SHE IS BACK: Phoebe Philo’s Return To Fashion

SHE IS BACK: Phoebe Philo’s Return To Fashion

After a 3 year absence from fashion, Phoebe Philo announced her return to the fashion Olymp with an old friend so to speak - LVMH. Under her own name she will be creating and selling fashion as well as accessories rooted in exceptional quality and design.

The partnership with LVMH comes by no surprise since the massive conglomerate and the designer had worked together before for ten years. A massive career lies behind the newly returned designer. After studying at Central Saint Martin’s alongside her close friend Stella McCartney, she followed her to Chloé, where Stella was the Creative Director at the time to become her first assistant in 1997.

In 2001 after Stella had been offered a job at Gucci and accepted, Philo herself became Creative Director of the brand. In the course of 4 years until 2005, Phoebe Philo managed to make Chloé become the brand, people interested in fashion design, adored. The iconic Paddington bag was launched during her time as the creative mind behind the brand just to name one of the profitable “It-Bags”. Generally, clients all over the world loved the creations by Philo for her effortless femininity and wearability, explaining the commercial success of Philo's collections for Chloé. Therefore, the Chloé Look was multiplied by many of the fast fashion houses over her 4-year occupation at the french fashion house.

In 2006 she announced her resignation from the role. Without elaborating on any reasons, she did want to step back from the fast pace of this industry in order to spend more time with her two children and family. After the first 2-year hiatus, she returned to take the reins at LMVH’s Celine (former Céline) in 2008. Having in mind the global economic crisis in 2008, Philo told British Vogue at the time that she felt, it was time for a more back-to-reality approach to fashion, clothes that are beautiful, strong and have ideas, but with real-life driving them.

This marks the beginning of a decade at Celine, which has been under the LVMH conglomerate since 1996. She quickly became famous for her masculine minimalist vision of a woman while emphasizing her femininity through shapes, silhouettes, and flowy fabric. Her elevation of cashmere sweaters and oversized coats made out of lavish materials to the introduction of the hyper luxurious slides and Birkenstocks of sorts. Which are a staple to every luxury fashion house nowadays. Céline’s most iconic bags like the luggage, the phantom, trapez, etc. were designed under Philo just like she and her team did at Chloé beforehand.

Today Daniel Lee, a former devotee of Philo's, who worked with her on the phantom bag and ready-to-wear collections in general, is playing a similar role in the creative direction at Bottega Veneta and rejuvenating the brand successfully as Phoebe Philo did in her time at Céline.

The working relationship between LVMH and Philo remains one of the most crucial to fashion history to be made in the 21st century. To this day, long after Philo’s last departure from then Céline, the social media sphere makes note of her work. Instagram accounts like "old.celine" praise her and feature favorites of her work from her decade of creating the Céline we all loved so much. The aesthetic under the name of ‘Philo-sophy’ or the many fashion kids you’ll meet, that emphasis ‘Phoebe Philo-era’ when it's a céline piece, are repercussions of the huge commercial success that was Céline by Phoebe Philo.

Now Philo’s former employer LMVH will partially back Phoebe Philo - the brand. In order to retain her control, the conglomerate will only get a minority stake. News on what the brand will look like is awaited in January 2022. It will be exciting to see what her vision after the last hiatus, pandemic and many lockdowns will look like.

Her worldwide acquired fanbase is loyal and ready for her comeback.