Celine fans accuse designer Hedi Slimane of destroying the LVMH-owned brand

Phoebe Philo, where art thou?


Hedi Slimane, creative director of Celine, has finally made his return to fashion. Slimane, former creative director of Saint Laurent, debuted his new collection for Celine during Paris Fashion Week, and fans of Celine are accusing the designer of ruining the French brand owned by LVMH.

The show, deemed lackluster by Celine devotees, comes after the label unveiled a new logo earlier this month, which dropped the former logo’s accent and preemptively caused hysteria amongst longtime fans.

Fans, who have not been reluctant in expressing their disdain for the menswear addition, equally share their contempt for the typographic facelift. Fashion insiders turned to social media to share their thoughts.

Celine followers presumed that Slimane, who resides in Los Angeles, would be a leading voice of inclusivity by casting more models of ethnic backgrounds. Diet Prada, the infamous Instagram account known for calling out injustices in the fashion industry pointed this fact out in a post.

“A few sharply tailored XXL shouldered looks stole the show,” Diet Prada said in a post. “But most glaring was the fact that it took 30 exits to see a model of color.”

Slimane who was once dubbed the “Steve Jobs of Fashion,” has a long-standing history in the fashion industry.

Industry heavyweights were quick to notice the uncanny resemblance to past collections of Saint Laurent and Dior Homme. Slimane left Saint Laurent in 2016, and his new collection under Celine is a reflection of an outdated version of Kering-owned brand, Saint Laurent.

“Two years ago when Mr. Slimane departed fashion, the world was a different place,” Vanessa Friedman, said in her New York Times review. “Women were different. Hell, they were different a few days ago. They have moved on, but he has not. And it meant that despite an audience crammed with rock’s hipster elite, the lyrics that most came to mind were ‘Mamma Mia! Here we go again.”

To understand the uproar surrounding the new changes at Celine is to understand its predecessor, Phoebe Philo. The French brand was founded in 1945 by Celine Vipiana and has been owned by LVMH since 1966.  

Under the appointment of the British designer, the brand converted androgynous-loving fans into a feminist cult. For 10 years, Celine was a label that embodied minimalism —  an aesthetic that has prevailed for the last two decades. Philo was noted to design her collections with women in mind — a contrast to a male-dominated fashion industry.

“A brand that was once thoroughly identified with a peerless instinct for what women want in fashion all of a sudden looked like a gust of toxic masculinity,” Tim Blanks, Business of Fashion’s editor-at-large, said. “And not simply because Slimane struck an overpowering menswear chord — even if it was specified as “unisex” — at a brand that made its billions addressing women with a very particular sensitivity.” 

Under the ‘new’ Celine, Slimane will also be designing a menswear collection. The inaugural collection will be unisex, as the brand is trying to appeal to a gender-neutral crowd.

Despite the menswear collection being a focal point under Slimane’s helm, it remains of the same essence of rival house, Saint Laurent.

Fans of “Old Céline” have banned together to create support groups to memorialize their beloved brand and may continue to take issue with Slimane’s enduring design ethos as he brings the brand into a new phase.

“We don’t enter a fashion house to imitate our predecessor,” Slimane said in Vogue UK report. “Much less to take over the essence of their work, their codes and elements of language.”

By Edeana Mombrun

Donald LawrenceComment