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.
In recognition of her exceptional contributions to fashion, Phoebe Philo was honored with the prestigious Designer of the Year award by the British Fashion Council in 2010. The following year, she received the esteemed International Designer of the Year award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, a testament to her remarkable work at Céline. However, in December 2017, Philo announced her departure from the brand after completing the Fall 2018 collection, which was unveiled in March of that same year.
In a notable development, LVMH appointed Hedi Slimane as the Artistic, Creative, and Image Director of Céline on January 21, 2018. Taking charge on February 1, Slimane assumed the responsibility of overseeing all Céline collections while also expanding the brand’s offerings to include men’s fashion, couture, and fragrances. With his distinctive style influenced by youth culture, indie rock, and a rebellious spirit, Slimane introduced his personal signature and vision, revamping the brand’s traditional aesthetic.
The marketing efforts of the new era were highlighted by Dakota Johnson, who became the first celebrity to don Slimane’s inaugural Celine collection on the red carpet during the premiere of Suspiria in Los Angeles. Additionally, in 2022, Chris Brown showcased a Céline Christmas sweater and matching hat in his music video for the song “It’s Giving Christmas.” More recently, in 2023, Travis Kelce wore a Céline sweater on Saturday Night Live while introducing Kelsea Ballerini for her performance of “Blindsided.”
Céline’s retail presence spans nearly 178 stores worldwide, with a selective network of distribution that includes renowned department stores such as Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods, and Galeries Lafayette. This global reach ensures accessibility to Céline’s exceptional designs for fashion enthusiasts around the world.