The appointment, confirmed to WWD, underscores how LVMH owner Arnault is serious about revving up second-tier brands. Philo most recently was responsible for the creative consultancy of Gap Europe, the contract which ended recently with the announcement of Gap's closing its European headquarters.
"By giving her Celine, we're giving her a platform to express her vision," said Pierre-Yves Roussel, chief executive officer of LVMH's fashion division. "For Celine, which is a bit more grown-up as a brand, the fit is very good in terms of her style, her personality and where she is in terms of her own development."
"In the current climate customers are looking for something that will get them interested and excited about buying again," Philo told WWD. "I want to create clothes, shoes, bags and accessories that are relevant to right now - modern, exciting designs that women will desire and appreciate."
In tandem with Philo's arrival at Celine comes a new executive, and a consequent management shuffle at LVMH. Marco Gobbetti, who orchestrated a turnaround at Givenchy, will become president and managing director at Celine, also effective in October.
Celine plans to create studios in London to accommodate Philo, who always shuttled back to her hometown even during her Chloé days to feed on the British capital's creative energy. Roussel said Philo would work out of London "most of the time."