The rumour mill has officially gone into overdrive. There have been whispers for some time about Phoebe Philo preparing to leave the fashion house of Céline, the label that she unequivocally revived since joining in 2008. While LVMH statements point to stability at the top of the house, they have not denied that interviews are taking place as part of an alleged game of musical chairs for the seat of creative director.
Philo has not commented on the circulating news but sources suggest that she is preparing to exit by the end of 2018. “We categorically deny any imminent departure of Phoebe Philo from Céline,” a spokesman for LVMH added.
Speculations made on Business of Fashion point to potential talents pipped to take over the helm of the storied French fashion house: Ports 1961 designer Natasa Cagalj; Michael Rider, design director of ready-to-wear at Céline since 2009, and design director of Victoria Beckham, Ilaria Icardi.
While it’s undeniably clear that Philo’s 10-year tenure at the brand has created a cult following for the French label that was founded in 1945, the brand’s markedly baby steps into the digital era have raised eyebrows.
The brand launched its Instagram account earlier this year. The first post for the premium brand was bound to be subversive or, at the very least, a conversation starter. “One step. #Céline” gained 589 likes in 120 minutes. While its absence from social media served as high-anticipation PR, its website is not e-commerce enabled. In today’s climate, most customers want the It items to be a click away from their closet doors.
While Philo has ignited numerous movements across fashion – from the relaxed trouser (power) suit to the exaggerated, asymmetric tailored separates in understated hues – the creative crossover into the digital realm has left a void.
Watch this space. Change this way comes.