3.1 Phillip Lim

3.1 Phillip Lim is a global independent fashion brand seeking to expand their value beyond clothing, physically and digitally. I created a four-part brand program titled the 3.1 Salon to establish 3.1 Phillip Lim as the leader in fashion and lifestyle.

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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
headline from wwd reads fashion week and major evens disrupted because of coronavirus
Image source: WWD
background

2020 was a wakeup call for the fashion industry.

With the outbreak of the coronavirus, the fashion industry came to a breaking halt. Fashion weeks were cancelled. Retail stores were closed indefinitely, some closing for good. The COVID-19 outbreak sped up the expectations of the fashion industry by five years, and many smaller, independent labels like 3.1 Phillip Lim found themselves needing to re-evaluate.

Retail out. E-commerce in. (For now)

With physical retail no longer an option, e-commerce and digital marketing became a necessity overnight. Currently, 3.1 Phillip Lim's official site is less than optimal in accessibility due to lack of visual contrast, confusing site structure, and hidden information. Social media still remains the main communication line out to customers about new collections, projects, and collaborations, but many of these announcements are also easy to miss.

Image source: WWD

3.1 Phillip Lim: terrific work, not enough recognition

As an individual, Phillip Lim encompasses so many different worlds, from architecture to cooking. He's practically a brand unto himself. He's carried these interests into his projects and collaborations, building credibility as a creative director with integrity. However, many of these ventures end up as one-off instances that don't get the attention they're worth, despite their potential.

Examples:

  • 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
challenge

Digital and physical experiences feel disjointed.

opportunity

Fashion + (blank). 3.1 Phillip Lim has done it all, from art to activism.

key insight

Move from being a lifestyle-adjacent brand to being 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

Get to know each member, individually

Every  member of the 3.1 Society is featured on the 3.1 Phillip Lim website, complete with an official biography and links to their website and social handles. Each profile also features any upcoming collaborations, projects, or events they are participating in.

3.1 Society Member Profile
The entire 3.1 Society roster is featured on the main website. Click on a member to view their official bio, featured campaigns, and shop their favorite looks.
Featured within the shopping experience
Discover 3.1 Society members featured in official collection look-books and product shoots while you shop. Shop their look while you shop yours.
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Introducing 3.1 Salon Events (feat. 3.1 Society)

In response to COVID, 3.1 Phillip Lim moved its operations from a separate building into the NYC flagship. As part of the 3.1 Salon retail strategy, we would transform our current stores into multi-purpose studio spaces to host masterclasses, discussions and workshops in collaboration with our 3.1 Society members. These events would be first-come, first-serve with limited capacity to encourage safety and an intimate setting.

One-to-one time with 3.1 Society
Through 3.1 Salon physical events, we bring focus to the store as the gathering place for the 3.1 Phillip Lim community.
Optimizing our retail space
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.
Exclusive event code, redeem online
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 Online

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.

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Meet the 3.1 Society

Meet each member of the 3.1 Society. Read their bios, view upcoming collaborations or events, and even view and shop their favorite items from the 3.1 collections.

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Upcoming events

See upcoming events happening for 3.1 Salon in your preferred store location. Search for events by location, topic, and name. RSVP online and view details about the featured guest/3.1 Society member.

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Projects

View all projects and collaborations from the beginning of 3.1 Phillip Lim to present day.

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Lifestyle

A place to discover everything from local art, interior design, music playlists, collection throwbacks, to recipes from Phillip's official cookbook.

view full page
Meet the 3.1 Society
Meet each member of the 3.1 Society. Read their bios, view upcoming collaborations or events, and even view and shop their favorite items from the 3.1 collections.
Upcoming events
See upcoming events happening for 3.1 Salon in your preferred store location. Search for events by location, topic, and name. RSVP online and view details about the featured guest/3.1 Society member.
Projects
View all projects and collaborations from the beginning of 3.1 Phillip Lim to present day.
Lifestyle
A place to discover everything from local art, interior design, music playlists, collection throwbacks, to recipes from Phillip's official cookbook.
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.

Tailored experiences to our store demographics
By localizing based on individual stores, we can engage our local communities together with our partners and 3.1 Society members who are active on the ground.

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.

Creating virtual 3.1 Salon on YouTube to increase global reach
This platform allows us to host interviews, recaps, and recordings from live 3.1 Salon sessions and also virtual exclusives.
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

Authenticity and community win every time.

3.1 Phillip Lim has become a staple of the New York fashion scene, and a brand that advocates for local business and partnership. In creating 3.1 Salon, I wanted to emphasize the importance of community when it comes to survival, identity, and growth. The 3.1 Phillip Lim network is a global community that is united by aspiration, hope, and a desire to make the world a kinder and more beautiful place. By focusing in on each local community, we can create exponential influence.

Customers. Patrons. Future leaders.

The people who wear and represent 3.1 Phillip Lim exude charm, confidence, and courage. The 3.1 Society as a collective holds incredible power in the creative fields and are inspiring the next generation to pursue their dreams. In creating the 3.1 Salon, I also wanted to provide a way for 3.1 Phillip Lim to be actively involved in inspiring the next generation of creatives by providing access to their own resources of inspiration, their people. Who knows? One day a 3.1 Phillip Lim fan could become a Society member.

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.

The future of fashion is bright.

I have always had an interest in fashion but always admired it from a distance. It wasn't until I decided to take on this project that I realized I had more to offer than I had initially thought. Fashion has always been about representing culture in a moment, and now, we have more tools at our disposal to create unique and compelling stories. I plan to continue researching how the future of fashion will unfold post-COVID with emerging technology and a return to physical experiences.

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