The creative director of a fashion brand, this title is always associated with charming harmony and complex contradictions: on the one hand, climbing all the way from a design assistant, using talent to win the qualification to helm a time-honored brand, touching the apex of the industry, injecting one’s own personality into it Creativity and hard work, while achieving self-expression and changing the world, sounds like a great ambition;
Hedi Slimane与Yves Saint Laurent
But on the other hand, commercial value, long-term interests, status quo and layout, these realistic and cruel words return the so-called ambition to its original form. The creative director is just a job. When people leave the tea to cool down, leaving deep or shallow traces for people to recall.
This year’s fashion circle is frequently performing this harmonious and contradictory story. In September this year, Burberry announced that Daniel Lee will succeed Riccardo Tisci as the chief creative director of the brand. The former has promoted Bottega Veneta to a new perspective and modernity since 2018, but in He was fired three years later; the latter brought a provocative visual identity to Burberry, modernized the traditional brand, and left sadly at the end of five years.
Last week, Gucci announced that the creative director Alessandro Michele, who has worked in the Kering Group to which the brand belongs for 20 years, is also the creative helmer of Gucci men’s and women’s clothing, make-up and perfume, and a veteran who has created a fashion universe in the overall planning and integration. After officially bidding farewell to the brand, Alessandro raised his annual revenue from 3.5 billion euros to a target range of 10 billion to 15 billion euros during the 8 years he was in charge of Gucci. This legendary story is still over.
If there’s an exception to the creative director’s stereotype, “Phoebe Philo” is the accidental name.
Phoebe Philo was born in Paris, France in 1919. He returned to London at the age of two. His love for fashion design was deeply rooted, and he entered Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London as a driving force, where he met Stella McCartney. He entered Chloé as an assistant, and officially became the creative director of Chloé in 2001, bringing a renaissance with a completely different tone, recreating the romantic style in the brand’s genes.
In addition to the gradual emergence of personal style, Phoebe also cultivated the ability to create explosive items during the Cholé period. The Paddington launched in 2005 has a long and flat silhouette. According to Vogue reports, Cholé prepared 8,000 Paddingtons as the first It was released in rounds, but it was sold out before it arrived in the store.
When her career started, in 2006, for the sake of her family and children, Phoebe never showed the uncertainty of modern women in the face of career and life. She resolutely resigned and returned to London.
Until 2008, Bernard Arnault, head of the LVMH Group, personally invited Phoebe out of the mountain, appointed him as the creative director and board member of Céline, and even moved Céline’s headquarters from Paris to London, just to fit Phoebe’s life rhythm.
Phoebe Philo spent ten years creating Céline’s minimalism myth, so that for a long time after Hedi succeeded, he had to stand up to the outside world to benchmark it against Phoebe Philo, thinking that New Celine was worthless compared to Old Céline worthy of infamy.
New Celine by Hedi
Phoebe’s minimalist aesthetics come from clearing everything to zero, conquering the world with simple colors, clear silhouettes, and an overall capable style. In the release of the so-called neutral positioning, it also mobilizes the unique mature charm of women.
She does not blindly avoid prints in her designs to pursue minimalism. On the contrary, Céline presented a large number of painted and printed works in the 2014 spring and summer series. The overall clothing is as natural and vibrant as ink patterns.
As a link between the past and the future during her ten years at Céline, she redefined “minimalism” and was no longer confined by any kind of label.
And Phoebe’s handbags in Céline are also very impressive. Belt, Classic, Luggage, Frame, unified neat tailoring and atmospheric color matching, seem to be the skeuomorphism of mature and capable urban women, all of which are worthy of the name It Bag.
In July last year, Phoebe Philo issued a statement that it will launch a personal brand with the support of the LVMH group, and the control right will be held by itself. Bernard Arnault called this brand “creative adventure”, which seems to be a reflection of the past cooperation. Partners have a higher dimension of trust.
However, the first Phoebe Philo series, which was predicted to debut in January this year, did not come as scheduled. As 2022 draws to a close, its return is still being looked forward to by Phoebe believers. Recently, photographer Tommy Ton Released a street shot of Phoebe Philo with the text “Counting the days”, which seems to herald the countdown to his comeback.
During the period when Phoebe Philo suddenly faded out of the fashion circle, many style substitutes emerged one after another. Bottega Veneta, which was led by Daniel Lee, existed in the early days as the impression of Old Céline. In the process of gradually de-Céline, Bottega Veneta Blessing the color of youth culture, thus jumping out of the predicament; similarly, Mattieu Blazy, Daniel Lee’s successor, readjusted the brand positioning to the creation of a sense of relaxation, giving the brand a new look.
Daniel Lee and Mattieu Blazy, the most shining of their overlapping resumes is that they both worked at Céline under the leadership of Phoebe Philo, which proves from the side that fashion brands are still eagerly looking forward to Phoebe Philo’s personal style. Good news for Phoebe, who is back with the brand of the same name.
On the one hand, the market needs Phoebe. On the other hand, during this period of time, substitutes or transitions have explored their personal style, or gradually adapted to the environment and accelerated their efforts. Trying to replace one after another, but no one really filled Phoebe Philo. Whitespace.
When she is in full swing, what she creates is not the clothing, bags or shoes on display, but the sense of faith revealed in the core of the brand. The female fan base she has harvested has a high degree of loyalty. They pursue intellectuality, elegance, and loyalty to themselves. Instead of exposing the skin to cater to the mainstream aesthetics, even if it is well-dressed, it can also show independent beauty. The return of Phoebe Philo is not a simple consumption choice, but means that emotional connection and values resonate again.
Of course, Phoebe Philo is an insurmountable mountain, but there is another mountain in front of her, which is the change of the identity of the so-called creative director in the past ten years. They bear pressure beyond the fixed scope, but still face one-way constructive decision-making power. It seems that the scenery is boundless, but in fact it has been squeezed to the edge.
In this macro-environment, how Phoebe Philo recreates the golden age of women’s clothing with the return of his personal brand is second. How to redefine the identity of “creative director” has become the focus of more attention, which coincides with Prada’s co-creative director Raf Simons Closing down the 27-year-old brand of the same name shows a plan to serve fashion giants wholeheartedly, and the road of future star designers is even more confusing.
The era still needs Phoebe Philo. Indeed, she convinced women that they can be decent while wearing comfortable clothes, and maintain charm while not pandering. She raised the aesthetics of women’s clothing to a completely different level, and truly transformed the brand into a medium for conveying ideas. Putting concepts in the design language is not a bluffing empty talk.
More importantly, at the moment when star designers have repeatedly hit the wall, it is difficult to escape the current business model of flying birds and good bows. As an exception, Phoebe’s high hopes are self-evident. In the traditional proposition of the balance between talent and profit However, the degree of business expansion is not the same. What kind of answer will Phoebe give?
In time, Phoebe Philo may rewrite the golden age of fashion and creative directors.
(The picture comes from the Internet)