Was Phoebe Philo's Landmark Launch All It Was Cracked Up To Be?
A number of fans criticized the designer’s lack of size inclusivity, previous approach to diversity and hefty price tags.
After exiting CELINE back in 2017, Phoebe Philo announced the launch of her own fashion label four years later and since then, all eyes have been on the designer’s next move. Six years later, Philo’s long-awaited launch date finally arrived.
The designer initially announced that its inaugural collection would be revealed and available for purchase later this year, and so far so good. Back in June, Philo shared a post on Instagram which read, “Our inaugural collection will be revealed and available on our website, phoebephilo.com, in September 2023. We will be opening for registration in July 2023 and look forward to being back in touch then.”
As with all things in fashion, delays were to be expected and soon after, Philo announced that the label would formally launch in October. Announcing the news via email newsletter, WWD reported that the initial note contained only the launch date, alongside a “strobe-light flash of imagery showing faces, plants, fingers and what looks like headlights.”
View this post on Instagram
Philo’s shiny new website made its debut on October 30, showcasing a multitude of pieces from dresses, shirts, trousers and accessories to footwear and bags. Including oversized sunglasses, heeled loafers and hand-embroidered dresses, the first Phoebe Philo collection continues the designer’s minimalistic legacy, offering a suave selection of seemingly high-quality items in a classic, timeless color palette of chocolate, charcoal, white, black and shroom.
However, the response to Philo’s first offering wasn’t all positive. Some fans were quick to point out that the designer’s debut collection only went up to a UK size 14 (approximately a US size 8), arguing that in 2023, discounting an entire group of women is hardly the way forward. Others noted that while the collection’s campaign featured (only a few) models of color, her previous work at Celine often lacked diversity, suggesting that hopes weren’t high when it comes to the inclusivity factor of Phoebe Philo.
Despite the likelihood of high quality and craftsmanship associated with the collection, a large part of the criticism also centered around the sky high price tags with fans calling it “overpriced” and stating they “love everything but the price tag.” Though the collection’s pieces don’t stray far from the pricing of brands like Celine, Prada and Miu Miu, items like the Dahlia Brooch would set you back by about £750 GBP, while a hand-combed embroidered coat simply states “Price on asking.”
View this post on Instagram
Set to arrive in “edits,” Philo’s new label will follow a more sustainable approach, designed to “create a responsible balance between production and demand. For us, this means producing noticeably less than anticipated want,” explains the brand. The first edit is currently live on the website, with additional deliveries slated for release in the coming months (though the current offering is set to be the highest volume,) followed by the second edit: A2, in Spring 2024.
Head to Phoebe Philo’s website for a closer look at the first edit.
In other fashion news, Betsy Johnson accuses Kylie Jenner of copying her brand concept.