Authentic vs. Fake: Your Guide to Identifying Genuine Celine Bags

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Celine bags are distinct. No big labels or logos are needed. The distinct lines, shape, and design of their bags tell you right away – that is a Celine bag!

They are usually slung over the arm of a stylish woman who prioritizes quality and style over flash and logos. Celine handbags are not cheap. Their high price tag makes them an elite item, so you don’t see every other person with one.

Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens, and Emily Blunt carrying Celine handbagsAshley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens, and Emily Blunt carrying Celine handbags (Credit: Michael Wright / WENN)

Designer bags hold their value quite well and are a popular resale item. You can find different consignment websites or classified ads with people selling their Celine handbags.

This is a great option, and you’ll be able to get a great bag at a lower price.

Spotting the Real Deal: Authenticity in a Sea of Imitations

Imagine paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for a second-hand Celine bag made in a shady warehouse overseas.

These independent second-hand retailers aren’t the only ones you need to be wary of. Many brick-and-mortar and e-commerce stores are selling fake bags.

Green Trapeze two-way bag with gold-tone hardware and padlock detailGreen Trapeze two-way bag with gold-tone hardware and padlock detail

You may not suspect anything to be fishy from the price tag of these new items; however, once you start using your bag, you will soon find the quality is not there.

There are a lot of realistic fakes out there, but they often aren’t built to last like a genuine Celine bag, and you won’t be receiving the same quality. If you want to sell it down the road, you may find out you have a fake bag and won’t get more than $10 for it.

Again, that begs the question – how can I tell a real vs. fake Celine bag? Well, it’s all in the details!

Celine’s Rich Heritage: From Humble Beginnings to Fashion Icon

Although the brand, specifically the bags, has gained much international attention over the past couple of decades, its history goes back a lot further. Celine Vipiana opened a boutique children’s shoe store in Paris, France, in 1945.

Celine and her boutique quickly gained a positive reputation. Soon, her shoes adorned the feet of the petite Princess and Prince of Monaco. Quickly, the brand grew, making men’s and women’s shoes.

Pink/gold-tone Céline Macadam bag with single shoulder strapPink/gold-tone Céline Macadam bag with single shoulder strap

In 1959, the iconic Celine moccasins were developed, and over the next five years, Celine established her line of women’s clothing. By the mid-1970s, Celine had gained international success and sold in the US, Russia, Japan, Korea, Italy, and Switzerland.

As many luxury brands do, Celine was purchased by LVMH, the largest supplier of luxury goods, in 1996. This strategic move elevated the brand to new levels of success and fame.

Celebrating Celine’s Renowned Designers

The brand has seen its share of designer turnover. Following Celine Vipiana, designer Peggy Huynh Kinh was appointed to modernize the brand.

In 1997, an American designer named Michael Kors was brought in, where he designed until 2004 when he left to focus on his own brand (and, as we now know, has done very well!).

In 2005, Ivana Omazic was brought on in hopes of transforming the brand. Unfortunately, after three years of disappointing designs, she was replaced by Phoebe Philo in 2008.

Black/red/yellow Céline logo-debossed gold-tone ring clutchBlack/red/yellow Céline logo-debossed gold-tone ring clutch

Celine found their flow with Phoebe and continued to build and design the brand for nearly a decade until she departed in 2017.

The brand appointed Hedi Slimane as Artistic, Creative, and Image Director at that time. He has been focusing on transforming and infusing the brand with his style.

Each designer and phase of the brand’s growth has reflected a unique style. Although trends have changed, the quality of each bag has remained consistent.

The Art of Celine Craftsmanship

Celine’s “La Manufacture,” or factory, is located in the small Italian village of Radda in the Chianti region. The massive space is a 5200 m2, eco-sustainable building designed by Italian architect Fabio Barluzzi.

Over 15 lines of Celine bags are made here from beginning to end. 117 leather specialists cut and punch the leather by hand as they sculpt and sew the Celine bags.

Authenticity Check: Ensuring Your Celine Bag is Genuine

Fake handbags don’t have the precision and quality these handcrafted bags have. This is your tell when determining a real bag from a fake.

1. Check the zippers

Look at the zippers, and if you can, test them. A cheap, discolored zipper identifies a fake.

Authentic hardware on Celine bags are always a genuine precious metalAuthentic hardware on Celine bags are always a genuine precious metal

Celine zippers are made of metal that will match the color of the bag. They are quite sleek, usually with one number engraved on the front.

