The luxury French fashion house Celine started out as a children’s shoe boutique in 1945 by designer Celine Vipiana. As a business became successful, Celine ventured into new areas including the manufacturing of women’s shoes, clothing and handbags too. The handbags in particular were loved and adored by both the middle classes and the rich and famous and following the appointment of designers like Michael Kors and Phoebe Philo the brand over the years has established itself as one of the top brands in the world, expanding to Paris and recently to New York.
Celine’s luxury goods are synonymous with craftsmanship, class and elegance and one of the most celebrated designs is the Luggage Tote, created by designer Phoebe Philo (Philo is well known for her creativity as she also designed the Paddington bag for Chloe) and since it debuted in 2010 it has been dubbed the ‘It bag’ and the trend continues to this day.
Philo introduced 3 foundation bag lines, the Cabbas, Luggage and Classic. These were simplified styles which were logo free but easily distinguishable by their identifiable shape. Each season Celine releases new variations, sometimes customising for specific regions around the world or certain retailers.
The Luggage Tote also known to some as the Boston Bag, has a large roomy square body that widens slightly towards the top, with zip top opening and double top handles. Detailing includes the signature wave leather piping on the front, external zip pocket and flap out winged sides. The inside is lined in suede and leather plus to add to its versatility, it comes with a detachable shoulder strap. The only logo is a small gold embossed Celine Paris on the front at the top between the handles. The Luggage Tote comes in 5 sizes, the nano 20cm, micro 26cm, mini 30cm, shoulder and phantom 35cm and also in a vast range of different colours from neon pink to monochrome to tricolour red, white and black.
Celine’s handbags for the fall 2014 which were previewed on the catwalk this March were not consumer friendly. With big buttons and no stitching or the construction was such that it exposed the contents inside. Thus giving an indication of what we may expect in the shops in the future, a pared down more user friendly Luggage Tote, with weathered hardware, calf hair and exposed stitching.
The must have Celine Luggage Tote is an expensive addition to your wardrobe. Prices range from £400 to over £2,000 dependent upon the size and materials used. A bag only a few can afford but don’t despair as there are many reputable designers who make fabulous similar bags in the style and homage to the Luggage Tote that are made by artisans in luxury Italian leathers, that will look fabulous and last a lifetime. But do also be aware of fakes, which are poorly made in vast numbers from the Far East and pretend to be original complete with fake logos.