A seismic tsunami recently hit the fashion world when Hedi Slimane’s first collection for Celine was sent down the runway set in a black temporary building in front of the Dôme des Invalides, inside which lies a tomb of French’s notably leader Napoléon Bonapard. The first collection full of rocker instincts has drastically left all Phoebe Philo’s followers with disappointment and rage.
Celine Spring Summer 2019
This article intends to relay a message on the other side of a coin that seemed overlooked by some Philo’s fans. It also aims to point out LVMH’s purpose to change its designer and look of Celine.
Celine Fall-Winter 2016
In fact, LVMH’s decision is not surprising. With certain insights of fashion records, you shall indisputably accept a principal fact that “fashion is incessant”. There is no such thing as lasting fashion and no brands own permanent fame with “their only constant style and design”. The most obvious proofs go to the cases of Claude Montana or Thierry Mugler whose fames were at their peak in 1980s. The same phenomenon happened to Christian Lacroix at the beginning of 1990s. After a decade, what had been considered glam and gorgeous seemed to decline resulting eventual wind down of the brands for they chose not to put a new complexion on their styles and looks.
This undeniable fact of the fashion world, which the LVMH group was well aware, reported that Philo’s work rose up to the ceiling score. Moving further up was impossible.
At Celine, Philo drove its sale revenue from 200 million euros in 2008 to 800 million euros in 2017. In other words, the company made more of 600 million euros during the eight years of Philo’s service. This figure was an important explanation to why the winning name in the envelope was Hedi Slimane.
The LVMH’s fashion house then needed its plan of change as the headquarter expected the brand’s comparable annual revenue with that of Saint Laurent’s and Balenciaga’s.
The company had a new plan for Celine and anticipated the brand to earn annual revenue of at least 2,000 or 3,000 million euros within five years. At this point, it eventually explained Philo’s resignation reason. She must have come to a reliasation that her minimal yet sophisticated and luxurious works in the past eight years had no potentials to achieve such expectations.
Celine Spring-Summer 2017
On the other hand, in the view of the fact that success in the fashion industry is considered with designers’ experiences and achieved ‘sale revenues’, Slimane’s accomplishments at Saint Laurent proved his potentiality. In four years, the brand earned 150% revenues that 473 million euros in 2012 jumped to 1,200 million euros in 2016.
This was the turning point for LVMH’s decision of granting Slimane an assignment to grow Celine’s annual revenues. The LVMH group expects successful and drastic results from him within five years following its development plan. This change sparks fresh and whimsical image of the brand. The traditionally minimal Celine has come to its ending peak. The new striking and venturous Celine shall be its future.
Celine Spring-Summer 2019
Celine Spring-Summer 2019
This change is not LVMH’s first trick. Gianfranco Ferre at Christian Dior house was hired to create minimal tailoring to its best to offer. Then the brand turned to John Galliano’s talents for his vigorous and exhilarating collection. After Galliano’s dismissal from the role, Dior exposed its sharp tailoring by Raf Simons for three years. Now the brand reflects its style in feminine, meticulous and easy-to-wear by Maria Grazia Chiuri. These to and fro tricks are evident at certain fashion houses under LVMH roof that works quite effectively for many decades.
What is happening to Celine is not really shocking. The former minimal collection, despite its great success, can be folded back in the closet if it cannot increase sale revenue for the company who undeniably focuses on profit.
Celine Spring-Summer 2013
Celine Spring-Summer 2018
For these reasons, the recent show in front of the tomb of Napoléon Bonapard was metaphorically implied to us as the era of Phoebe Philo and her greatness as well came to an end. Celine is now stepping forward to the new chapter of success.
Article by Pop Kampol
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