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Hedi Slimane’s First Céline Bag Debuts on the Arm of Lady Gaga

Gaga was a favorite of Slimane's during his time as creative director at Saint Laurent

I think anyone with an opinion of Céline, Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane, or Phoebe Philo (so, everybody who reads this website, pretty much) has been at least a little bit curious about what Hedi Slimane’s would do with Céline’s ultra-successful handbag line as the brand’s creative director, and now, thanks to Lady Gaga and the paparazzi, we have our first answer to that question. Gaga casually helped Slimane’s Céline make its public debut by carrying the bag to visit the Louvre and have dinner in Paris, paparazzi in tow.

The identification of the bag was first made by French fashion writer Pierre A. M’Pelé on Instagram, and Business of Fashion was then able to confirm the bag’s origins with Tom Erebout, Gaga’s stylist. As BoF notes, Gaga is a longtime friend and supporter of Slimane’s, and she has been the first to debut pieces from his collections several times in the past.

In general, letting a key piece be seen first on a celebrity—instead of on a runway or from an official source with the brand—is a favorite tactic of Slimane’s. He did the same thing with Gwyneth Paltrow and his first-ever Saint Laurent bag in 2012, letting her tote the Classic Duffel through an airport instead of giving it a more formal debut. It’s hard to deny that the tactic works, if its goal is to create chatter and intrigue, as well as anticipation for the line’s full public reveal. (And it is, by all indications.)

As for the bag, it doesn’t have a publicly known name yet, but the pared-down top handle has a more ladylike feel than the accessories Slimane oversaw at Saint Laurent, with spare details and luxurious finishing. If I’m being totally honest, I assumed it was probably yet-to-be-released Valentino when I first saw it, before the bag’s real origins had been made public. It bares little resemblance to the visual accessories language Phoebe Philo developed during her years at Céline—it’s too formal-looking and traditionally luxury for that. It’s likely a surprise to no one, though, that Slimane has decided to take things in a very different direction.

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M Green
M Green
5 years ago

The title of this blog post should be “Hedi Slimane’s First Céline Bag is a Hermès Kelly.”

Susan
Susan
5 years ago
Reply to  M Green

Better, because you can actually close it instead of having it flopping open because it’s too ridiculous

victoria shin
victoria shin
5 years ago
Reply to  M Green

I was just thinking that. Not very original. I will miss the luxurious laid back quality of Phoebe Philo tenure…

MamaK279
MamaK279
5 years ago
Reply to  M Green

Yup

Lara
Lara
5 years ago
Reply to  M Green

First thing that popped in my head when I saw this… isn’t he just the master of spinning an Hermes shape into a great success… however this bag doesn’t have the structure of a Kelly, which is why it pulls at the top….

Kate
Kate
5 years ago
Reply to  M Green

Hahahaha

obscurity7
obscurity7
5 years ago

It looks like it’s a little on the big side to be carried that way, but the lines are impeccable.

Sparky
Sparky
5 years ago

Forget the bag – THE LEATHER COAT!!!! Bag is kinda ugly

Amanda Mull
Amanda Mull
5 years ago
Reply to  Sparky

Vintage Alaia!! Incredible, right?

Sparky
Sparky
5 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Mull

Oooooooo….!!!! Question: since his passing, has the Alaia lable stopped producing clothing? I saw bags on websites for sale

LOLA
LOLA
5 years ago
Reply to  Sparky

No, they are still producing clothes and accessories.
This coat Gaga is wearing is part of their “new” collection as they are going to release archives pieces in each new collection now.

Sparky
Sparky
5 years ago
Reply to  LOLA

Thank you!!!

Polkadotbird
Polkadotbird
5 years ago

Love the bag, and LOVE the coat!

PJGambler
PJGambler
5 years ago

Now that one is gorgeous.

Daria
Daria
5 years ago

gaga is gorgeous but this bag is hideous

Xavier
Xavier
5 years ago

Almost thought it was Thom Browne at first

Passerine
Passerine
5 years ago

The coat is fantastic. The Matrix meets Altered Carbon meets Miranda Priestley. The bag is fine, not great but fine. However, it looks like it would scratch really easily

Kate
Kate
5 years ago

It’s not the dumpster fire I was expecting. It doesn’t look particularly distinctive, either, though. If I saw it on a person walking past me, I would think, “That’s a nice bag. It looks fairly expensive.” But then I would forget it fifteen minutes later. Also, that coat is AMAZING!

