After a week of couture debuts, comes this news: Phoebe Philo is launching a new brand under her own name. LVMH, her home during her Céline years, has made a minority investment. First reported in the Business of Fashion but long rumored about, especially in the wake of her appearance on the ANDAM Fashion Jury on July 1, today’s announcement is set to shake fashion out of its pandemic torpor.
Few designers have had a larger impact on 21st century fashion—Philo turned Chloé and Céline into It brands during her tenures at those labels. And no one has been missed as much post-exit. Not long after Philo left Céline in 2017, an Instagram account with the handle @oldceline sprung up and editors and stylists lament her departure to this day. During her eight years at the house, Philo wardrobed many of the industry’s most powerful female arbiters, and a few important dudes, too; Kanye West at Coachella in the printed silk pajama shirt from spring 2011 played its own important role in Céline mania.
Philo was a female success story in a luxury fashion business dominated not just by male creative directors but often also by the male gaze.