Born in Thailand, of Chinese descent, Phillip Lim is a key figure in New York’s wave of Asian-American fashion designers. Together with his business partner, and fellow BoF 500 member Wen Zhou, the designer has successfully established his brand, 3.1 PHILLIP LIM as one of a handful of important, fast-growing contemporary brands.

The son of a seamstress and a professional poker player, Lim believes he learnt more from his father, but remembers directing his mother as she made his clothes. His style has remained unchanged.

When Wen Zhou, 3.1 Phillip Lim’s chief executive and co-founder, who was at the time running a successful textiles company that supplied Development had seen Lim’s designs, “just knew that it was good.”

She sent him a plane ticket for New York, and he arrived in the city on Thursday.

On Friday Zhou said, “‘Okay. That’s enough. I’m tired of you crying let’s start a company.’”