The experts weigh in
Now, the British designer is giving women everywhere hope, with a rumoured comeback, and reportedly assembling a team for a sustainability-focused brand according to Women’s Wear Daily.
If you’re unaware of Philo by name, you’ll certainly be aware of her influence as the woman behind the biggest trends to hit our wardrobes since the early Noughties, first as creative director at Chloé (2001 and 2006) then at Céline, which she joined in 2010.
Few designers’ influence is so far-reaching that they’ve inspired new vocabulary: ‘Philophiles’, referring to Philo’s committed following, and ‘Céline-ification’, used to refer to the transformative effect of Philo’s work on the entire fashion industry, having spawned countless copycats.
Famously guarded, giving few interviews and not engaging with social media (‘The chicest thing is when you don't exist on Google’, she once said), Philo is arguably the silent voice of generation, having spoken to women’s interests through clothes; she quietly offered something that spoke to shifting sensibilities, ushering in a new sense of ease at home and in the workplace, prioritising character and comfort.
She also spawned a new generation of lauded talent, including Bottega Veneta's creative director Daniel Lee, who worked under Philo at Céline, and designers Peter Do, Rok Hwang, and Ilaria Iccardi, the design director at Victoria Beckham.
If the rumours that Philo is readying herself for a comeback, assembling a design team, are true then this wouldn’t be the first time she’s returned from self-imposed exile (she left Chloe without plans to join or launch another label in 2006).
What we can expect from a new brand from the lauded creative director is anyone's guess.
But while we wait to see what's in store from Philo, here's a look back at her most memorable moments to date: