The whole fashion industry was waiting for this moment – and this is finally happening: the industry’s beloved and pioneering designer Phoebe Philo is finally returning to fashion with her namesake brand backed by LVMH. After nearly two years of speculation, Phoebe Philo finally announced her return in September 2023.
The first collection of British designer Phoebe Philo's eponymous brand will be unveiled and available on her website this September
After leaving Céline (now known as Celine after new creative director Hedi Slimane removed the accent above the “e”) in 2018, Phoebe Philo announced her comeback to the industry in the summer of 2021 without any further details.
Phoebe Philo waves to the public at the end of a Céline's ready-to-wear fashion show
Finally, we got a date for the Phoebe Philo launch. To celebrate, we would like to look back at the designer’s career, breakthroughs and iconic pieces she created over the decades.
Philo followed Stella McCartney to Chloé in 1997 and took the top job in 2001 when McCartney left to set up her own fashion house
Phoebe Philo started her fashion career in Chloé as Stella McCartney’s assistant designer and then creative director. Even though Philo happened to create some trends within Chloé and best-sellers like the Paddington bag, it was with Céline that she earned the status of iconic designer and shaped the whole image of the “Céline woman” so highly regarded in the fashion industry.
Phoebe Philo had a decade-long career in the brand. She created many iconic pieces, the main IT bags of the decade like luggage and trapeze, a whole trend of mixing suit trousers and sneakers, and the still-on-demand shoes, sunglasses and jewellery items. Philo’s view of the Céline woman is the perfect mix of modern and classy. The campaigns, mainly shot by Juergen Teller, still look extremely up-to-date – like photographs of Daria Werbowy with a skate deck.
Daria Werbowy's iconic Céline campaigns
Here are the most memorable looks and items from the Phoebe Philo Céline era.
Céline’s spring-summer 2011 blouse became one of the most iconic and striking pieces making a buzz even 10 years after its runway debut
Céline’s spring-summer 2011 blouse
Worn by Kanye West during his Coachella performance, the blouse became the most wanted piece in streetwear worn by countless celebrities and street style stars. Years after, its price on Grailed went from $500 to $10000 – and is now almost impossible to find.
Fur-decorated shoes became the Céline must-have in 2013 and 2014, first with mink-decorated coloured pumps and later with fur-sole sliders inspired by all-time classic Birkenstocks
The Céline furry shoes by Phoebe Philo
Philo paired the staple shoe with flowy black-and-white outfits like wide-leg trousers, oversized shirts and camisole silk dresses, and the silhouette was all over the street-style chronicles for a while.
Phoebe Philo's greatest hits at Céline: that viral huge sunglasses ads starring Joan Didion
The viral Céline sunglasses worn by Joan Didion
Throughout her career, Phoebe Philo created some staple sunglasses that Joan Didion modelled in a famous campaign and every celebrity and fashion editor wore in the 2010s.
Famous prints inspired by art pieces make up the other Céline runway staple during Phoebe Philo's era
Former Céline creative director Phoebe Philo is also well known for her prints
Yves Klein print dress was one of the most memorable, although the Brassai-inspired brushstroke oversize pieces from Spring 2014 were also very moving and recognisable. Another striking look was the oversize coat with cabas-inspired check print that started the trend and was repeated by Balenciaga and many other brands.
LVMH tapped Philo to revive Céline in 2008, where she introduced a number of now-iconic handbags over the course of nearly a decade until 2017
It-bags from Céline are one of the brand’s most recognisable items. Luggage, trapeze and trio were all-time favourites for almost a decade. These bags became a timeless classic to wear on many occasions. Modelled in campaigns, Céline inspired many other brands to create the shapeless pouch-styled accessories.
Phoebe Philo's Céline it-bags
Phoebe Philo influence on fashion and decade trends is absolutely undeniable, and with Céline she was able to create a big fanbase of women who are happily representing the brand’s identity. The new chapter of Phoebe Philo is very promising and the world is very excited to see the first comeback collection of the designer.