Designer Phillip Lim makes menswear that uses popular prints like camo but also designs some really well-fitting basics. We dropped all the men's looks from his upcoming Target collaboration yesterday, and now show select pieces from the collection, with prices that range from $20 for tees and backpacks all the way to a $300 real leather jacket. Our favorite pieces? Sweatshirts and sweatpants that only cost $30, and slick sneakers that will run you just $45.
With a dedicated following from popular rappers (remember that braided leather jacket almost everyone had a couple years ago?), we think a couple of pieces in this collection stand out. We talked to the designer about why menswear tends to get less play when it comes to capsule collections like this, the importance of fit in leather jackets, and how to pull off sweatpants without looking like you're headed to the gym.
You usually don't see this many menswear pieces in capsule collections. I know you were excited for the opportunity to design men's clothes for Target. Do you think people underestimate men's interest in collabs like this?
I always say that us men are 50% of the population, and it's like only 10% of this kind of stuff made for us. It's unfair, but I think more men now are having the courage to break stereotypes. Just because you're interested in aesthetics and function at the same time, it doesn't downplay your masculinity. It means you're more confident.
What's it like working with a company like Target, and what inspired these super-clean sneakers?
When you think about a mass retailer like Target, there's always a lot of hoopla surrounding these collaborations. To be able to actually reduce something, like it was a luxury private label, and bring it out at this price, is such an accomplishment. I love old-school stuff, and very simple lines. I'd kick around in these. They remind me of my childhood in California, there's a little bit of skate and surf in them.
You're known for prints, and there are plenty in this collection. How can a guy rock the whole pattern-on-pattern thing?
I think it's all about doses. The average guy could take a patterned sweatshirt and mix it with a solid buttondown, trousers, and a nice leather jacket.
Your leather jackets have a following from guys like Kanye West and A$AP Rocky, and it's rad that you brought one into this collection. What makes this piece stand out to you?
At the end of the day, the leather jacket is ubiquitous. What I wanted to do at this price point and this level was all about fit, and use real leather. I wanted to approach it from a way where this is how a leather jacket should fit. It's all about fit for men. You could have some decoration, but you should look sharp, confident, and sure.
Sweatpants have made a comeback in menswear, and in this collection. What's the trick to wearing them with anything?
The key is not to put together an outfit for working out. It's taking parts and putting them with things you normally wouldn't, almost like breaking down walls on how to dress. It's about having that attitude of "whatever." Don't sweat it.