Phoebe Philo, former creative director of Celine, known for her clean lines, minimalist aesthetic, and functional designs, has had a much greater impact on the fashion industry today than we realize.
Beginning at Chloe in 2001 as creative director, Philo created feminine pieces and spearheaded the symbol of the 21st century “It” bag with the introduction of the Paddington.
Fast forward to 2008, Philo was now at the helm of beloved Parisian house, Celine. Designing must-have contemporary fashions and coveted bags, such as the Luggage Tote and the Box Bag, Celine quickly rose to a new standard of modern, yet timeless, fashions.
In 2013, enter Daniel Lee, a young, recent graduate of Central Saint Martins. Hired as a design team member at Celine, under the direction of Philo, he was quickly promoted to design director of all ready-to-wear collections.
Very closely-aligned with her vision for the Celine brand, Lee resigned from his post as creative director soon after Phoebe Philo’s leave, as Hedi Slimane, former creative director at Saint Laurent, took over.
Likewise, many consumers were unsure of how Slimane would continue Philo’s legacy at Celine as creative director. The styles shifted from streamlined and minimal to edgy and eccentric, igniting a social media frenzy and all around praise for “Old Celine”. The nostalgia for Philo’s direction and designs took over Instagram and blogs, pining for the simplicity she effortlessly established at Celine.
During this time, Lee found his star to be on the rise, as he was appointed the new creative director at Italian fashion house, Bottega Veneta. A brand already known for their geometric Intrecciato pattern and fine craftsmanship, Lee elevated the brand with contemporary shapes and Philo-esque minimalism.
From The Pouch to the BV Angle Bag, Lee reignited the Philo ideal of an “It” bag. Downplaying any visual logos or flashy monograms, he allowed his strong designs and their fine materials speak for themselves.
With tailored lines, evolving forms, and modernized traditional techniques, it’s easy to see how the memory of “Old Celine” perfectly transitioned the fashion world into the promising enthusiasm of “New Bottega”.