Founded by Céline Vipiana in 1945
Originally started as children’s shoe business, the French company expanded during the sixties into adult footwear, accessories and a women’s ready-to-wear sports collection. With the expansion, Céline opened distribution in Japan, making them the first luxury brands to do so.
With the global partnership, Céline started an international expansion, which resulted in boutiques in Monte Carlo, Geneva, Hong Kong and Rome.
Throughout the 80’s and 90’s the house took a backseat to other luxury brands. Bernard Arnault took over the company in 1987 and set about to revive the business. Céline Vipiana had been in charge up unto 1997, when the reigns where handed over to Michael Kors who was named the first ever creative director and women’s ready-to-wear designer. Kors’s managed to turn the fashion house around with his successful ready-to-wear lines and accessories collections.
In 2000, Jean-Marc Loubier became CEO and declared he would make Céline “a symbol of Paris and Europe’s revival’.
In 2004, Kors’s left Céline in order to focus on his own label and was replaced by Roberto Menichetti. Following this Ivana Omazic replaced the unsuccessful Menichetti.
With the past designers failing to transform and push the brand, the buzz for Céline had been lost since Kor’s had left. Phoebe Philo was appointed as the new creative director of Céline in 2008 and started presenting at the s/s2010 Paris Fashion week.
The critics met Philo’s designs with rave reviews as she managed to catapult the tired brand back into the lime light. Her use of camel, minimalism, white shirts and leather trims for her first collections, championing the older women rather than the teenager.
Started for children’s footwear, Céline is now known for its simplicity that involves heritage, elegance and a hint of androgyny. Thanks to its creative director Phoebe Philo, the once failing brand is now an icon for minimalism and grown up dressing.