My name is Harrison Kuykendall and I'm a senior graphic design major at MICA. Over the summer of 2012, I completed an internship in the branding department of fashion designer 3.1 Phillip Lim. The company was founded in 2005 was met with instant success. Lim is known for his effortlessly chic looks that can easily transition from day to night. The line combines uptown elegance with downtown cool, and comes at relatively accessible price points. I had known about the company for a while, and was a huge fan. As such was so excited when I saw a posting for a graphic design internship position on the job boards of the design site Brand New. I sent them an e-mail explaining my passion for the brand and both graphic design and fashion, and also my resume and PDF portfolio. I learned that the Brand Design Director, and my main contact at the company, was Ken Leung, a well-known designer and founding Creative Director of Monocle Magazine. I heard back from Ken about a week later, and he wanted to interview me for the position in New York. We were supposed to meet at the Phillip Lim offices, but last minute he decided to move the interview to a coffee shop in SoHo. It was one of the most nerve-wracking interviews I've ever had, and he was very thorough, asking a ton of hard-hitting questions. The day after the interview I sent an e-mail thanking them for considering me, and they replied back saying that I could have the job!
At 3.1 Phillip Lim I worked with Ken and the rest of the branding team helping out with whatever they might need. The biggest thing that happened during the summer was preparing for the Spring/Summer 2013 men’s fashion show in Paris. This involved researching deeper into some of Phillip's inspirations for the show, and figuring out how to graphically represent these in the form of a show invitation. I researched places we could have the invitations printed, and mocked up the invitations to present to Phillip. Sitting in on brand meetings with Phillip was one of my favorite parts of the internship; one time he even asked me to name a bunch of drinks for a pop-up bar we were having in Tokyo. I also put together look books for the collections, which involved a lot of photo editing and retouching, and I redesigned internal corporate documents. I also worked on a video we were putting together for a fashion event in Shanghai, and got to be on set when we filmed the video; a combination of martial arts, dancing, and of course, fashion. I also got to work on editing together videos of our fashion shows to be used on the 3.1 Phillip Lim website, and did work with the new social media department.
Interning for 3.1 Phillip Lim was one of the most exciting times in my life, and I feel I gained valuable experience and contacts within the fashion industry. I found out that I definitely want to pursue a career in graphic design for fashion, and I discovered that it could involve so much more than just print and web design work. I also learned to utilize less is more principles in my design, because fashion is all about elegance and beauty, and to reduce elements of design to just enough to get the message across. It was an amazing summer and has made me anxious and excited to begin my career after graduation!