Phoebe Philo is returning with her own eponymous fashion label. Following an era-defining decade as Creative Director of Céline and a subsequent three-and-a-half-year hiatus, the 48-year-old Philo is returning as the major stakeholder of her own independent clothing and accessories line.
A fearless revolutionary and curator of the female gaze, Philo is responsible for a generation of women clad in Birkenstocks and oversized polo necks. Championing self-determinate dressing and unconventional muses, the woman responsible for a Joan Didion campaign back in 2015 and Céline's epochal Juergen Teller portraits, Philo’s welcome return will likely define post-COVID 2020s dressing.
A woman who has notoriously avoided interviews, paparazzi and media attention altogether since her shocking departure from Céline (bar a surprise spot on the ANDAM Prize Jury on July 1st), Philo has had the fashion industry waiting on bated breath since it was revealed that she was planning her own line back in February 2020. News broke this morning that LVMH will hold a minority stake in ‘Phoebe Philo’, with Bernard Arnault, the chairman of the fashion conglomerate calling Phoebe’s new line an “entrepreneurial adventure”, allowing Phoebe to maintain control over her new venture, and giving LVMH a tie to the most converted designer on the planet.
“Being in my studio and making once again has been both exciting and incredibly fulfilling,” said Philo via a short press release. “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.” With more details promised in January, we’re left to wonder what Phoebe Philo will look like. With only a few clues from her release, we’re expecting “exceptional quality”, i.e. a high-luxury price point, and a deviation from her work Céline, given the focus on “experimentation” and “entrepreneurship”.
The London based designer will be returning to an unprecedented landscape, with Hedi’s total transformation of Céline and Daniel Lee, who previously worked with Phoebe on women's ready-to-wear at Céline, carrying the torch at Bottega Veneta, there’s space for something entirely new.
Philo once famously said at her 2009 Céline debut, “it felt better for me to work on an idea of a wardrobe than too much trend. I worked hard to create things that stand the test of time.” Perhaps with Phoebe Philo we can expect a challenge to social media’s insatiable disposability, and a return to fashion through the female gaze, not the camera lens.