Céline (brand)

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Type Subsidiary of public company
Industry Fashion
Founded 1945 (1945)
Founder(s) Céline Vipiana
Headquarters Paris, France
Revenue €172.2 million (2012)
Owner(s) LVMH
Website www.celine.com

Céline is a French ready-to-wear and leather goods luxury brand that has been owned by LVMH group since 1996. It was founded in 1945 by Céline Vipiana. The headquarters are located at 23 – 25 rue du Pont-Neuf in Paris. Marco Gobbetti is the president and the chief executive officer of the brand.

Creation of the brand[edit]

In 1945, Céline Viapiana and her husband, Richard, created one of the first luxury brands in the industry, Céline, a made-to-measure children's shoe business,[1] and opened a first boutique at 52 rue Malte in Paris.[2] The brand was recognised by its logo, the red elephant created by Raymont Peynet.[3]

A new positioning[edit]

In 1960, the brand decided to change its positioning by focusing its business on a ready-to-wear fashion brand for women with a sportswear approach.[4] Henceforth, the brand offered a range of leather goods such as bags, loafers, gloves and clothes.[5] Céline Vipiana remained the designer from 1945-1997.[6]

In 1964, the launch of the new fragrance "Vent fou"[7] and the new ‘American Sulky’ collection of accessories gained a lot of success. The trench became the iconic product of the house.[8] Prompted by the popularity of leather and dedicated to the quality of production, Céline opened a leather goods factory in Florence.[9]

In 1973, Céline redesigned its logo with the intertwined "C" Sulky canvas, linked to the Arc-de-Triomphe, which appeared as a symbol for Parisians.[10] 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.[11]

The brand’s founders wished to be part of a charitable association, so Richard Viapiana established the Céline-Pasteur Prize, a sponsor for the American Hospital of Paris in 1973.[12]

Acquisition by LVMH[edit]

In 1987, Bernard Arnault decided to buy into Céline’s capital.[13] However, it was only in 1996 that the brand was integrated into the LVMH group for 2.7 billion French francs ($540 million).[14] LVMH propelled the brand to fame with the opening of a boutique at 36 avenue Montaigne in Paris.[15]

Céline’s designers[edit]

American fashion designer Michael Kors was named creative director for Céline in 1997.[16] During his tenure at Céline, Kors turned the fashion house around with a critically acclaimed ready-to-wear and accessories line.[17] Kors designed for the label until 2004, when he left and was replaced by Italian designer Roberto Menichetti. After a disappointing year,[18] Menichetti was replaced by Croatian designer Ivana Omazic, who was a former consultant for the brand. Omazic designed for Céline until 2008, after further disappointments for the brand.[19]

Recent History[edit]

On September 4, 2008, Women's Wear Daily announced that Bernard Arnault, president of LVMH, appointed Phoebe Philo as the new creative director of Céline.[20] Philo's tenure at Céline began in October 2008, and she presented her first ready-to-wear collection for Spring/Summer 2010 at Paris Fashion Week. Philo's designs for Céline have amassed critical acclaim in the fashion industry, since her tenure began.[21]


External links[edit]