Celine: The Icon List

The Reign of Phoebe Philo

Since British designer Phoebe Philo was appointed Creative Director of Céline in 2008, the French fashion house has been presenting us with steadfast waves of chic handbags. Season after season, they continue to thrill us. Not surprisingly, many of them have become incredibly iconic and continuously climb into the Handbag Hall of Fame.

The core aesthetic of Céline handbags is rooted in its praise for independent women and their modern lifestyle: minimalist, timeless, functional, and logo-less. Celine launches new handbag collections every season and among them there are several models that are produced consistently due to their popularity, which includes the Box, Luggage, Phantom, Trapeze, Belt, and Tie Knot bags.

The Box Bag

The Box Bag is a structured rectangular shoulder bag with a front flap and adjustable leather strap. The unique metal push tab closure accentuates the sleek minimalistic design, where it opens up to a leather interior. With three open compartments and one zip pocket, it is one of the most functional and organized shoulder bags we have ever seen.


The Box bag currently comes in medium (7” x 9” x 3.5”) and small (5” x 7” x 3”) and in various materials. The most popular material for the Box is the smooth calfskin (very similar to Hermes’ Box Calf). Some may argue that the smooth calfskin scratches too easily, but yet when the scratches are blended over time, many people are captivated with the vintage glamour it eventually gives.

The Luggage Bag

The Luggage Bag might be Celine’s most popular bag ever, owing its popularity to its unique silhouette and ever-changing material and color combinations. Interestingly, the bag is commonly known as the “Smiling Face Bag” in China, as the bag looks like a face due to the handle and front zipper design.


Currently, the Luggage comes in three sizes - Nano, Micro, and Mini (smallest to largest). The Nano size comes with a detachable strap.

The Phantom Bag

The Phantom bag is a larger, more relaxed variation of the Luggage bag. In comparison, the Phantom has wider sides and a deeper base, making it a fairly spacious tote. Another distinguishing feature is the decorative braided tassel zipper pull on the front and lack of zipper closure along the top.

The Trapeze

The Trapeze is a mixed version of the Box (the front flap) and Luggage (the extended wings). Although the Trapeze has minimal details, it comes in a wide range of different color and material combinations, which adds a lot more playfulness and texture. The Trapeze has four sizes - large, medium, small and mini - so you will definitely find the perfect size for your daily use!

The Tie Knot Tote

The Tie Knot Tote is named after the tied (or knotted) handles. The versatile front flap can be placed inside the bag, making it a chic open tote. It comes with a small detachable pouch in which you can store your daily essentials, such as your keys or cards. Two bags in one shot, that’s a great deal!

The Belt Bag

A relatively newer addition to Celine’s Icon List since it was debuted in 2014, the Belt Bag gets its name from the unique long knotted belt on the front. The front flap has a metal hook closure and can be tucked behind the belt. It also has a under-flap zipper which adds extra security.


Currently, the Belt Bag comes in medium, small and mini. The mini version has a detachable strap and can be worn as a shoulder bag or crossbody.

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