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Style Notes: Old Céline vs. New Celine

Among the fashion designers who defined the 2010s, Phoebe Philo’s name is hard to forget. For over 10 years with Céline under her helm, Philo led a quiet revolution in the thinking woman’s wardrobe, sending streamlined silhouettes, sensual knits, and impeccably tailored power suits down the runway. Her designs transformed the previously staid brand into a fashion powerhouse, which counted a diverse range of women such as Lady Gaga, C-suite executives, artists and filmmakers as the brand’s most loyal fans.

Even after Philo’s departure from the brand in 2019, demand for Old Céline remains as strong as ever. The Instagram account @oldceline, for example, has over 375k followers.


Since then, Celine’s newly-appointed creative director Hedi Slimane has shaken up the brand even further, going so far as to drop the accented “e” from the brand’s name. Slimane is known for his distinctive designs that are influenced by youth culture and rock’n’roll glamour, which have proven to be a hit among younger shoppers, especially Gen Z. For this, Slimane has drawn his fair share of diehard devotees as well as critics, but if you ask us, that’s exactly what makes New Celine so electric and hard to take your eyes away from.


Wondering what the difference is between Old Céline and New Celine? We take a look at the most iconic bags of each era.

The timeless icons from Old Céline


Like the very best of Old Céline, the most iconic handbags from Phoebe Philo’s reign are classic pieces that are attuned to how women dress and accessorise in their everyday lives. For this reason, the bags remain well-loved fashion treasures even till today. 

With Phoebe Philo set to return to the fashion world with an eponymous label in early 2022, we’re dusting off our Céline Luggage Totes to celebrate Philo’s most memorable fashion moments. 


Céline Luggage Bag



Back in 2012, the Céline Luggage Tote was seen hanging off the arms of the hottest celebrities and fashion editors, including Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Kim Kardashian. Its larger sister, the Phantom bag with its signature extended wings, is just as much an icon of luxury and practicality as the Luggage bag.


Ranging in size from Nano to Medium, the Céline Luggage bag is a real treasure find in any of its bi-colour or tri-colour options. Even rarer are the limited edition bags in exotic leather or unique finishes.


Céline Trapeze Bag

The iconic Philo-era winged sides make another appearance in the Céline Trapeze Bag. Much imitated but never bettered, the Trapeze bag is among the most recognisable silhouettes in fashion – a shape pioneered by Phoebe Philo.


With its signature geometric shape, contrast stitching and high quality leather, the Trapeze bag exudes the right amount of timeless chic for your everyday wardrobe.


Céline Belt Bag

A classic tote bag with a twist, the Céline Belt Bag first made its debut in the Pre-Fall 2014 collection. Its subtle yet unexpected touches, like a geometric front flap that can be tucked under or over a knotted belt, perfectly embody Old Céline’s design philosophy.


Available in two sizes – Mini or Small, the Céline Belt Bag is for the stylish yet discreet woman.


The greatest hits from New Celine

Glittery mini dresses, jeans so skinny they fit like a second skin, TikTok e-boy culture: These are some of the most distinctive hallmarks of Hedi Slimane’s New Celine revolution. Say what you like about the new Celine, but Hedi Slimane has always had his finger on the pulse of youth culture – and it’s worked. Having reinvented the Celine brand to court a wider, younger consumer base, Slimane has churned out a steady string of hits since his arrival three years ago.


Let’s delve into the greatest designer bag hits of Slimane-era Celine!


Celine 16 Bag


The numerical origin of the Celine 16 bag comes from the maison’s address in Paris at 16 rue Vivienne. Designed by Hedi Slimane on his first day at Celine (talk about efficiency), the 16 bag encapsulates the brand’s Parisian chic with ‘60s-inspired details like the cropped flap and rounded corners. Sling it across your shoulder as a crossbody bag or let it hang from your arm via its short leather handle.


Celine C Bag

The Celine C Bag made a splash on the runway when it was first unveiled in the Spring 2019 collection in quilted calfskin and exotic leather.


The boxy shoulder bag is named after the ‘C’ monogram on its clasp – inspired by a similar Celine closure from the house’s 1970s archives. Meanwhile, its chunky chain strap is a playful wink at the Arc de Triomphe, one of Paris’ most iconic monuments.


Celine Triomphe Bag


No discussion of New Celine would be complete without mentioning the ‘It’ Bag of the moment: the Celine Triomphe Bag. Here, the Triomphe historical motif has been reinterpreted as a double-C statement clasp closure on a mini shoulder bag. Since its debut in the Fall 2019 show, the Triomphe Bag has become wildly popular after celebrities like K-pop girl group Blackpink’s Lisa were spotted carrying it – and for good reason!


Looking for Old Céline or New Celine? 

Whether you’re on the hunt for a Céline Luggage Tote, thanks to an Old Céline-shaped hole in your heart, or whether you’re searching for the trendiest new Celine pieces at affordable prices, shopping preloved is the way to go.


What’s more, considering the exclusivity of both Old Céline and New Celine, finding a secondhand Celine handbag can turn into quite the treasure hunt. This is especially the case with Old Céline because most Old Céline owners aren’t necessarily looking to let go of their cherished pieces.


At Style Theory, we pride ourselves on our stringent authentication process so you can be sure that what you’re buying is nothing less than an authentic Celine bag. Our meticulous storage and detailed product listings also help to ensure a smooth shopping experience.


Browse through our wide range of Old Céline and New Celine handbags, such as the ever-popular Céline Luggage Bag, the Céline Belt Bag, or the new Celine 16 Bag. Shop preloved Old Céline and New Celine with complete peace of mind.


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