Brian Phillips

President & Founder, Blackframe & Framework, New York.

By: Emily Ramshaw
Styling: Stephanie Mark
Photography: Renée Rodenkirchen

Here’s a list for you: Byredo, Delfina Delettrez, Dion Lee, Kenzo,, Nicholas Kirkwood, Nike, Opening Ceremony, Peter Pilotto, Rodarte,. Is it a) the list of everything you’ve ever wanted to buy, like, ever (really though)? Or b) the client list of one of the most powerful, innovative PR companies in the industry? If you said both, you’re totally right—except that that list is just a few of Black Frame’s clients (the PR firm in question); it also includes The Standard Hotels, design juggernaut Yabu Pushelberg, Frieze Art Fair and Visionaire. And you might say that the reason we all think these brands and companies are so :100: is in large part because of Black Frame—you know, just because they’re the ones responsible for making them seem so cool, like, everywhere.

And king among those responsible is, well, duh, the president and founder, Brian Phillips—who, as people tend to be in these positions, is kind of the brains behind the business (and that would be Black Frame along with Framework, the firm's creative direction branch). And get this for a starter kit: "During his time at Dior Homme, Hedi Slimane asked me to work with him in the spring of 2004, which was an incredible vote of confidence and opportunity for me to start Black Frame. At the time, I was deciding whether to pursue a career in the arts, so I decided to blend art and fashion together into my agency." We mean, if we had a little encouragement from Slimane, we’d probably start a company, too.

So, we think we can all agree that we’ve established that Phillips has cred. And then we got to his Chelsea apartment. First of all, and we guess this is obvious, but the man has very sophisticated taste in art and furniture. But there were some surprises: like the fact that he hordes Nike sneakers and DVDs (his favorites were suitably eccentric: Beetlejuice and Aliens); and when he named tequila and Momofuku (along with David Chang’s Instagram feed) as some of his favorite things, on top of people and things as varied as Gertrude Stein, the Big Bang, Pedro Almodovar and Georgia O’Keefe as inspirations, well, we understood why people go to him to be told what’s cool.