The Downside of Minimalism

This week I want to discuss Phoebe Philo, the Creative Director of Céline. After quitting her job with Chloé 6 years ago and joining the Céline team, she has completely revolutionized the look of the product. As a designer, she understands her customer and taken time to create a collection that speaks to them. She understands that her women are working and busy, and that they just want to put on an outfit that makes them look good, chic and in many ways invisible.

Image from New York Times Magazine

Image from New York Times Magazine

And as Creative Director, Philo has succeeded in creating this image. A standard Celiné look often includes a clean-cut shirt, tuxedo jacket, slouchy trousers and flats. She has created a very minimalist appearance for the brand with the cut of the clothes and the standard navy, black or cream color pallet. While this is refreshing and customers have continued to respond well, I am lead to wonder if the collections are bit too minimal, allowing for them to easily be copied. One store in particular comes to mind, Zara, which fundamentally continues to encapsulate Céline’s look season after season. Although minimalism is a good quality, maybe Philo and her team need to come up with specific characteristics that aren’t as easy to copy. But is this possible without losing the entire aesthetic of Céline’s collections?


Céline Spring 2014 Look

Zara Spring 2014


By: Alessandra Trifero

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