After entering late 2017 till now, there are many changes in the fashion industry: several industry leaders have departed the fashion houses they’ve been working with for many years (some over a decade). Those names are the most recognised: Riccardo Tisci, Kim Jones, Christopher Bailey, and the most surprising news is Phoebe Philo’s departure from CÉLINE. From the collection back in 2009, Phoebe Philo changed CÉLINE into a mega brand with an understated fashion statement. CÉLINE has become more than just a luxury fashion brand; it has more or less became a symbol of “high standard aesthetic,” it seemed to open another level regarding fashion taste, the iconic designs are the most used references for many designers to develop their collections.
Hedi Slimane undoubtedly caused many controversies among the people who are so loyal to a CÉLINE under Phoebe Philo’s lead. Fashion is changing every minute, and due to the emerging new technologies with a whole new consumer generation, the roulette of fashion needs to spin even faster. It is quite ironic to see a dramatic change of people’s reaction from a brand has announced the change of its artistic director, extend to the performance of sales. Some decisions gained many harsh comments, yet some audience put too many expectations to the “first collection.” Dior, as a brand that always changes, the face shifting game has on ever since John Galliano has left the house, and now after the “wash,” Dior has become a “chameleon”, and people can hardly remember the original identity. Will CÉLINE step on a similar path as Dior? After Hedi Slimane’s signature dark, subcultural taste and enormous inspirations from the rock bands injected into CÉLINE's DNA, will the current identity of CÉLINE ( the character that we actively recognise and admire) disappear and ultimately, forgotten by people? I think all the fans are panicking at the moment.
For people who follow designers more than brands, it is always an action to follow designers to the next destination (the next fashion house) and turn into the regular customers. Maybe CÉLINE is never making appetite for the new youths who are keen on self-expression, freedom (always a word for a new generation), but the upcoming CÉLINE by Hedi Slimane is possibly turn on a new group and more audience from another gender. Current reports have indicated that Hedi will bring a brand new menswear line first time ever in this French fashion house. Although the present CÉLINE has already gained many male consumers by the oversized, unisex designs, a whole new menswear line is still much more expected.
How about the loyal CÉLINE followers right now? Where should they purchase after Celine changing its face to welcome a new world? As Phoebe Philo has gone silent after departing from the house, purchasing the last collections in store before Hedi’s presentation, seem to be an investment and grief for the end of a period. An article on Business of Fashion also shared a brief statistics to show the brand’s current status: Apparently, consumers’ demanding on CÉLINE has increased more than 40%, and since CÉLINE Phoebe Philo’s departure, the marketing demand of this brand has gone all the way up to the top. Perhaps it shows Phoebe’s powerful fans have realised a truth, after Hedi’s entrance, CÉLINE will never be the same again, and currently, there’s not yet a consuming solution(For the current CÉLINE fans) after a fashion world without Phoebe Philo.