2. Check the leather

The materials the brand uses are quality leather. The next step is to sniff it –you may want to do this discreetly. If the bag has a chemical smell reminiscent of gasoline, this can show that it is fake leather.

3. Check the stitching

Next, look at the stitching. These bags are made by hand by experts in the leather-making industry, and they go through extensive quality checks.

Stitching on Celine bags should be flawless with no loose stitchesStitching on Celine bags should be flawless with no loose stitches

A real Celine bag will have even stitches throughout. If you spot uneven, shady stitching – drop the bag and run; it’s a fake!

4. Know the products

When you are familiar with the brand and know the products well, you are less likely to be fooled by a fake. Sometimes these fakes have zippers, pockets, or details that don’t exist on the real version.

If you know about the bags, you have better luck identifying fakes. If not, here are some of the best sellers and the ones most likely to be replicated and sold on Canal St. in NYC.

That said, if you are looking for an authentic bag – avoid Canal Street altogether. I promise you these are not real bags that “just fell off the truck.”

Celine’s Most Coveted: The Top 6 Iconic Bags

When buying a Celine bag, it’s hard to pick a style – they are all beautiful. That said, there are a few designs that remain the chosen arm candy of women around the world. These six styles are the most popular Celine bags.

1. Luggage

This bag was one of Phoebe Philo’s first creations when she joined Celine and is the most recognized (and replicated) bag. It was first released in 2009 and now comes in various sizes and colors.

Celine Medium Luggage tote with logo stamp on the frontCeline Medium Luggage tote with logo stamp on the front

These bags range in price, depending on the size. To get yourself a Celine Luggage bag, you must pay between $2,000 and $3,750.

2. Trio

This unique bag is designed with three individual compartments. Although relatively small, these three compartments make the bag super functional.

Trio bag in smooth lambskin with an adjustable leather shoulder strapTrio bag in smooth lambskin with an adjustable leather shoulder strap

It is also one of their more affordable bags, with prices starting at $1,100.

3. 16 Bag

Hedi Slimane designed the 16 bags, and is one of Celine’s latest releases. This bag’s 60s vintage inspiration has quickly made it one of their best sellers.

Celine large soft 16 handbag in supple grained calfskinCeline large soft 16 handbag in supple grained calfskin

The 16 line features several styles and sizes, including the Besace 16, Chain Bag 16, Small, Medium, and Large 16s. The cost of a Celine 16 bag is from $2,100 up to $7,500.

4. Triomphe

Made at their newest Italian factory, this 2018 creation is a fancier version of their Classic bag. It has a stunning gold “Triomphe” clasp. The Triomphe is available in different materials, including calfskin, embroidery, lizard, watersnake, cowskin, and more.

There are also various shapes and sizes. The design of the Triomphe emblem is what makes this line distinct. With such variation in style, there is also a significant range in pricing.

Strap Bag Triomphe in natural calfskinStrap Bag Triomphe in natural calfskin

A Small Triomphe Camera bag with embroidery costs $1,500, whereas the Medium Triomphe bag in Lizard costs $7,000, with many styles and prices in between.

5. Belt

This sleek bag is perfect for everyday use. It was designed to have a more casual feel, with its defining feature being a tied belt that runs across the front.

Orange/black belt bag with a foldover top with magnetic fasteningOrange/black belt bag with a foldover top with magnetic fastening

Like all other bags, the Belt bag comes in various sizes and colors. This bag costs between $2,100 and $3,000.

6. Classic

Designer bags are a great investment, and the Classic Celine bag is one of your best investments. Its timeless design features clean lines and simple adornment.

It was first released in 2011, and a new collection of Classic bags is released each year. Due to the appeal of its classic style, it is one of the most expensive Celine bags you can get. Made from lizard or calfskin, the Classic bag costs between $3,300 and $7,500.

Small Classic bag in box calfskin with an adjustable and removable leather strap and a metallic clasp closureSmall Classic bag in box calfskin with an adjustable and removable leather strap and a metallic clasp closure

Investing in Authenticity: The Importance of Buying Genuine Celine

As we can see, a new Celine bag doesn’t come cheap, so many look to second-hand or discounted retailers. Although it’s possible to find a real, authentic Celine bag at a lower price, you need to be wary of purchasing a fake.

When you buy from an authorized retailer, you can have more confidence in your purchase. Receipts and certification of authenticity can help, but these too can be faked, and you need to do your due diligence to ensure you get a real vs. fake Celine bag.

Do your research, know the Celine product well, and inspect the bag you are purchasing, and you can avoid making a costly mistake!

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