Like many people, I was not happy when LVMH appointed Heidi Slimane as the new creative director of Céline. The brand had been running (and performing incredibly well) in the past decade thanks to Phoebe Philo. She increased the sales and gave it its cool/minimalist/effortlessly chic aesthetic. Besides, she knew exactly what women wanted to wear because she is a woman. Mention the word 'Céline' to anyone slightly interested in fashion, and they will all have the same image of Céline in their mind: beautiful tailoring, it-bags, the famous Joan Didion ad, and more! I would say Céline is a representation of Phoebe Philo more than the opposite.
However recently, Hedi Slimane took the reign of the brand, deleted all the previous images on Céline's Instagram (to erase the past I'm guessing?), changed the logo to remove É on Céline, and released ads that look exactly like what he did at Saint Laurent. Soon he will re-design all the stores, launch a men's collection, and make sure that there are no traces of Phoebe Philo left at Céline. His style is too edgy and I don't think it corresponds with the Céline aesthetic. Collections should reflect the creative director's take on the aesthetic of the brand, not the other way around.
What I'm wondering is if it is about the brand or the creative director? Should there be brand protection councils to oversee heritage brands? Nobody would dare to change the Chanel logo like they did at Céline and Burberry, so why are they doing this now? Is it ok to erase the work of previous creative directors on social media platforms in order to highlight your own?
I know it's too late now and I will have to accept the changes and see his new collection during Paris Fashion Week to have a better idea on the matter. For now, I just hope we will get to see Philo's magic once more, ideally for an eponymous label...