Shop Talk

Style and sample sales, fashion and fun.


Phillip Lim talks Target, boxers and fall must-haves

Phillip Lim for Target hits stores Sept. 15

Phillip Lim for Target hits stores Sept. 15 with looks for both men and women. (Credit: Handout)

Designer collaborations for Target are always hyped (They're limited-edition! They're big names! They're cheap!), but Phillip Lim's collection, launching Sept. 15, is hotly anticipated for a few extra reasons:

1. Everyone loves Phillip Lim. He's wearable but unique, feminine but sophisticated, classic but modern. His Target collection takes you from work (structured pants and blazers) to night (sequin-embellished dresses) to weekend (graphic-print sweatshirts and super-soft sweatpants) to bedtime (silky PJs and underwear).

2. One word: Handbags. The CFDA named Lim the 2013 accessories designer of the year, and his coveted 3.1 Phillip Lim handbags will cost you between $650 and $1,000 in the real world. In Target world, however, all of his accessories are $60 or less. And the selection is something to write home about -- oversized work or travel bags, cross-body bags, miniature totes and a range of fall colors with some animal print thrown in for good measure.

3. The men's collection is unprecedented. Guys often get overlooked for these types of things, but not this time. There are must-have sneakers and boots, cozy sweaters that girlfriends everywhere will be stealing, bomber jackets, trench coats, camo-printed pants and office-ready button-downs. And don't forget the boxer-briefs!

We caught up with Lim so he could tell us about it in his own words.

You have said you weren't ready to design a Target collection. What changed your mind?

It’s kind of like dating. It’s been about a five-year course, actually. At the time when Target first approached me, I wasn’t ready and maybe we both weren’t mature enough. There wasn’t one thing in particular that changed my mind; right now it’s more realistic and just felt right for me and my own company and what we had to offer.

What was the most difficult thing about designing this collection?

Having the opportunity to work with the most beautiful leathers and materials was the biggest challenge. It was more about the question of how do I do this to meet my expectations, so it was about creating a collection that was “cheap and chic.” I was intimately involved in all aspects of my collection for Target, working directly with Target’s design team to facilitate everything I desired and make sure my imprint and aesthetic remained front and center.

Do you have a favorite piece?

That’s a hard question! If I had to pick, I would choose the grab-and-go-packs, which are great. I did one for men and one for women. The men’s includes basic staple items such as a T-shirt, boxers and socks. For women, there is a chic sleep set, which is perfect for when you need something pretty to either have on the go or hide underneath.

If you could only splurge on one wardrobe item this fall, what would it be?

If you don't own one already, a classic cashmere coat in navy or camel for both men and women is the ultimate in luxury and good taste.

Do you ever shop at Target yourself?

Yes, I shop at Target for just about everything. As a child and growing up especially, I remember Target as that place to get everything and just thinking, “They have everything here; all the dreams are here!”

What can we expect from you this September at New York Fashion Week?

My collection is very soulful in a way where we're reducing it back down to what is important.