Can Phoebe Philo Find Success Beyond the ‘Philophiles’?

5 min read
Hand-knitted t-shirt dress in iridescent stucco sequin
Hand-knitted t-shirt dress by Phoebe Philo. Courtesy Phoebe Philo.

Plus Mojeh’s Editors Curate Their Top Picks From Phoebe Philo’s Debut Collection


Some people buy a brand to flaunt its label, while others believe it because they genuinely appreciate exquisite design. The latter defines the Philophiles, a term coined by the fashion industry to describe a style tribe devoted to the Céline that once existed under the creative direction of Phoebe Philo.

Photos Models and clothes from Phoebe Philo's new website

Screenshot of Phoebe Philo’s site.

On Monday, Phoebe Philo’s highly-anticipated first collection was released exclusively via Within 24 hours of the launch, over two-thirds of the items had already sold out.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering Philo’s status as one of the most influential designers of our time.

Just after her debut season at Céline back in 2008, she “cut through fashion’s tired fantasy, turning the dust-gathering Parisian house into a platform for sharp reality and hyper-luxurious clothing,” wrote Penny Martin for The Gentlewoman in 2010. “Philo designs the clothes women actually want to wear,” she added.

Phoebe Philo

Phoebe Philo

Indeed, during her tenure as the creative director at Céline from 2008 until 2017, Phoebe Philo not only tripled the annual sales of the LVMH-owned brand, an estimated €700 million but inspired numerous other young designers, including Tibi and Peter Do, to adopt her signature Philo-inspired minimal elegance. It’s no wonder it became the most copied by the fast fashion giants.

Philo’s impact was so profound her own fashion choices became a standard

Phoebe Philo’s laid-back luxe style gave women the comfort and ease they had been longing for,” explained fashion historian Hannah Rochelle to Melissa Twigg in the South China Morning Post recently. Philo’s impact was so profound her own fashion choices became a standard. Rochelle cites the example of when she paired Adidas Stan Smith sneakers with a turtleneck and slim black trousers in 2010, “it set the stage for a decade-long trend among women, both for the tennis shoes and for tucking long hair into that same turtleneck.”

Born in Paris to British parents and educated at Central Saint Martins, Philo’s career began when she joined Stella McCartney at Chloé as her first assistant in 1997. Her ascent continued when she took over as creative director of Chloé after McCartney’s departure in 2001. Under her leadership, Chloé achieved commercial success, thanks to her effortless and feminine creations, along with iconic “It” bag designs such as the Paddington.

Catwalk collage from Celine Collections

Céline looks by Phoebe Philo. Collage by Mojeh team.

Phoebe’s vision was also evident in her campaigns, often expressing her pride in ageing gracefully. For example, the casting of 80-year-old Joan Didion for a Celine campaign in 2015. She also made a mark as one of the first creative directors at a major fashion label to take proper maternity leave, setting an example for others in the industry.


Phoebe Philo A1 Collection. Courtesy Phoebe Philo.


Daria Werbowy for Phoebe Philo A1 campaign featuring Daria Werbowy. Courtesy Phoebe Philo.

Daria Werbowy for Phoebe Philo A1 Collection. Courtesy Phoebe Philo.

“To be independent, to govern and experiment on my terms is hugely significant to me.”

Now, to the delight of her loyal fanbase worldwide, Philo is back. But this time, with an entirely different playbook. While LVMH holds a minority stake in her brand, it operates as a startup and an independent label, aligning with Philo’s long-standing desire for independence and creative freedom. In 2021, she told The Business of Fashion, “To be independent, to govern and experiment on my terms is hugely significant to me.”

As Phoebe Philo ventures into this new chapter of her career, the question arises: can her brand’s success extend beyond the “Philophiles”?

 Here are the top picks by Mojeh editors and why they’re worth the investment:

Zip Jacket In Black with attachable scarf. Courtesy Phoebe Philo


This chic version elevates your classic leather jacket with an attachable scarf, adding versatility to your wardrobe.


Structured shoulder tailored jacket.


With its unmistakable ’80s charm, this oversized jacket exudes unparalleled elegance. It’s easy to pair with almost any ensemble.


Assymetric dress

Perfect for modest dressing layered over wide-leg trousers. Super versatile thanks its neutral hue and bold asymmetric cut.


Patch Pocket Cargo Trousers

A sophisticated take on the cargo trend that’s both stylish and practical. Moreover, this trouser has the perfect number of pockets.


Club Loafer

Club Loafer

A classic sleek loafer design that’s timeless; a smart investment for your everyday style.


Crew-Neck Jumper

Crew-Neck Jumper

The top-notch quality and comfort of this cashmere jumper make it an essential for cold weather destinations.



Small Kit Cabas

During her tenure at Chloé and Céline, Philo introduced a range of accessories that became instant best sellers. Her eponymous brand debut is no different, and the small kit cabas stands out as a smart investment due to its size and timeless elegance. If you had to choose a bag for the rest of your life, this would be it.


Mum bracelet. Man’s coat, upright collar shirt and hand-combed tailored trousers. Sunglasses, soft square toe ankle boots and the XL Cabas bag.

We loved the faux-fur detailing throughout the collection adding a unique touch to everyday staples and elevating them out of the ordinary.