Exploiting the image of the ‘mature woman’ to sell out 1,000 euro clothes in two hours: the return of Phoebe Philo

By Edwin

Phoebe Philo’s highly anticipated debut collection under her own name has made headlines, with more than half of the pieces selling out within 12 hours of its launch on phoebephilo.com. The rush to purchase these coveted items has not only highlighted the enduring appeal of Philo’s minimalist aesthetic but has also sparked discussions about exclusivity, pricing strategies, and diversity in the fashion industry.

The Hype and the Sellout

Phoebe Philo’s return to the fashion scene has been met with fervent enthusiasm, evidenced by the swift sellout of her debut collection. Within hours, coveted pieces like the asymmetrical black viscose skirt and the stretch black satin blouse were nowhere to be found on virtual shelves. Even items like the cashmere jumpsuit and merino and yak wool sweaters flew off the racks, leaving many empty-handed. The allure of Philo’s designs, coupled with the limited availability, fueled a buying frenzy, with eager shoppers clamoring to secure a piece of fashion history.

The Luxury Price Tag

However, the excitement surrounding Philo’s comeback was tempered by the exorbitant prices attached to her pieces. Jackets and coats ranged from 2,000 to 13,000 euros, while pants and dresses commanded prices upwards of 1,000 euros. Even accessories like shoes and bags came with hefty price tags, making them inaccessible to all but the wealthiest consumers. The steep prices underscored the luxury positioning of Philo’s brand and echoed the current trend of luxury brands pushing the boundaries of affordability.

The Business Strategy

Behind the scenes, Philo’s return was orchestrated by the LVMH group, a powerhouse in the fashion industry known for its profit-driven approach. The limited production runs and high price points were not accidental but rather part of a carefully crafted strategy to create scarcity and exclusivity. By producing fewer units than the anticipated demand, Philo’s brand aimed to create a sense of urgency among consumers while maintaining an aura of exclusivity. The one-item-per-customer rule further reinforced the brand’s commitment to curbing reselling practices and preserving the integrity of its collections.

The Fashion Narrative

Despite the frenzy surrounding Philo’s return, some critics questioned whether her debut collection offered anything truly groundbreaking. The familiar tropes of Philo’s aesthetic, characterized by clean lines and understated elegance, seemed to dominate the collection, lacking in innovation or novelty. The absence of any significant departure from her previous work at Céline left some wondering whether Philo’s return would have a lasting impact on the fashion landscape.

The Feminine Perspective

One aspect of Philo’s work that has consistently garnered praise is her distinctly feminine perspective. From her designs to her marketing imagery, Philo has imbued her brand with a sense of empowerment and sensuality that resonates with women of all ages. The inclusion of diverse models in her campaigns, including women of color and varying body types, signals a shift towards a more inclusive and representative fashion industry—a move that has been long overdue.

The Controversies

However, Philo’s return has not been without its controversies. Criticism has been leveled against her for the lack of racial diversity in her past work, with some accusing her of perpetuating racism within the fashion industry. Additionally, concerns have been raised about the limited sizing options available in her debut collection, with sizes not exceeding a European 42 (equivalent to a US size 10). These issues highlight the ongoing challenges facing the fashion industry in terms of diversity and inclusivity, issues that Philo’s return has brought to the forefront once again.


In conclusion, Phoebe Philo’s debut collection has generated significant buzz within the fashion world, with its swift sellout and luxury price points capturing the attention of consumers and critics alike. While Philo’s return marks a notable moment in fashion history, it also raises important questions about exclusivity, diversity, and the future direction of the industry. As the fashion world continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how Philo’s brand will navigate these challenges and whether her return will herald a new era of innovation and inclusivity in fashion.