Where Will the Celine Girls Go Next?

Image courtesy of newyorkmagazine.com

During her tenure at Celine, Philo amassed a cult following of so-called Philophiles. The Celine girl had a very distinct image, often very French, fashion conscious, or wealthy, checking all three descriptive boxes. The Philophiles were often easy to spot at Fashion Weeks, with their neutral or not too loud colored sweaters, black pants, the Celine heel of the season, and their Celine tote bags.         With Philo’s exit from Celine, her penchant for minimalism could become of the past for the hallowed brand. Philo was one of the few women in fashion who held a creative directorship at a major luxury fashion brand. She was the #Girlboss many dreamed of being, and she dressed many girl bosses of the world.

Image of Hedi Slimane  courtesy of fashionista.com

Prominent fashion journalist Tim Blanks described the collection as a “gust of toxic masculinity.” Hedi Slimane completely moved away from any of the deeply embedded design house codes that Philo had in place. With Slimane, it was a new era for Celine, and one that the Philophiles wanted none of. So the question on the industry’s lips became “Where will the Philophiles go next?’Revered fashion blogger Bryan Boy speculated that Loewe was a strong possibility for the Philophiles. The fashion house, also owned by LVMH, is currently led by creative director Jonathan Anderson. Loewe, in its current incarnation, contains Philo’s Celine design aesthetic in many ways (French in tone, luxury in nature, high-fashion but not too heavy on maximalism). The brand even have an ‘It’ bag (The Loewe Puzzle Bag) that hypothetical Loewe lovers could identify with.           

Loewe Image courtesy of loewe.com

Loewe is a better fit for the old Celine girls compared to Anderson’s eponymous label, J.W. Anderson, which is younger, edgier, and a little more maximalist. The old Celine girls are looking for a sense of approachable luxury for their next commitment, and Loewe could be the brand to fill just that.          

Bottega Veneta image courtesy of thecut.com

Another brand that has been talked about as the next destination for the Philophiles is Bottega Veneta, under the helm of Daniel Lee. Lee was the former director of Celeine ready-to-wear. He understands Celine’s design codes, knows how to increase sales and knows what the Celine girls want. Bottega Veneta already had a minimalist sensibility that Lee was able to take and make his own.

Dries Van Noten image courtesy of dezeen.com

A long-shot contender for the Philophiles next holy land is Dries Van Noten. The fashion house is most well known for their eccentric designs, which fell out of favor when minimalism reigned supreme in the nineties, but made a comeback in the early 2000s, as maximalism had a moment again. The Dries Van Noten collection last fall at Paris Fashion Week received rave reviews, and in an era of maximalism; perhaps, the Philophiles are ready to move on to something more statement making.

Dior image courtesy of fashionista.com

If they are looking for a French luxury label with a woman at the helm, there’s also Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior. Chiuri is minimalist in a way that differs from her predecessor, Raf Simons, bringing a strong sense of femininity that speaks to new wave girl power. It’s the type of spirit of design that Philophiles crave.          

Image courtesy of hollywoodreporter.com

Let’s not count out Chloé. It was at Chloé that Philo herself first made a significant impact. Chloé Creative Director Natasha Ramsay-Levi has been able to create signature ‘It ‘Bags, all while creating a boho-chic aesthetic for that girl who wants to look like she doesn’t take fashion too seriously.           Only time (and the sales figures) will tell where the Philophiles will find their next motherland. With the departure of Phoebe Philo, who doesn’t seem to be heading to any new fashion house anytime soon, they are like motherless children searching for a home.

—Kristopher Fraser


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