PHIPPS has returned to its American roots with its newest FW 2023 collection celebrating and paying homage to Americana culture while also marking a chapter of reinvention for the brand. With its commitment to changing the American fashion scene with its unique craftsmanship and elemental fusions. the brand’s identity and signature can be seen through the collection’s pieces—combining both contemporary aspects while preserving the heritage that it’s driven its inspiration from. Brought to life in a runway show set, a backdrop of the iconic and breathtaking Big Sky Ranch in Simi Valley, California perfectly added the cherry on top of capturing the spirit of the West.
For a deeper look at the brand’s latest lineup, VMAN caught up with Spencer Phipps of PHIPPS to discuss the brand’s latest offerings and how the theme resonates close to home.
VMAN: The FW23 Collection is very Americana oriented with pieces and visuals heavily reminiscent of the American West. What motivated you to leer into this concept direction for the next step in your brand’s evolution?
Spencer Phipps: I needed a fresh start, a chance to reconnect PHIPPS with its American roots after moving the brand back to the US. It’s been an eye-opener, being back home, and it’s given me this newfound clarity about PHIPPS. I wanted to celebrate my homeland and focus on building an iconic American brand—a world that’s truly my own, you know? It’s all about showing my version of the American dream.
V: In clearing the way for this next chapter in the brand’s journey, what sort of theme or vision are you trying to convey through this new collection? What do you hope people take from it?
SP: This collection is my manifesto—a bold declaration of the rugged spirit that defines PHIPPS. It’s a reimagination of my American idols, bringing to life everything I adore about the US—the untamed weirdness and deep-rooted pragmatism that, to me, epitomize modern American style. I want people to rediscover and really understand the essence of what PHIPPS is all about.
V: In terms of the location for the show, were there any other options aside from the Big Sky Ranch that you were maybe pondering for the showcase? What ultimately led you to decide on this iconic, but particular ranch?
SP: We looked at a few other spots, but really, Big Sky Ranch had this magical pull that was so undeniable that there really wasn’t any choice. I remember the first time I saw it, my jaw just dropped. Its history as a backdrop for movies and TV gave it this mystical quality that perfectly amplified the collection’s storytelling and said everything I was hoping to say with this show. Plus, it’s right here in Los Angeles—a location like this was just too good to pass up. I knew it would leave guests with an unforgettable experience.
V: Did you encounter any difficulties or setbacks in the behind-the-scenes of the runway show, especially being in a remote location?
SP: Of course, there were some challenges, but you know what? I love a good challenge. My team worked extremely hard to make it happen, and I’m genuinely proud of what we accomplished. We tackled every obstacle with creativity and grit, and honestly, in my opinion, it all came together in a pretty spectacular way. I’m grateful for every person who played a part in making it happen.
V: How would you describe the creative vision you had in mind for the execution of the show? What were some really significant features that you wanted to be highlighted above anything else?
SP: For the show, I wanted something raw, real, and wild—it had to be spectacular, too. The location is stunning but pretty harsh, which I loved. We kept things simple and personal; you know? No fancy setup—just some speakers and basic equipment. My mom even made sandwiches and cookies for snacks. The models lived in their clothes hours before the show, getting all sweaty and dirty. I did the lookbook photos myself, just to keep it genuine. I wanted people to feel the rawness of humanity and experience something truly authentic, unlike any other fashion show out there. I hope that vibe came through in the end.