Ali
Ali
5 years ago
Reply to  Kate

You summed up my exact feelings! This design is indistinct and forgettable…it’s also “safe” rather than a bold statement that I was expecting

pe.riche.
pe.riche.
5 years ago
Reply to  Kate

“It’s not the dumpster fire I was expecting.”
I laughed so hard at this! Thank you!!!

Katy ;P
Katy ;P
5 years ago

It looks really good.

MamaSleepy
MamaSleepy
5 years ago

Beautiful bag! But Celine bags have been so distinctive, instantly brand-recognisable from afar – this bag is not.

Susan
Susan
5 years ago
Reply to  MamaSleepy

Not a bad thing. I don’t want a robot face on my bag.

MamaSleepy
MamaSleepy
5 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Agree w skipping the faces!

Jimmy Lin
Jimmy Lin
5 years ago

wow … love the bag … i am sure people will spending money on them anyway … as of my knowledge people making funny comments on Sac de jour when it first launch ! look at them now , they selling like hotcakes ^^

John Patrick
John Patrick
5 years ago

Gaga out her promoting her Vegas show and upcoming album while doing a slightly-secret endorsement. Well played, Mother.

JH
JH
5 years ago

The bag is ugly. The coat is gorgeous.

SeeJay
SeeJay
5 years ago

It’s beautiful

Darietta
Darietta
5 years ago

Strangely enough, I like the bag. What makes it recognizable is it’s size. You don’t see bags of “Kelly” structure that big often. Plus, does it mean the return of big bags? Not just oversized totes but real handbags too?

Antonia
Antonia
5 years ago

Who makes the coat?? Is it also Celine? I really like the bag too!

Bryan Lepe
Bryan Lepe
5 years ago

Beautiful. Very Delvaux. I love it. Too big for me personally but love the bag. Glad I waited for his first design instead of getting the nano belt bag.

Susan
Susan
5 years ago
Reply to  Bryan Lepe

I have a vintage Delvaux that is so similar to this. I adore it and this new design as well. It’s so understated and luxe. I love this new direction for Celine.

Captainfaux
Captainfaux
5 years ago

The queen called. She wants her Launer back.

Yoshi1296
Yoshi1296
5 years ago

What a disappointment.

psny15
psny15
5 years ago

i like this bag, very Delvaux & understated elegance!

Ano
Ano
5 years ago

I went to the old article of Hedi Slimane’s first bag carried by Gwyneth Paltrow 6 years ago, people were saying this first bag looked like a Celine and look what’s happening now haha. It’s a good bag for 30 something and above.

FashionableLena
FashionableLena
5 years ago

If it were half the size and not black, I’d like it.

The coat, on the other hand, is beautiful.

Gotta love Gaga’s commitment. Full length, black leather coat in August whilst in Paris? I. Bow. Down.

Passerine
Passerine
5 years ago

LOL, so true. Esp as this has been one of the hottest summers in Europe for a while.

Katrina
Katrina
5 years ago

It looks like a Balenciaga Le Dix from the Alexander Wang days.

Irma Segovia
Irma Segovia
5 years ago
Reply to  Katrina

I was thinking balenciaga tube bag!

Lara
Lara
5 years ago

‘Florals? In Spring? Ground-breaking…..’

Laura Bo
Laura Bo
5 years ago

Sadly the bag is dull. I wanted to like it but it looks a bit old lady like

taryn119
taryn119
5 years ago

All the YESes for this bag (and that stunning coat).

Rashida
Rashida
5 years ago

I love the bag

MamaK279
MamaK279
5 years ago

The bag is beautiful, but a bit ho-hum. Yes, it’s very luxurious, but haven’t we seen this bag a thousand times already? Under Philo, Celine debuted some amazing bags – trapeze, belt, edge, luggage, big, etc etc. Whether or not you liked them, they were unique to the Celine brand, and ended up creating trends that were copied by other brands (no one was doing that bag wing before the trapeze bag.) I’m curious to see what else comes…this bag would be a pass for me.

Bir
Bir
5 years ago

Un kelly,bien sur !!!!!

SPA
SPA
5 years ago

Coat , pink stone diamond ring and bag with Gaga – all gorgeous!

Bryan Lepe
Bryan Lepe
5 years ago

Also when people say “this isn’t brand recognizable” uhm yeah it’s a new creative director. You’ve been used to Phoebe Philo for the past 10 years. Look at bags prior to her tenure and let me know if those look “Céline” to you. New creative director, new designs, no?

Susan
Susan
5 years ago