Jump to content

Phoebe Philo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Phoebe Philo
Philo in 2008
Born (1973-10-25) 25 October 1973 (age 50)
Paris, France
EducationCentral Saint Martins
OccupationFashion designer
Max Wigram
(m. 2004)

Phoebe Philo OBE (born 25 October 1973)[1] is an English fashion designer. She was the creative director of fashion brands Céline from 2008 to 2017 and Chloé from 2001 to 2006. Her eponymous line launched in 2023.

Early life[edit]


Philo was born in Paris to British parents working there. Her father, Richard, is a surveyor and her mother, Celia, is an art dealer and graphic artist who had a hand in creating David Bowie's Aladdin Sane album cover. The family returned to Britain when she was two years old, and she was raised in Harrow, London, with her two younger siblings Louis and Frankie.[2] In 1987, at the age of 14, she began customizing her clothes after receiving a sewing machine as a birthday present from her parents.[3]


Philo studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, graduating in 1996. She graduated showing a final student collection that The Guardian would later describe as having a "Latino influence and huge gold jewellery". She quickly joined Chloé as Stella McCartney's first assistant for ready-to-wear collection in Paris.[4]


Chloé, 1997–2006[edit]

Philo began working for Chloé in 1997 as Stella McCartney's design assistant, succeeding her as creative director in 2001.[5] At Chloé, she was credited with contrasting babydoll dresses with heavy leather accessories, such as the Paddington bag.[6][7] During that time, she also became the first designer at a major fashion brand to take an official extended maternity leave.[8] In 2002, Philo commissioned Sophie Hicks to create a concept for the Chloé stores.[9][10] During her time at Chloé, Philo brought "easy-to-wear, feelgood designs, which mix boyish and girlish, retro and contemporary in a deft way".[11] In 2006 Philo left Chloé. She subsequently moved back to London to be with her family and had her second child.[7]

Céline, 2008–2017[edit]

In 2008, LVMH offered Philo a job as creative director and board member of the French Maison Céline. She agreed on condition that to continue working in London whilst showing in Paris, and devoted the first year to rebuilding the business by opening a design studio in a derelict Georgian town house on Cavendish Square in London.[12] She presented her debut collection the next year.[13] In 2010, the inaugural issue of The Gentlewoman featured Philo on the cover.[14]

Philo’s tenure at Céline was marked by a succession of phenomenally successful bags, among them the Trapeze and Luggage totes, and the slim Trio cross-body.[15][7] In 2013, she also created a sandal inspired by a classic Birkenstock with a mink covered footbed.[16] Philo’s first ad campaign for Céline notably did not include the heads of the models, ensuring the focus would be on the clothes and bags.[17] For her 2015 ad campaign, Juergen Teller photographed writer Joan Didion.[18] For Céline’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection, Philo worked with artist Dan Graham to create Showing off the body (2016), a glass S-shaped pavilion at the Tennis Club de Paris in which the runway show took place during Paris Fashion Week in 2016.[19] Philo revived Celine by seeking to redefine what women want to wear, with minimalist aesthetics, clean lines and tonal color palettes.[20][21] According to New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman, Philo “made Céline matter in a way it never had before”.[17]

In 2017 after 10 years of working at Céline and much speculation in the media Philo announced to her team that she would be leaving after the Pre-Fall 2018 collection.[22]

Phoebe Philo, 2021–present[edit]

In 2021, Philo announced she would launch a brand under her own name. She and her husband are the majority owners of the business,[23] with LVMH being a minority shareholder.[24] In October 2023, the brand launched a debut collection exclusively available on phoebephilo.com[25][26] that was described as reflecting the quiet luxury trend.[27][28] The brand's headquarters are located in Ladbroke Grove.[29] In April 2024, it started an exclusive distribution deal with Bergdorf Goodman.[30]


Personal life[edit]

Philo married English gallerist and art dealer Max Wigram (b. 1966)[34] in July 2004.[35] Together they have three children. Their eldest and only daughter, Maya Wigram, is a model and notably closed Burberry's AW24 runway show during London Fashion Week, which led The New York Times to label her a "nepo baby" due to her mother's fashion world connections.[36] Philo and Wigram also have two younger sons.[37]


