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Career advice you need to know from fashion designer Phillip Lim

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The Outnet

Fashion gurus Garance Doré (the witty illustrator, photographer, and blogger) and Phillip Lim (the genius designer with an affinity for sporty athleisure touches) know a thing or two about balancing life and a high-powered career.

And at a live interview for Doré’s podcast “Pardon My French” (part of an inspiring three-day event series presented by stylish online shopping destination THE OUTNET) on October 19, Lim doled out the wisdom in spades.

“There is no such thing as a proper way to get somewhere. Everyone has their own way,” Lim told the crowd at the industrial-chic NeueHouse Madison Square in New York City, a gathering spot for entrepreneurs (and a fitting venue for the smartly dressed career crowd in attendance).

Feeling like you haven’t found your passion yet? That’s okay, says Lim. “I didn’t have any dreams. I only had what I wanted to wear,” he recalled, detailing how he dropped out of business school to take a job unpacking boxes at Barneys New York.

“The more comfortable you get in your own skin and the more you know yourself, it’s more about editing out. Not adding.”

From there, Lim worked his way up from unpaid intern (been there) to head designer, and eventually founded his eponymous line, 3.1 Phillip Lim. Today, he’s got one of the buzziest brands on the scene, credited with making luxurious threads you actually want to move in.

Despite all that, Lim has a surprisingly refreshing approach for balancing a demanding workload. “In this age of no time and constantly juggling, try to remember that it’s your time, and it’s your life,” he said. “The more comfortable you get in your own skin and the more you know yourself, it’s more about editing out. Not adding.”

Yep—no glorification of busy here, despite constantly being on the hook to churn out the next season’s collection.

So, how does he keep going when times are tough? “When you’re annoyed, go to the mirror and smile,” he advised. “You’ll just start laughing. It works.”

For more foolproof advice, check out the full podcast at on October 27.

And to shop THE OUTNET’s enviable edit of 3.1 Phillip Lim (plus 350+ designers at up to 75 percent off), go to THE OUTNET 

Photo: The Outnet