A Brief History of Celine
Celine was founded in 1945 by Celine Vipiana and her husband. It was originally established as a made-to-measure children’s footwear boutique. Several years later, Celine underwent a transformation and began designing for women, primarily focusing on sportswear and offering a range of leather goods such as gloves, shoes, and handbags, as well as clothing. Notable releases during these formative years include the Sulky bag, which featured an equestrian motif and to this day still proves to be iconic to Celine.
When Celine was first established, it distinguished itself by a red elephant illustrated by artist Raymont Peynet. During its transformative period, Celine redesigned its logo to better represent its new identity – intertwined Cs that pay homage to its roots and founder, and also cleverly resemble the historic Arc-de-Triomphe. It seems the house has always embraced reinvention. With Hedi Slimane’s takeover, the brand embraced a new chapter removing the é and became, “simply Celine.”
The Era of Hedi Slimane
Since 2018 the house’s current image, artistic, and creative director Hedi Slimane – who was previously at Saint Laurent – brought a rock and roll flair to the brand, giving Celine a new edge. But whether you remain a devout Philophile or are embracing this new era of Celine, one thing remains constant: Celine’s heritage. Its house codes (otherwise known as aesthetic) have certainly evolved over time but all in all inspire clean looks, minimal hardware, sharp lines and edges, and the finest materials.
As we absorb collection after collection, Slimane’s approach to design is thoughtful and pulls a lot from Celine’s history (and, actually, it’s really growing on me). So what bags exactly?
Hedi Slimane Handbags
Shortly after his appointment, Slimane immediately began designing and bringing new ideas to life. These are some of the most notable styles that radiate the 60s/ 70s flair.
The Celine 16 Collection
One of the first collections Hedi Slimane introduced is known as the ‘The 16’ which pays homage to the address for Celine’s headquarters in Paris. The original ‘The 16’ top handle bag comes in three sizes: Small, Medium, and Large. All feature the iconic 16 turnlock. The collection also includes crossbody bags and shoulder bag variations. But most recently, the Celine 16 Bucket bag, was introduced this year and exhibits a slouchier body than its more structured siblings – aside from the ‘Soft 16’ which is, as the name states, softer.
The Celine Triomphe Collection
The Celine Triomphe bag is arguably one of Hedi Slimane’s best creations. It looks as though it borrows inspiration from the vintage Sulky bag, and one could say it’s also a close relative to the Classic Box bag from Phoebe Philo’s reign. The hardware motif reimagined by Hedi Slimane is iconic and pays tribute to the founder’s original logo concept inspired by the Arc-de-Triomphe. There are many sizes to this collection as well, which include the original that comes in Medium and Nano, as well as a chain bag and shoulder bag.
The Celine C Collection
This collection features monogram hardware and a simple silhouette, which is very Celine-esque. The C Bag collection includes the original C Bag (which comes in Small and Medium), a Wallet On Chain, a Quilted C Bag, a C Charm Bag, and a C Backpack.
From a small children’s footwear boutique to a world-renowned ready-to-wear/ leather goods brand, Celine embodies an evolutionary story that is unlike any other luxury house. Whether you prefer Celine handbags from the iconic Phoebe Philo era or appreciate the unique influence brought on by current creative and artistic director Hedi Slimane, Celine is a classic choice. Much of its pieces now are inspired by the brand’s early years but embody a modernized twist. Celine handbags truly withstand the test of time and will always be considered an investment.