  1. ^ "Phoebe Philo's profile". Grazia (France). Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  2. ^ "With His First Exhibition, Artist Louis Philo Returns to His Creative Roots". 26 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Phoebe's Philo-sophy: top fashion designer says family comes first". Evening Standard. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  4. ^ Porter, Charlie (13 April 2001). "Pole position". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  5. ^ Barrington, Katie (22 April 2008). "Phoebe Philo biography". Vogue (UK). Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Phoebe Philo". 21 September 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Indvik, Lauren (16 July 2021). "Phoebe Philo, the cult fashion designer returns". Financial Times.
  8. ^ Friedman, Vanessa (12 July 2021). "Phoebe Philo is Returning to Fashion with Her Own Brand". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "Chloe Comes to London". 3 December 2002.
  10. ^ "Isbn%3A3823845721 - search | Open Library".
  11. ^ "The phoebe factor". The Observer. 29 May 2005. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 1 May 2024.
  12. ^ Rawsthorn, Alice (26 February 2010). "Phoebe Philo's Third Act". The New York Times.
  13. ^ "Phoebe Philo biography". Business of Fashion (BoF).
  14. ^ "Phoebe Philo".
  15. ^ "The Legacy of Phoebe Philo: The 5 Céline Bags Every Fashion Girl Should Own —Goxip".
  16. ^ Chilvers, Simon (5 February 2013). "It's the year of the Birkenstock!". The Guardian.
  17. ^ a b Friedman, Vanessa (22 December 2017). "Phoebe Philo Exits Céline, Adding to Fashion Turmoil". The New York Times.
  18. ^ "Céline Unveils iItsLatest Poster Girl: Joan Didion". 6 January 2015.
  19. ^ Ellison, Jo (2 October 2016). "Céline SS17 show report: Paris Fashion Week". Financial Times.
  20. ^ "Ex-Céline's Phoebe Philo has finally set her comeback | ISTITUTO MARANGONI".
  21. ^ "Phoebe Philo is part of the BoF 500".
  22. ^ "Phoebe Philo stepping down from Celine". 3 January 2018.
  23. ^ Vanessa Friedman (17 March 2024) Phoebe Philo Breaks Her Silence New York Times.
  24. ^ Phelps, Nicole (12 July 2021). "Phoebe Philo, Fashion's Quiet Revolutionary, Is Launching a New Eponymous Label". Vogue. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  25. ^ Dolan, Leah; CNN (30 October 2023). "Cult designer Phoebe Philo launches long-awaited debut collection". CNN. Retrieved 30 October 2023. {{cite web}}: |last2= has generic name (help)
  26. ^ "Phoebe Philo's Eponymous Debut Is a Confident, Uncompromising Delight". Vogue. 30 October 2023. Retrieved 30 October 2023.
  27. ^ "What Is Quiet Luxury And Why Is The Trend Louder Than Ever?". ELLE. 30 March 2023. Retrieved 31 October 2023.
  28. ^ Tashjian, Rachel (30 October 2023). "Finally, a fashion brand makes aging aspirational". Washington Post. Retrieved 31 October 2023.
  29. ^ Vanessa Friedman (17 March 2024) Phoebe Philo Breaks Her Silence New York Times.
  30. ^ Schulz, Madeleine (4 April 2024). "Phoebe Philo is selling in Bergdorf Goodman: Why it matters". Vogue Business. Retrieved 1 May 2024.
  31. ^ McCartney, Stella (23 April 2014). "Phoebe Philo by Stella McCartney: TIME 100". Time. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  32. ^ Fabrizi, Emilie-Alice (8 June 2011). "And the winners of the CFDA Fashion Awards are..." FashionNetwork.com. Retrieved 1 May 2024.
  33. ^ Lomrantz Lester, Tracey (8 December 2010). "Phoebe Philo Wins "Designer Of The Year" At The British Fashion Awards". Glamour. Retrieved 1 May 2024.
  34. ^
  35. ^ Freeman, Hadley (11 February 2009). "She's back". The Guardian.
  36. ^ Paton, Elizabeth (28 February 2024). "Nepo Babies Crowd the Runways". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  37. ^ "Phoebe Philo's daughter closed Burberry's AW24 show – here's what you need to know". Harper's BAZAAR. 20 February 2024. Retrieved 7 March 2024.