In an industry where opulence often shouts, Celine chooses to whisper. Replacing flashy logomania with a pared-back aesthetic, you could say that the brand’s signature simplicity serves as a secret handshake between the in-the-know fashion crowd.
Like the best of Louis Vuitton and Hermes, the most popular Celine bags retain their value, often even retailing for more over time. According to the official 2023 Resale Report from The Real Real, stealth wealth—a decision by the most affluent individuals to keep their financial accomplishments on the low down—is on the rise. And as a result, so are quiet luxury brands like Celine.
Decidedly discreet and masterfully minimalist, Celine is climbing the ladder of most popular luxury brands at a remarkable rate, overtaking noisier cult favorites.
With many of the most influential fashionistas—Dakota Johnson, Hailey Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Kaia Gerber—mutually subscribing to Celine’s IYKYK exclusive society, the brand’s best totes, shoulder bags, and purses are becoming increasingly popular as a style statement, as well as a lucrative investment.
Looking for a way in?
Here are the most popular Celine bags to secure your spot in the covert club.
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For this article, we looked at the most popular Celine bags, paying particular attention to what makes each design unique and how they have resold on preloved sites over the years. We also leaned on our up-to-date knowledge of current luxury trends to determine how timeless they will remain.
The 8 best Celine bags to master the quiet luxury look
Released in 2018 as part of Hedi Slimane’s debut collection, the Celine purse is one of the designer’s biggest triumphs as creative director.
Designed for after hours, the sleek leather crossbody captures the revived spirit of “New Celine”, while historically-significant accents—such as the classic double C logo—pay homage to the time-honored brand and its namesake.
As the story goes: Céline’s car broke down in front of the Arc de Triomphe in the 1970s, and to pass the time, she drew inspiration from the detailed chain surrounding the famous landmark.
Best for: The triumphant return of an archived favorite.
Celine Luggage Tote
As small as the logo on this bag may be, it stands as one of Celine’s most recognizable releases. Launched in 2010, the iconic silhouette garnered attention for its winged size, robust design and face-like resemblance, with some even nicknaming it the monster or the killer.
While you would think that such pseudonyms would deter buyers, the unique Celine bag has only increased in value, attracting it-girls such as Selena Gomez and Hilary Duff (to name a few.)
Listed amongst our best designer work bags, the organized leather tote comes in various colorways in small and medium sizes, many of which can be found on luxury resale sites such as Fashionphile and The RealReal.
Best for: Sartorially killing it in the boardroom and at the bar.
Classic Box Bag
A masterclass in modern minimalism, the Celine Box Bag pioneered logo-free luxury. Released in 2011, during the reign of Phoebe Philo, the Celine crossbody is void of branding, meaning that you have to really know fashion to understand its significance.
Constructed from the highest quality leather, the Celine bag celebrates exquisite craftsmanship in its simplest form. Pop the Celine Box Bag on your shoulder, and you can expect a couple of winks and nods from fellow members of this secret club.
Best for: Securing your spot amongst in-the-know circles.
As one of the most popular Celine bags to invest in, the Ava is similar to the Gucci half-moon mini—one of the best Gucci bags of all time.
The crescent-shaped bag fits neatly under the shoulder and comes in different materials—from sleek black leather to monogrammed canvas. Some have chain straps and some are all-leather. Some are subtly embroidered with the brand’s logo. Some flaunt the iconic double C in gold hardware buckles. And some are all about quiet luxury with tiny letters displaying a barely-there moniker.
We adore this versatile Celine shoulder bag. And so does supermodel, Kaia Gerber, judging by her Instagram.
Best for: Finding the perfect plus one for your next evening soiree.
Celine Belt Bag
The Celine Belt Bag epitomizes Phoebe Philo’s influence on the brand. Characterized by its quality structured silhouette and subtle belt tie closure, the minimalist design only comes in muted hues.
Such a simple design leaves no room for flaws and as a result, it draws attention to the brand’s remarkable attention to detail and immaculate finishings.
The Celine Belt Bag ranges from mini to micro to nano, all of which are made from premium calfskin-grained leather and come with a top handle and removable shoulder strap.
Besides its effortlessly chic appeal, the Celine handbag is also ultra-functional, featuring plenty of zipped pockets and a spacious interior.
Best for: Buckling up for a lifetime of effortless sophistication.
A quintessential part of the “New Celine” handbags era, the Celine 16 comes in many shapes, sizes—and yes, colorways (from classics to contemporaries).
Created in 2019, on Slimane’s first day as Creative Director, the Celine 16 pioneered a new era for the luxury Maison. Drawing inspiration from the centuries-old Hotel Colbert at 16 Rue Vivienne (hence the name Celine 16), the iconic Celine handbag respects the brand’s heritage, while reimagining its designs for modern times.
