Listen? Do you hear that? It is the intake of breath after thousands of women’s fashion prayers are finally answered. Phoebe Philo, the patron saint of dressing for the female gaze, the designer whose work convinced Joan Didion to pose for an ad and turned her customers into groupies, is returning to business. On her own terms.
Three and a half years after leaving her last post as artistic director of Celine, Ms. Philo, 48, is finally putting her name where her aesthetic is, and introducing (yes) Phoebe Philo, an independent clothing and accessories line. Though it will be partially backed by LVMH, Ms. Philo’s former employer, the luxury behemoth will have only a minority stake, allowing Ms. Philo to retain control and “to govern and experiment” as she sees fit, according to the news release.
“Being in my studio and making once again has been both exciting and incredibly fulfilling,” Ms. Philo said in the announcement. “I am very much looking forward to being back in touch with my audience and people everywhere.” She said little more.
The reticence is not surprising from the designer who often appeared at the end of her runway with her head half hidden in a polo neck. She rarely gave interviews, and since her departure, has turned into something of the Greta Garbo of the industry, eschewing social media and paparazzi-attracting photo ops.
More information about what, exactly, Phoebe Philo-the-brand will be is promised in January. (Will it be only women’s wear? Women’s wear and men’s wear? Unisex?) In the meantime, however, a few clues were buried in the announcement.
For example, the line will be of “exceptional quality,”
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