Phoebe Philo’s Eponymous Brand is Finally Coming This September
The February stretch of fashion weeks has just begun, but now, the fashion sect 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 remarke, “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.