May 30, 2022

Celine Vipiana created her fashion brand in 1945. Today, the renowned French fashion house is critically acclaimed worldwide.

While there are just six Céline stores in the United Kingdom, there are 178 located across the globe.

The story of Céline luxury brand fashions goes back to 1945 when Céline Vipiana (1915–1997) and her husband, Richard, created one of the first luxury brands in the industry. At that time, they opened a shop at 42 rue Malte in Paris, calling it Celine, le bottier pour enfants, and began selling their made-to-measure shoes for children. The brand could be easily identified by its red elephant logo.

In 1960, Céline began focusing on ready-to-wear fashions for women with a focus on sportswear. Céline’s ready-to-wear line was designed to fit an active woman’s lifestyle and included comfortable and sporty pieces such as flat-heeled moccasins.

Céline Vipiana remained the designer from 1945-1997.

In 1964, Céline launched a new fragrance called Vent fou (Crazy Wind) and the new American Sulky collection of accessories gained success.

They offered a complete line of leather goods that included bags, shoes, gloves and clothes. 

With a plan to expand their product line of shoes and accessories for women, they opened a leather goods factory in Florence in 1966.

In 1973, Céline redesigned its logo with the intertwined “C” linked to the Arc-de-Triomphe, which appeared as a symbol for Parisians. At that time, Céline began its expansion in the world with the opening of various boutiques in Monte Carlo, Geneva, Hong Kong, Lausanne, Toronto and Beverly Hills.

In 1973, Richard Vipiana established the Céline-Pasteur Prize, a sponsor for the American Hospital of Paris.

In 1987, Bernard Arnault decided to buy into Céline’s capital. However, it was only in 1996 that the brand was integrated into the LVMH (LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) group for 2.7 billion French francs (USD $540 million). LVMH controls around 60 subsidiaries that each manage a small number of prestigious brands, 75 in total. These include Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Loewe, Loro Piana, Kenzo, Céline, Fenty, Princess Yachts, TAG Heuer and Bulgari. LVMH propelled the Céline brand to fame with the opening of a boutique at 36 avenue Montaigne in Paris.

In 1988, Céline Vipiana modernized the brand and began offering seasonal collections of accessories. American fashion designer Michael Kors was named women’s ready-to-wear designer and creative director for Céline in 1997. In 2004, he left the fashion luxury house to focus his career on his own brand.

Celine in London, U.K.

In the fall of 2008, Bernard Arnault, president of LVMH, appointed Phoebe Philo as the new creative director of Céline. Philo presented her first ready-to-wear collection for Spring/Summer 2010 at Paris Fashion Week. In 2009, Vogue Magazine defined her style as the “cool minimal trend.” In 2010, Philo received the Designer of the Year award from the British Fashion Council. In 2011, she was awarded International Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Both prizes were awarded for her work at Céline.

In December 2017, Philo left Céline after finishing the Fall 2018 collection.

On February 1, 2018, Hedi Slimane became Artistic, Creative and Image Director. He was tasked with directing all Céline collections and extending the brand’s offering with the launch of men’s fashion, couture and fragrances. Slimane created his retail flagship concept stores in Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan and London. He replaced the brand’s traditional style with his personal signature “driven by youth culture, indie rock and sulking adolescence.”

The brand owns 178 stores worldwide and is distributed through a selective network including department stores such as Barneys New York, New York; Bergdorf Goodman New York; Harrods, London; and Galeries Lafayette, Paris. 

LVMH is headquartered in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France and the company is listed on the Euronext Paris exchange and is a constituent of the CAC40 index.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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