Phoebe Philo, the architect of cool, empowered fashion, is set to return as the head of her eponymous label.
After three years away from the industry, the woman who single-handedly transformed the French brand Celine from cherished-but-stuffy into the last word in urbane, understated cool (and reportedly pushing up sales of Adidas Stan Smith trainers at the same time) is now set to return, backed by fashion conglomerate LVMH.
Although no launch date has been given, more details are set to be announced in January 2022.
Philo described the new venture as being “rooted in exceptional quality and design”.
“I am very much looking forward to being back in touch with my audience and people everywhere. To be independent, to govern and experiment on my own terms is hugely significant to me,” she said.
Describing Philo as “one of the most talented designers of our time”, LVMH chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault said: “I am very happy to partner with Phoebe on her entrepreneurial adventure and wish her great success.”
Philo was appointed as creative director of the ailing Celine in 2008, and promptly set about transforming the house with her distinct but light touch. Firmly based in practical but edgy style, her designs were slick, comfortable and functional, as Celine quickly became a buzzword for streamlined fashion. Her designs covered rather than revealed, building instead on a woman’s strength and confidence. When she abruptly departed in 2018, resale prices of her pieces skyrocketed.
She was replaced at Celine by Hedi Slimane, who broke with Philo's aesthetic, imposing his own vision at the house, sparking debates between "new" vs "old" Celine, and even spawned the tribute Instagram account @oldceline.
Prior to Celine, Philo headed up another French label, Chloe, from 2001 to 2006, creating collections that so spoke to her customers that she earned a reputation for "knowing what women want".