When Hedi Slimane was announced as Celine’s new creative director in January this year, we suspected there’d be an air of controversy surrounding the designer’s first collection at Paris Fashion Week this September. What we didn’t anticipate however, was an entirely new vision for the brand, including a new logo. Unsurprisingly, fans of the label’s former creative director Phoebe Philo, have openly taken to Instagram and Twitter to mourn the loss of the French accent on the first “e”, but one super-fan is taking dedication to the next level.
Brooke Marks, founder of successful Facebook groups HIGH-END and HIGH-END Discussion, has just launched a new T-shirt brand, Bring Back Philo, as an homage to Celine’s former designer. We caught up with Marks to find out how she got the brand up and running within a week of the announcement, why she feels so passionately about the removal of the accent, and why she loved the Philo era of Celine so much. Read on.
Why do you feel so passionately about the removal of the accent?
I’m aware of the Celine history surrounding the É and I understand it was not always there but why change something when it is not broken? Phoebe Philo made Céline what it is today and I feel it was disrespectful to remove it. It felt to me it was removed for shock value.
How did you produce a product so quickly—the news only broke a week ago!
I’ve been working very hard! I was able to produce quickly as they are made right here in Australia. I wanted to make sure the luxe collection was available for purchase within seven days of the idea.
Will you still purchase Celine in the future?
I shopped at Céline for Philo’s designs and I was a very loyal customer. Phoebe has been my go-to designer for the past ten years. I’m more inclined to follow her as a designer rather than the brand itself.
Do you think you will be swayed by Hedi Slimane’s designs and become a fan of the new era of Celine?
To be completely honest, I don’t think so. It feels like Saint Laurent 2.0 is happening before my eyes.
What did you love so much about the Phoebe Philo era?
Phoebe Philo gave Céline it’s soul. Celine didn’t have much of a history or archive prior to Philo. Philo described stepping into the role as ‘a clean slate’ and she created everything that many women love today about the brand. She redefined luxury for the modern woman. Her pieces were timeless yet functional. In my eyes, to put it simply, everything she created was magic and this is how I wanted to honour her ten-year tenure with the brand.