Support Series — Phillip Wong

Phillip Wong

Meet Phillip (he/him)

Entrepreneur, Creative Director, and Visual Designer based in Chinatown, NYC. He’s founded multiple companies – most recently contemporary men’s care brand Hawthorne, designed for everyone from musicians to fashion brands, and is constantly testing out new mediums and challenges. He took the time to share with us his work and what Support means to him.

Who has supported you and why was it meaningful?

My parents were a driving force behind my decision to go to design school. I felt external pressure at my high school to pursue a traditional educational path, but my parents talked me into following directions I had naturally been exploring myself. Design, product, web, cinematography, typography – once they showed they cared about me pursuing what set me apart from everyone else, I went full speed ahead.

Any words of advice or encouragement to BIPOC creatives just starting out?

If your portfolio doesn’t have enough of the work you want to be doing, create it yourself. When I was starting out I wanted to do so much – typography, motion graphics, app design, streetwear, but there was no way to get work without showing I had been there before. Whenever I had free time I created my own posters, worked on my own typefaces, even went as far as creating my own streetwear company. I didn’t want to wait to maybe get a job doing these things, I reached out and did them.

What is your cultural heritage and how has it influenced your work?

Both sides of my heritage (Cantonese + Haitian) have had a huge influence on my approach to work. A fiery determination and unwavering resolve to finding career independence and doing what I want.

As a BIPOC creative, what does “support” mean to you?

Selflessness – the system isn’t going to be your savior, so lean on your loved ones, and make sure they can lean on you. Support and uplift the work and careers of your friends, hype them up to other people, give constructive criticism, help them out for free when you can, make sure your whole team succeeds.


Phillip Wong

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