It was late December 2017, when we read all the news. Phoebe Philo, probably the most influential designer at the time, announced she’d be stepping down from her post as a creative director of Céline. 

For almost a decade, Philo had been shaping Céline into a visionary brand with incredible design that just understood women — it wasn’t only about what they wanted to wear but also how they wanted to be seen. That’s why it came as an incredible shock that in what seemed like a peak of her career, she decided to take a break from the fashion industry. For four years, we have been waiting for her to return. She disappeared from the public eye, her instagram account had zero new posts and no one really knew what was going on. Every now and then, bits of gossip resurfaced, suggesting her awaited comeback was in the making. 

That was until July 2021 when Phoebe shared that she, in fact, is working on something exciting that would launch on October 30, 2023. Earlier this year, she made me (completely voluntary) among thousands of others sign up for her website. And so, when I received an email today with the subject: “phoebephilo.com is now open”, my heart skipped a beat. 

Phoebe Philo came back in style and full power. The namesake brand’s launch campaign is candid, simple but feels spot on, and as a bonus it features the designer herself. She lost nothing of her touch, and her vision for being a relatable queen of fashion is perfectly visible in the campaign, too. The unshakeable attitude of confidence, strong women who look down on the viewer. In the time when fashion fails to increase the number of female creative directors, Philo sends a clear signal.  

The edit itself is everything we could have hoped for. The proof: constantly increasing number of products coloured in red tint, suggesting they are sold out.  Phoebe’s love for minimalism mixes with her sense for humor, eroticism and oddness, and comes out in a wearable uniform for all of us, devoted followers. Among focal points of this collection are big rounded shoulders, trousers and heels. 

Her selection of shoes — pumps, boots and loafers, are all square toe, all with heels, all to die for. The big shoulders are generally in trend this season. But what Philo does, is cleverly distinguishes herself by making them round instead of rectangular, introducing her own take on the trend, and single handedly shifts it to a new level. 

Those who have watched Philo during her Céline years know by now, she is a master of a good pair of trousers. She has spent her career perfecting the fit and feel, and so it comes as no surprise, the new pants are nothing short of spectacular. Whether it is a regular pant from front, with a zip in the back going from the hem, up the leg all the way to the waistband, fluffy Yeti-like pair, deconstructed cargo or perfect cut everyday jeans. Philo makes shopping for trousers exciting again. 

Named as edits instead of collections, the brand takes on a strong anti-season approach pioneering fashion that reflects permanence. The first one named A1 is available from now till December, A2 from spring and so on. 

Phoebe Philo didn’t come back to play. Her passion for lasting fashion and commitment to drive a change in the industry is visible not only in the “edits” set-up but also underlined in her impact statement: “We are committed to minimizing waste and avoiding overproduction by producing notably less than anticipated demand.”

All images: Courtesy of Phoebe Philo Ltd.