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people in fashion that matter: phoebe philo

people in fashion that matter: phoebe philo

I can't remember where I read it, but someone wrote: "she designs clothes that women actually want to wear." dear readers... today we introduce you to the greatest phoebe philo. when it comes to influential figures in the fashion industry, phoebe philo is a name that cannot be overlooked.

phoebe philo, photographed by karim sadli and david sims

phoebe philo is a british fashion designer who was born in paris and trained in london. philo studied at central saint martins college of art and cesign, graduating in 1996. in 1997 she moved to paris to join chloé as first assistant on the ready-to-wear line, working alongside then creative director stella mccartney.

with her bold personal style, philo accelerated chloé's rejuvenation and introduced it to the world of high-end leather manufacturing. she became known for fashions that skilfully combined masculine elements, such as trousers, with feminine fare, such as ruffled blouses. during her tenure, chloé's look was widely imitated by fast-fashion chains and she created hit handbags such as the paddington and silverado.

her work at chloe was recognised by the british fashion council, which named her british designer of the year in 2005. philo resigned from chloé shortly afterwards, taking a break from the fashion industry to have her second child. she returned to fashion in september 2008 as creative director of céline and board member. philo spent 10 years as creative director at LVMH-owned celine, exiting in 2017. 

personal portrait of phoebe by david sims

philo's approach to fashion is to design items that are both stylish and practical. the majority of her designs on the céline shows were stylish, practical and relaxed. her designs were flexible and incorporate luxurious fabrics and elegant lines. it is not unreasonable to see an everyday woman walking down the street in one of her exquisite jackets, which are well suited to the feminine form. philo understood exactly what the everyday woman needs...

besides that, the rise of sneakers in high fashion may be attributed in large part to her. fragile heels have no place in philo's resolutely female perspective on style; the designer is frequently spotted wearing sneakers backstage at her presentations. and thousands of street style celebrities trail in philo's footsteps. comfy sneakers have been a feature in our daily wardrobe since phoebe philo wore the iconic white stan smiths on the celine runway back in 2011!

at the end of 2023, she returned to fashion with her own line on her own terms — no collection notes, no shows. no interviews. no publicity. she subtly announced in a short newsletter that the first collection of her new signature fashion company would be available from her e-boutique from 30 october. this first collection is called A1 and has over 150 pieces. the second collection, A2, is planned for spring 2024 (almost here!!!).

it was enough to start an online discussion that was mainly supportive of her designs but occasionally critical of the high prices and lackluster customer service. it also sparked off a buying frenzy that resulted in the majority of the things selling out in a matter of days. 

photos collage: phoebe philo new brand

phoebe philo's impact on the fashion industry goes beyond her design prowess! she has paved the way for female designers and has also been a vocal advocate for gender equality in the workplace. her commitment to empowering women and challenging industry norms has left an indelible mark on the fashion world. 

many designers and brands have drawn inspiration from her work, further solidifying her status as a true trailblazer. I’m sure phoebe philo's legacy will continue to inspire and influence generations of designers to come.

sofia torres is the digital media designer at CINCO. born in '97, she believes her strong passion for what she does enables her to create meaningful work. her educational background includes a master in multimedia design at the university of coimbra. since day one, she's loving working at CINCO. 

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