Taking the form of a bucket bag, a tote and a mini crossbody (to name a few), the Celine 16 is characterized by its “quiet” logo-less exterior, accented with more decadent details such as key covers and padlocks.
Best for: A fresh take on quiet luxury.
In many ways, the Celine Trapeze is similar to the Luggage Tote, although a little more clean-cut and refined. It has the same unmistakable wings and horizontal silhouette, but instead of a zip closure and the iconic mouth-like front pocket, it showcases an uncomplicated front flap and elegant clasp closure.
Released in 2011, the Celine Trapeze is another one of Philo’s masterpieces. While it isn’t available on the brand’s official website, it’s a hot commodity on the resale market (like Fashionphile and The RealReal). And with the rise of quiet luxury, we expect it to grow in demand and value over time.
Best for: Being distinctly Celine, yet wonderfully simple.
Translated to “taboo”, the Tabou crossbody is sinfully tempting, breaking many of Celine’s rules regarding detailing and colorways. As part of the “New Celine” era, the 2022 design features—what has now become a brand signature—the gold hardware padlock, engraved with Celine’s moniker.
Like the 16, the Tabou also comes in the brand’s recognizable monogrammed canvas, as well as calfskin leather in various shades.
Besides that, the miniature silhouette is decidedly understated and easy to wear. The top handle and shoulder strap allow for multi-carry options. And the accordion design expands to make room for more.
Best for: A forbidden love affair.
A brief history of Celine
Established in 1945, Celine began as a made-to-measure shoe business for children, evolving over the decades into the epitome of French chic. The brainchild of Céline Vipiana and her husband Richard, this Paris-based brand soon branched out into women’s ready-to-wear, showcasing the iconic cartoon-like red elephant logo.
The brand’s voyage into haute couture saw a pivotal moment in 1966 when a leather goods factory sprouted in Florence, paving the way for an expanded range that soon embraced a prêt-a-porter line in 1967. Céline’s ethos of fashion resonated with comfort and practicality, aligning with the functional core of its offerings.
Under the aegis of creative luminaries like Michael Kors (1997 to 2008) and Phoebe Philo (2008-2018), Celine’s trajectory soared, its bags becoming synonymous with quiet luxury and understated elegance.
In 2018, the brand’s narrative took a light turn under the direction of Hedi Slimane, who infused the minimalist designs with padlock accents, monogrammed canvas and pops of color.
How much does a Celine bag cost?
In an era of quiet luxury, Celine continues to climb the ranks, making its coveted bags a worthwhile investment (in fashion and finance.) Although still a designer brand (with designer price tags), Celine is one the more understated affluent labels, priced well below competitors such as Hermes and Louis Vuitton.
The most popular Celine bags range from around $1,600 for a crossbody (such as the Ava or Tabou) to around $3,600 for a larger handbag (such as the Triomphe or Belt Bag) to over $7,000 for limited edition materials and colors such as the brand’s signature lizard leather.
New Celine vs Old Céline
Besides removing the accented “e” in the brand (a statement in itself), 2018 saw a huge shift in Celine’s designs. Under Hedi Slimane (the designer responsible for creating some of the best YSL bags), Celine’s aesthetic veered towards edgy, avant-garde minimalism, a shift from Phoebe Philo’s softer, feminine designs.
Although controversial and divisive for many, the evolution illustrates Celine’s fluidity in the high fashion realm, with many of the brand’s older designs selling for significantly more on the resale market.
Frequently asked questions about the best Celine bags
Yes, Celine is often associated with quiet luxury. Under Phoebe Philo’s tenure, the brand was known for its minimalist, sophisticated aesthetic with a focus on high-quality materials and craftsmanship. Even with the edgier style under Hedi Slimane, Celine retains its luxury status while subtly showcasing elegance.
The Celine Luggage Tote has historically been one of the brand’s most popular products, gaining iconic status and a loyal following among celebrities and sartorial enthusiasts. Its distinctive design, practicality, and the luxury appeal associated with Celine, contributed to its widespread fame.
If you’re looking to invest in a designer bag, Celine bags are a worthwhile consideration. Synonymous with high-quality craftsmanship and timeless designs, Celine bags tend to hold their value well over time, making them a potentially good choice for both a fashion statement and a long-term investment.
Celine is most known for its minimalist, sophisticated aesthetic, embodying quiet luxury with a focus on high-quality craftsmanship. The brand gained icon status for its signature simplicity and practical approach, with time-honored bags such as the Luggage Tote and Trapeze Bag holding their value and gaining popularity over time.