This week, Phoebe Philo returned to the fashion world with the debut of her first collection from her eponymous brand.
The Pheobe Philo Effect appeared to still be in full effect, with the collection selling out in mere hours, despite no physical launch, no marketing fanfare around the collection and not a single post on the fashion house’s official Instagram account.
Her devoted fan base even has its own name – known as Philophiles – who have sort to scope up every piece of “old Céline” since her departure from the label in 2018. Her cult following even has dedicated Instagram pages to the designer’s work using the handles @phoebephiloarchives and @oldceline amongst others.
Perhaps part of the appeal of Philo, is that, unlike many houses which venerate youth, her designs instead feel like a celebration of the lesser-tapped market of fully-fledged womanhood. Many of the Philophiles are mature 30-and-40-something women, with the spending power to buy Philo’s designs.
With the launch of her own fashion house, it also feeds into Philo’s narrative of female empowerment, which has weaved its way through much of her work.
Furthermore, much to the delight of the Philophiles, her new designs continue much of what Philo’s fanbase loved from her ten-year tenure at Céline – sleek, chic subtle (but by no means quiet) – luxury.
No doubt her debut collection will be the start of a new era for the Philophiles, and the start of a new fashion legacy.