Celine Look-Alike Totes

At a certain point, a popular bag design reaches such full saturation that designers who make bags in its image are no longer ripping off someone else’s work, but simply designing to fit a trend. It’s a bag designer’s job to interpret what consumers want for their own brand, of course, and lately, consumers want the Celine Luggage Tote. That’s great for Celine, but it also works out well for everyone else; at this point, the shape of the Luggage Tote has become a short-term icon, and consumer demand for it far outpaces both Celine’s ability to produce bags and the market’s ability to provide consumers who all want to carry exactly the same thing.

That’s where brands like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Reed Krakoff and even Marc by Marc Jacobs come in. By designing to the shape (flared, articulated gussets, short top handles, a body that’s taller than it is wide), companies can imbue their work with a vague feeling of aesthetic relevance, which can even rub off on people who aren’t familiar with the suddenly ubiquitous shape’s original inspiration. Fall 2012 seems to be where the tide has finished its turn and everyone has some version of the Celine shape on the market, so to start the season, we’ve rounded up some of the best non-Celine north-south totes out there. Check out our picks after the jump.

Reed Krakoff Mini Atlantique, $1290 via Neiman Marcus

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  • Drtr

    Great post Amanda. For those of us who love bags, but can’t afford every single one we want, the Coach Legacy Leather Tanner Tote has a similar look to the Celine. I saw one yesterday in store, and it came in great colors and the leather for a $500 bag was very nice.

    • Ashleyg

      I was just thinking that the Coach version has been the best interpretation I’ve seen at this this point!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      Mea culpa on this one – I meant to put that Coach bag in this post and totally forgot when I actually sat down to write it!

    • Mariam

      Yup, i was about to point that out!! The coach ones… Pretty much similar to the celine. That was the first thing that came into my mind. Like instantly!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Julie-Patterson-Brinkerhoff/1472905916 Julie Patterson Brinkerhoff

    The Coach bag spoke about below is marvelous. Ordered it! Never liked Celine though because I always felt like the bag was staring at me. Had it spoken…. I may never have slept again. :-)

  • crazybaglady

    Jil Sander’s Malavoglia tote & Jerome Dreyfuss’ Carlos tote also remind me of the Celine look. Enjoyed today’s blog- thanks, Amanda!

  • GMM

    So which bag did the Celine Luggage Tote imitate?

  • Judy Banks

    “Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery”? Can we be honest and call these

    look-alikes bags replicas?

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      I don’t think that would be honest, no. Replicas are bags that seek to imitate every detail of an original design, down to claiming the design’s logo and branding. All of these bags, on the other hand, are designed to fit the trend that the Celine created. Those are two very separate goals, and they lead to very different products.

      • Judy Banks

        So it’s ok to replicate the trend and the design but not the logo?

      • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

        Of course it’s ok to design to a trend. If it weren’t, there would be an absolutely tiny number of bags on the market to choose from and almost no variety. No one has eternal rights to a shape or gusset style, and if they did, the Celine wouldn’t even exist because the Birkin’s gussets flared long before Phoebe Philo came around. It’s illegal to make an exact replica and ethically dubious to recreate every single non-branded detail, but none of the bags in this post do either of those things.

      • HMM

        Tote bag is nothing new…..seriously, the only thing I’d say Celine really got creative/original about are the “smiling face” and the “curvy trims” on the front. Other than that, Celine just made a shape that already existed more popular than before. And other designers just chime in and dive into the trend. So I wouldn’t even say who imitate whom.

  • startswithstyle

    I love the Anya Hindmarch one! I think personally these are all “totes”, and not necessarily Celine Luggage Tote “look-alikes”. It’s not like Celine was the first to design a tote…


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