The highly respected former Celine and Chloé designer left her last full-time post three-and-a-half years ago and will now launch a clothing and accessories line of which she’ll have majority ownership.

The statement accompanying the news said this will allow her to “govern and [to] experiment” with the label’s output.

She continued: “Being in my studio and making once again has been both exciting and incredibly fulfilling. I am very much looking forward to being back in touch with my audience and people everywhere.” 

And she said her long and constructive working relationship with LVMH made it a natural step to link up on the new project.

That was about it from the designer who’s not known for headline-grabbing antics (apart from the fact that her creative output has always been very headline-worthy). 

The new label has been rumoured for some time and Philo was reported to have been recruiting designers as long ago as spring 2020, although the pandemic would clearly have interrupted any plans.

Her membership of the Andam prize jury recently was an unusually high-profile action for someone who’s kept pretty quiet post-Celine and also hinted at a more active role on the global fashion stage.

We’ll have to wait until January to get more information on details such as whether it will be womenswear-only (which is, after all, Philo’s specialist area).

It’s assumed the line will be at the upper end of the luxury spectrum with the news release talking about “exceptional quality” — and LVMH’s involvement suggesting the French luxury giant is unlikely to stray far from what it knows best.

It will also be London-based, with the need to travel far from home in previous posts with Paris-based brands being a situation with which Philo was reportedly uncomfortable.

With the label not being majority owned by a luxury goods giant, its advent sees Philo (like former Chloé design partner Stella McCartney after she moved her label from Kering to LVMH) having control, while also having the security and experience of the deep-pocketed group that was one of the drivers of the modern luxury sector behind her.

Assuming a launch at some point next year, Philo could be entering the luxury segment at a good time. With the post-Covid period having started but not yet officially in full flow due to the threat of new variants, it’s expected that late 2022 will see the post-pandemic boom really gathering pace, helping to drive the luxury segment to greater heights. Via