Phoebe Philo Leaving Role as Céline Artistic Director

Phoebe Philo, the designer who reinvented the brand Céline as a favored label of power women and started a new era of minimalism in fashion, is leaving her position as the company’s artistic director after 10 years.

Ms. Philo’s departure makes her the fourth and best-known designer to leave a high-profile fashion job this month, adding another twist in a year of upheaval on both the corporate and creative sides of the industry.

In a brief statement on Friday announcing the move, Ms. Philo thanked the members of her team, and Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the luxury group that owns Céline, said, “What Phoebe has accomplished over the past ten years represents a key chapter in the history of Céline. We are very grateful to Phoebe for having contributed to the great momentum of this maison.”

Speculation has swirled for some time about whether Ms. Philo, among the most celebrated designers of her generation, was restless at Céline.

When the brand’s chief executive, Marco Gobbetti, joined Burberry this year, and Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s chief creative officer, announced his resignation, there was widespread talk that Ms. Philo, who is British and based in London, would replace him. Citibank even issued an analyst’s note supporting the idea. Although there was no immediate indication about Ms. Philo’s future plans, her departure from Céline is sure to give that idea momentum.

Céline did not immediately identify who would succeed Ms. Philo as artistic director.

Content originally published on https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/22/fashion/phoebe-philo-celine.html by VANESSA FRIEDMAN