It’s been more than two years since the news first came out that Phoebe Philo, the designer that made Celine a beloved brand for many millennial women, would be launching her own luxury house. Since July of 2021, “Phoebe Philo is launching a new brand” was all the information people had.
Now, Philophiles have another new bit of information to chew on, with the brand announcing on Sunday to those who entered their email address on its website that it will be launching on October 30. Beyond that, along with the single GIF emailed to people showing a quick glimpse of some of the designs, more information is being kept close to the chest. A rep at Phoebe Philo told Glossy that Philo is unavailable for interviews.
There are a few other bits that have come out serving as indicators of where Phoebe Philo the brand may go. One of the few known hires is Patrik Silén, a former Asos executive who was hired as managing director in May. A look on LinkedIn reveals that Phoebe Philo has recruited numerous operations staff from luxury houses like Balenciaga and Philo’s own alma mater, Celine.
The brand’s launch was delayed many times over the years. In June of 2021, the announced date was January 2022. Then, in February of this year, a new date of 2023 was announced. An email list appeared on phoebephilo.com in July of 2023 and it was through that email list that the final October 30 date was announced.
Philo has had a major impact on the fashion landscape over the years. Her fanbase extends to other designers like Amy Smilovic at Tibi and celebrities including Lily Allen. Her proteges like Daniel Lee, formerly of Celine, Bottega Veneta and now Burberry, and Peter Do, of his own eponymous brand, have all gone on to create success for their respective brands with Philo-inspired modern elegance.
The fervor that has built around this brand despite the scant information available is par for the course for Philo. Her Instagram account has over a quarter of a million followers despite the fact that she hasn’t ever posted a single thing. The devotion of the Philophile fanbase — which has kept excitement for the designer alive through popular Instagram accounts like @oldceline and @phoebephiloarchive, which have over 400,000 followers between them — coupled with a minority backing from LVMH, indicates that the brand will likely have a large built-in audience when it launches.
But getting a new luxury brand off the ground these days isn’t easy, even for someone with star power and conglomerate backing behind them. Rihanna’s attempt to start her own luxury house, Fenty, was a non-starter even with LVMH backing it. Meanwhile, the conglomerates — including LVMH, Kering and Richemont — increasingly control the luxury space while independent brands have struggled to scale up. But given the buzz around her return, a full five years after she last showed a collection, it seems Philo has as good a chance as any to be the one who can make a brand new luxury house into a legitimate competitor in the crowded market.