Photo: Nick Harvey/WireImage
Has there been a moment in fashion more anticipated than Phoebe Philo’s return to the industry? Maybe the introduction of pants as everyday clothing in women’s wardrobes, but beyond that I’m not sure.
Today Philo launched her eponymous line. The designer announced a new one at the beginning of the year Instagram handlethat her LVMH-backed inaugural collection would be available through her website.
Known for her minimalist and effortless approach to clothing, Philo revived Celine (then still Céline) and brought the brand into the modern era during her tenure from 2008 to 2017. Céline became desirable both through unique “it” items such as the luggage bag and Triomphe bag and as its own aesthetic. There is digital shrines built for her time as head of the label and for vintage sales on-line And during Paris Fashion Week for items from Philo’s collections. She has been praised for creating a visual code for how women live Strictly speaking I want to dress when I’m separate from the male gaze. As anticipation for Philo’s brand has grown in recent months, legitimate criticism of the designer has resurfaced. In 2013, legendary models Bethann Hardison and Iman Philo accused them of racism on the runway.
“She’s a cool girl. But Celine has never had a person of color in her collection. Always,” Hardison told the default. “And yet they have the best accessories; Any black woman with money will buy her accessories.”
However, in the same article, Iman said she refuses to support the designer or the brand: “I’m taking the high road. I can get another It bag. I have my wallet,” she said said. “I make a conscious decision not to buy the stuff.”
When appearing in 2022 on “Sway’s universe“, which recently resurfaced, Iman again pointed out Philo’s alleged resistance to using models of color, referencing a conversation between the two in which Iman said the designer asked her if she would be “forced to to use black models”. For the supermodel and advocate, the question alone was enough to boycott the designer entirely. “That’s why I’ve never bought a Celine bag,” Iman said. “She has a right to her runway and I have a right to my wallet.”
Despite these claims, which Philo has yet to respond to, followers who are either in the dark about the allegations against the designer or have chosen to turn a blind eye are flocking to the yet-to-be-launched label. Philo’s Instagram account, which now has over 311,000 followers, posted a unique infographic on February 19 about comments from fashion editors such as “screaming, shaking, crying, vomiting.” A comment from singer Lily Allen said: “I’m not buying anything until September.” The post has since been removed, but two things are clear: Philo’s followers had been waiting longingly and – to be completely honest – eagerly for her new collection, and many have been watching to see whether the designer will make changes to reflect a more diverse and inclusive clientele.
However, it seems that old habits are hard to break. Philo’s release sparked mixed reactions, partly due to its lack of accessibility, even to high-end and luxury consumers. While Cut’s fashion critic Cathy Horyn raved about the collection, likening it to the moment fashion took “a huge step forward” and fashion fans drooled over loafers and shoes online several unique coats, others objected to the designer’s price. On Philo’s website, a Structured tailored jacket retails for $4,200, a pair of polyamide Gaiters for $1,100 and a set of them Viscose twill trousers for $5,200. Sean Garrette, a content creator and Dior esthetician, tweeted“I knew Phoebe Philo’s prices would be pretty exorbitant, but she completely lost her mind pricing a simple leather bag at 9,000.” Cortne Bonilla, freelance fashion journalist and Fashion Contributors joked that Philo is certainly “trolling” us all with her price points. Shelton Boyd-Griffith, a former beings fashion editor, wrote That while the line is luxury items and the cost is accordingly, “it’s still a new house, so an $8,500 bag just feels disjointed right from the start.” Yes, we know Phoebe Philo for that Chloé or for Céline, but we are only just being introduced to Phoebe Philo. The prices should reflect that.”
Others in the industry, like fashion journalist Louis Pisano, took notice of Philo’s Lack of size inclusivity (It appears that most of the clothing in the designer’s new line is either a UK 14 or 16, which is roughly equivalent to a US 10 or 12) and also alluded to Philo’s use of black models in her campaign images Performative at best.
Despite public criticism, many of Philo’s items had already sold out online within hours: a simple gray crew-neck sweater, square-toe pumps, cargo pants, slit pants, heeled loafers and a silver necklace with the word mummy The repetition on it is one of the expensive stocks that was destroyed. For many dedicated fans, money (and perhaps inclusivity) doesn’t seem to matter, at least when it comes to Phoebe Philo.