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Jimmy Lim Werking It Thru The Fashion World

by Natasha Christopher

Award-winning fashion designer Jimmy Lim is slowly rising to the ranks as one of the most sort after fashion designer. So much so he presented his latest Summer/Spring 2019 collection at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2018 presented by Huawei as the highlighted superstar designer. This also marks Jimmy Lim’s 19th-year commitment to his self-titled label. 2CENTS had the pleasure of talking to this humble fashion designer and his story. 

How did you make your way as a fashion designer?

I studied Bachelors in Fashion Technology at AUT Auckland New Zealand.  There was no fashion week during that time so I had to find my own channel in order for my work to be noticed. I came up with a full collection with only 200 NZD (RM 450 that time) and gathered 2 senior classmates. The end product is that we did a fashion show in a striptease club. Tons of media attention we’ve gotten and a few stockists approached me to sell in their boutiques, that’s when my label started and that was in the year 1999.
What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?

It has to be listening to many subjective opinions and trying to please everyone. I took people’s advice and came up with an evening gown collection which I showed at New Zealand Fashion Week 2004 but it was a big change and people were confused as it did not represent the brand. It was a beautiful collection but it did poorly in sales. It is always great to hear when people say “that is so JIMMY LIM”.

Describe what goes on when you’re designing a new collection/outfit?

Normally I would start by gathering references from something personal of mine. For example,  it can be from the past or the present, such as music or movies that relive past memories, or even something very interesting as a fascination. After that, I visualize the final look and story of the collection and I work to create the tiny details and the construction of each garment. Further development will be taken from here on with the team to create the ultimate collection.
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What was the inspiration behind your collection on the recent KLFW 2018?

The futuristic collection entitled ‘SOLAR Spring/Summer 19’ is an after-take of our previous collection ‘PLUTO Fall/Winter 18’ which was also inspired by Space. We like the idea of working towards the future, it’s like a very optimistic work of ours and we hope this can give society a more positive expression of the future as well as to the wearers. Besides that, we have also been implementing crystal (precious stone) into the collection too. Careful styling decisions had to be taken into consideration as we had to be very careful it doesn’t look too “child-like”.

How did it feel like representing Malaysia while you’re showing your collection in an overseas country? 

My team and I are very grateful to be able to represent our country on such an international scale. It is a great deal to us as we work very hard on each collection and to be able to be recognized by it internationally really gives a huge pat on the back for us to strive to produce even more top quality collections. 

What’s the best part about your job?

To create a vision that turns into a reality and seeing people wearing your garments is a great reward at the end of the day. 

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ᴇᴛ ᴠᴏɪʟᴀ, ᴛʜᴇ ғɪɴᴀʟᴇ ᴏғ ᴊɪᴍᴍʏ ʟɪᴍ @jimmylimofficial ‘sᴏʟᴀʀ’ s/s ’19 ᴛᴏɢᴇᴛʜᴇʀ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴄᴏʟʟᴀʙᴏʀᴀᴛᴏʀs @giddyup_heels @probaturnz @suzzyhelmet ᴀᴛ @klfashionweek ᴋᴜᴀʟᴀ ʟᴜᴍᴘᴜʀ ғᴀsʜɪᴏɴ ᴡᴇᴇᴋ ʀᴇᴀᴅʏ-ᴛᴏ-ᴡᴇᴀʀ 2018 ᴘʀᴇsᴇɴᴛᴇᴅ ʙʏ ʜᴜᴀᴡᴇɪ ɴᴏᴠᴀ 3 | 3i @huaweimobilemy🚶🚶🚶 . . . . . . . . Thank you @jesuisnabil for the clip 😘 #SOLARSS19 #JimmyLim #JimmyLimFashion #DreamMakersClub #KLFW #KLFW2018 #HuaweiMobileMY #NovaSuperstar #HuaweiNova3 #HuaweiNova3i #GiddyUpHeels #SuzzyHelmet #Probatur #ProbaturNZ #DemuirDolce #SFCoffee #PavilionKL #IGotStyle #RURunwayReady #Fashion #FashionShow #NewCollection #KualaLumpur

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There’s so much pressure for designers to come out with their greatest collection season after season. What advice would you give to young designers just starting out and hoping to make it in the industry?

Never over think and spend too much time on the research of a collection. Budgeting is important so do not overspend on materials, sampling and the time it takes to create a garment all adds up to the cost of the end product. As designers, our job is to strike a balance between creativity and commercial viability. I have always believed ‘if it’s not worn, it’s not real’.

To follow on his journey and his collections, you can always see him through his Instagram page here: Jimmy Lim.



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