If there was ever a singular embodiment of “quiet luxury,” Phoebe Philo would be it.
The designer’s sleek designs while working as the creative director for Celine and Chloé have earned her a devout cult following who have anxiously awaited Philo’s namesake label launch for two years.
Now, five years after she stepped away from the fashion industry, the momentous day is finally here — and several of the 150 items were sold out minutes after the 11 a.m. EST launch.
PhoebePhilo.com debuted late Monday morning with offerings including an extra-large black calf-leather tote for $8,500, $1,600 classic pleated wool trousers and $1,200 square-toe leather pumps. Prices range from $450 to $19,000.
Texas-based fashion aficionado Tess Bruns, better known as @phoebephilofan on Instagram, has been saving up for Philo’s drop by selling some of her vintage designer pieces to make some quick cash.
But her “old Celine” — which fan accounts and vintage sourcing sleuths alike generally refer to as 2008 through 2018, or the era of Philo — has to stay, of course.
“I’m looking at my closet to see when I can cull and make a little money on,” Bruns, 41, told The Post. “I need Phoebe Philo.”
Philo’s once-blank website — which previously featured only a registration link for brand updates — now is chock-full of quiet luxury designs.
The most expensive item is the hand-knitted T-shirt dress in iridescent stucco sequins for $19,000.
The lowest-priced item is a pair of Peak sunglasses with black acetate frames for $450 and the first item to sell out was a sterling silver Mum necklace along with additional necklaces and oversized sunglasses.
“She’s a female designer, designing for women, and she just gets it, she knows what women want. She’s designing for the female gaze,” said Bruns.
But Martina Lohoff, a vintage Celine sourcing guru located in Germany and founder of the Old Celine Archive (@thearchivedotcom), fears the coveted collection will sell out in mere seconds.
“It’s so emotional,” she told The Post in an email about Philo’s comeback.
As Vogue noted, Philo’s pieces are not part of a seasonal collection but rather an “Edit,” called A1, part of a series of three online drops meant to be seasonless “to create a product which reflects permanence.”
When her namesake label was officially announced in 2021, Philo said it was “exciting and incredibly fulfilling” to be back in the studio.
“I am very much looking forward to being back in touch with my audience and people everywhere,” she said in a statement at the time. “To be independent, to govern and experiment on my own terms is hugely significant to me.”
In the meantime, Philophiles were teased with tentative launch dates that came and went, and a handful of fleeting GIFs on social media that gave fans a taste of what was to come, featuring detailed shots of what was assumed to be pieces of the collection.
Philo’s fashion hiatus raised a multitude of questions, leaving some big shoes to fill in the world of what is now considered “quiet luxury” fashion.
“I think people were wondering: what would happen, where would she go? Who would fill that void? And I feel like no one has really filled that,” said Bruns.
“We’re not really seeing groundbreaking fashion — we’re seeing a lot of like trends that are being recycled over and over again, but we really don’t have anyone who’s kind of creating those trends like Phoebe was at Celine,” she said.
But the designer’s grand return has also given way to speculation — some fans weigh whether Philo will return to her Celine roots, or “surprise” consumers in future collections.
“Will there be a new classic bag we will love forever? Is there anything she will continue from her ‘Old Celine’ collections?” Lohoff said.
At Celine, Philo’s ready-to-wear collections redefined and elevated the modern woman’s closet with meticulous minimalism that was both identifiable yet mundanely not at all — rather than a staple piece or look that denoted a signature style, Philo curated an effortless vibe.
Philo, however, has established herself as something of a progressive, always pushing the boundaries of what is expected.
Now, a Philo-induced womenswear renaissance may be on the horizon — after all, Philo’s Midas touch is, according to Bruns, designing “things that we didn’t even realize we needed or wanted to live without.”