Just as the end of fashion week was in sight, Phoebe Philo announced some news to provide a bit of a jolt to the waning energy—the official launch date of her eponymous brand. There have been many delays since the designer revealed her intentions to start her own brand back in 2021, but in February of this year, she provided the world with some tangible evidence in the form of an Instagram account. Though it contained minimal details, it informed future customers of an upcoming registration followed by an updated launch estimate. Now, we finally have a set date, and the return of Phoebe Philo is imminent.
On September 30th, Philo sent out an email featuring nothing but the words “30 October 2023” and a flipping gif of images. The new launch will land slightly past the previous September deadline, but we will absolutely take it.
Of course, many are dissecting the photos included in the announcement, which would have to be screenshotted to truly appreciate due to their lightening fast pace. They’re mostly comprised of close-up images of models, some with no discernible clothing or accessories, others wearing sunglasses, earrings, or large knit turtlenecks. There’s also a lot of leather—studded, fringed, in the form of pants with an elastic waist band. This all fits into previous reports on the line, which WWD, revealed would feature more than 150 new styles encompassing ready-to-wear, leather goods, jewelry, eyewear, and footwear, all of which will be available to shop online. Right now, all fans can do is register at phoebephilo.com in order to stay abreast of the news surrounding the launch.
And that’s not all. WWD has also reported the return of Philo will bring with it the return of her former Céline muse, Canadian-Ukrainian super Daria Werbowy. The model is rumored to be the face of the new brand and is coming out of retirement for the gig.
Original post: The February stretch of fashion weeks has just begun, but now, the fashion set already has their eyes on September—not for the spring/summer 2024 collections, but for the return of Phoebe Philo. Over five years after departing Céline, the designer’s eponymous label is finally coming.
On Thursday, an Instagram account popped up under Philo’s name with just one post featuring white text on a black background. “Our inaugural collection will be revealed and available on our website, phoebephilo.com, in September 2023,” it read. “We will be opening for registration in July 2023 and look forward to being back in touch then.”
And that was it. The url revealed in the message isn’t even up and running yet, but the note was enough to send the industry into a tailspin. Many have been waiting for Philo’s next move since she left Céline (now known as Celine under Hedi Slimane) in 2017, or at least since she initially announced the launch of her own brand back in 2021.
Since her departure from Céline, the Brit has kept a chicly low profile, unsurprising considering that even during her tenure at the brand, she was famously mysterious, rejecting interviews, and avoiding social media (making her choice of Instagram to announce her return all the more intriguing). She once famously remarked, “The chicest thing is when you don’t exist on Google.” That doesn’t mean she hasn’t been working, however. According to WWD, the designer has been building up her team over the last year or so, bringing on Patrik Silén as chief operating officer last year. Philo also reportedly nabbed a denim designer and workshop head from Balenciaga, as well as a human resources executive from Burberry. Back when the brand was initially announced in 2021, it was said to be partially backed by LVMH, with Philo remaining in control enough “to govern and experiment.” It’s unclear if that deal still stands.
Philo began her career working with her fellow Central Saint Martins classmate, Stella McCartney, after graduation. She followed McCartney to Chloé in 1997, taking over as creative director in 2001 when McCartney left to launch her own label. Under Philo, Chloé saw a rejuvenation, blending the masculine and feminine, and emphasizing the brand’s efforts in leather goods. She resigned from Chloé in 2006 and took some time for herself before heading to Céline two years later. There, she spent a decade, pushing a more minimalist, artistic aesthetic, turning the brand into a must-have for the fashion elite, and creating iconic images like the campaign lensed by Juergen Teller featuring Joan Didion.
When Philo left Céline, her supporters followed, initially rebuking Slimane’s vision for the brand and scouring resale sites to snag pieces from the days of the accent aigu. Similarly, the industry has been waiting with bated breath to hear about Philo’s plans following her departure. When January 2022—which was supposed to bring with it news of her new brand—came and went without a word from the designer, those loyal to her tried not to give up hope, and now have been rewarded. Hopefully, we won’t be burned again.
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