fashion salons that emerged during the golden age of fashion, helmed by magnates like Christian Dior and Coco Chanel — gatherings that united intellectual, artistic, and political contemporaries.

People

current offerings

3.1 Tribe: highlights individuals critical to the 3.1 creative process

challenges

Lack of consistent promotion, easy to miss announcements

new solution

3.1 Society: rebranded official ambassador program

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Retail

current offerings

Studio Day: a public collection viewing at NYC flagship, opportunity to meet 3.1 team

challenges

No consistent schedule, ad-hoc, freeform

new solution

3.1 Salon Events: limited discussion sessions led by 3.1 Society members

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Web

current offerings

31philliplim.com: official website

challenges

Hard to read, low contrast, difficult to navigate, hidden information

new solution

3.1 Salon nav tab: dedicated sub-tab encompassing all lifestyle related activities outside of commerce

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Community

current offerings

Vimeo: video page to showcase collections (no YouTube)

challenges

Low viewership, low engagement

new solution

Localization: targeted programming for individual stores
YouTube page: expanding virtual presence

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Introducing the 3.1 Society

The 3.1 Society is a coalition of 3.1 Phillip Lim's closest partners, collaborators, and friends. They form the collective of people who inspire us as creators and the work we produce.

society (n.): the aggregate of people who are fashionable, wealthy, and influential, regarded as forming a distinct group in a community

Meet the Society

Get to know each member of the 3.1 Society through their official website biography.

  • Company name, job title, location
  • Link to official website
  • Featured 3.1 Phillip Lim collaborations, upcoming events
  • Top 4 favorite items from collections

Shop and discover

Discover 3.1 Society members featured in official collection lookbooks and product shoots while you shop. Shop their look while you shop yours.

  • Link to official 3.1 Society profile
  • List of Society members who have favorited a particular item
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3.1 Salon Physical Events

The first element of retail strategy is the physical arm of the 3.1 Salon. Through 3.1 Salon, we can transform our current stores into multi-purpose studio spaces to host masterclasses, discussions, and workshops in collaboration with 3.1 Society members. These events would be first-come, first-serve with limited capacity to encourage safety and an intimate setting.

Transforming our retail spaces

While many of the 3.1 Phillip Lim stores are still closed, the brand has since let go of their dedicated office building and moved all core operations to the NYC flagship. Keeping costs down and efficiency up is the most important thing to consider when it comes to utilizing space, so I created a diagram showcasing how 3.1 Salon events could also operate within the NYC flagship.

Funnel into digital

At the end of every event, each participant will receive a code in their email inbox that will give them exclusive previews and discounts on the collection that they can redeem at the official website.

3.1 Salon Digital

I created a dedicated space for the 3.1 Salon within the 31philliplim.com infrastructure. As a dedicated main tab in the menu navigation, the 3.1 Salon tab now becomes the home for any non-clothing/non-commerce related activity for the brand.  

The 3.1 Salon digital space contains five sub-tabs: latest news, 3.1 Society roster, upcoming events, side projects, and a lifestyle blog. Details are listed below.

💡 Click here to view full pages and annotations.

view all

Elevated design system

I kept the existing typeface, Avenir Next, but introduced more weights and sizes to create contrast.

Localized programming

Because each store caters to a unique and local demographic, the Salon events would also be localized per store. For example, the LA store events might focus topics around diversity in fashion and entertainment in Hollywood, bringing in Society members based in LA or existing partners such as Gold House and CAPE. This would also encourage each store to truly work on engaging with the local demographic as well as their neighbors to support local and small business.

Creating a virtual Salon

Not every 3.1 Phillip Lim fan is based in a large city with a physical store. In addition to the owned channels through the stores and through 3.1 Phillip Lim.com, I created concepts for creating an official YouTube channel to host public 3.1 Salon content along with the rest of the brand's marketing. Currently 3.1 Phillip Lim only has a Vimeo page with little to no engagement.

Understanding market health and industry trends
During the initial stage of research, I delved deep into industry reports by The Business of Fashion, McKinsey & Co., and conducted several in-depth interviews with production coordinators, stylists, and other industry experts to understand the scope of the situation.
Mapping out the floor plan
I found the specs of the New York flagship store online, retraced it in Figma and added in my elements on top to map out the layout for the 3.1 Salon events
Wireframes
After auditing the existing website, I laid out the top few pages I wanted to build out, general layout templates, and custom components.
Feedback
I ran several user tests with my stakeholders, including UX/UI designers, fashion stylists, and production coordinators. I consolidated all their feedback within Figma, corresponding with each screen I was showing.
Final iterations
After multiple rounds of feedback and iterations, I completed my final screens complete with annotations.

There is always opportunity to grow and to give back.

That is the biggest lesson I learned from diving into this brand and into this project. As an Asian-American, it is reassuring and motivating to see leaders like Phillip Lim unashamedly take charge of his industry and his craft. It gives me courage to perfect my own craft with the same diligence and find opportunity to use my skills for good.

Cisco Webex
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Google Creative Campus
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overviewStrategySolutionProcessReflection