Every now and then, we discuss non-leather bags and what a ripoff I think they tend to be. You know the drill: A brand makes a basic bag in a basic fabric and then charges an arm and a leg for it based on the strength of their other designs. The theory is that because their other bags are fancy, they can get away with convincing everyone that some cotton or linen bag is also, indeed, fancy. Don’t be fooled – those cotton and linen bags are usually not anything to write home about, and they’re not a good investment for your handbag dollar.

I’ve always felt secure in this theory, but then a bag like the Celine Phantom Luggage Tote in both beige and olive (pictured after the jump) canvas comes along and makes me reevaluate my own hangups about the material and bags made out of it. We’re big Celine lovers around here, so naturally, this bag gave me a bit of pause. Let’s talk price after the jump.

As far as cotton-canvas totes go, this one is kind of resplendent, right? Most brands that try to work the non-leather voodoo on their customers do it with bags that are boring or incredibly simple; remaking your best seller and all its signature details in the material is a design distinction worth noting. Also worth noting is the price: $1550, which is, in fact, quite a bit of money for any canvas tote bag, even if it’s trimmed in leather and even if it was stitched together by the surely magical elves at Celine.

Still, I can’t help but be intrigued. Celine prices are notoriously tough to pin down, but my research indicates that a leather version of this bag would be at least $2600, if not more. Considering that, the $1550 price tag represents an enormous price difference, even if it’s still objectively high. At the very least, Celine has enough respect for its customers to know that they won’t take an inferior product for a $200 discount.

I could see buying this bag if I were lavishly wealthy and could have the bag wardrobe of my dreams; it’d be fun to parade it around the country club for a season or two, but if you’re looking for longevity (not to mention a bag that will resist smudges and colors transfers better), I’d still suggest a regular or Phantom Luggage in a medium or dark neutral. Save up the money, it’ll be worth it in the long run. What say you?

Shop Celine via Kirna Zabete.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Sil G

    i had seen some pictures on the forum, and they’re really beautiful, right?
    but i agree with you. i think i could only justify to myself paying that kind of money for a canvas bag if i was horrible rich. but sadly, i’m not :(
    but they’re so pretty! (i laughed when i read about the magic elves, lol, but it sounds so true! lol)
    and i hadn’t noticed that at least the price was reduced, compaired to the leather version. at least that’s something. but even so, i’d rather have a leather one ;)

  • literally, i sewed this bag 3 weeks ago. for the dyi’er, it is impossibly easy. plus you can coat the canvas to make is super strong. done.

    • jo

      Can you give us the patterns and steps? I’d love DIYs :)

    • EGlez

      I would love to see a tutorial for that!

  • mlle p

    As for the white one, I think it would look smudged up after about a day at most.  Pricewise, it would depend on the lining, the details, but definitely 1550. is far beyond what I would pay for canvas.

  • Not worth the price, spend a little more and get the all Leather one!

  • a.b

    I just saw this years celines at the mall. sooooooooooo gorgeous the tri-color luggages are wonderful (minus the ones with suede flaps)…but this one…I’m no fan of canvas’ unless they are cheap! And I mean cheap! hahahaha

  • whateve

    Sorry, but it’s still a racket in my opinion.  Paying even in the hundreds for canvas is for suckers.  I don’t care how rich you are.  And the truly old-money rich wouldn’t even dream of such a thing.  They buy LL Bean Boat and Tote’s (which last forever and can be washed) and spend their money on yachts and mansions.  That’s how the rich stay rich. 

  • Silversun

    I like the idea of a cheaper, lighter canvas option, but I wish it were a lot cheaper than it is! It’s still a pretty prohibitive price point, especially for canvas. Also, think I’d prefer coated canvas. The white one doesn’t look like it’ll survive long in the London drizzle.

  • Sandra Rowley

    No thanks, I think I will purchase the leather one.

  • A Reader

    A canvas bag that costs more than my monthly mortgage payment! No, thanks.

  • Michelle

    This is a ridiculous price for canvas….you are paying for the name….Celine!!!

  • Rachel

    I have a Celine beaver fur purse that I want to sell that I got as a present from the people who own one of the factories in Italy. It is a beautiful piece but not my style.  I really want to sell it.. any ideas where?

  • lilstrlett

    Everyone saying they wouldn’t pay $1550 for canvas… do you own Louis Vuitton bags? They’re canvas, and there are plenty of bags that are over $1550.

    • whateve

      Nope, don’t own any LV for the same exact reason.  But at least LV is coated which means it can be wiped down and a lot of the over $1500 LVs are leather.  

    • whateve

      Nope, don’t own any LV for the same exact reason.  But at least LV is coated which means it can be wiped down and a lot of the over $1500 LVs are leather.  

    • Iamaouka

      Couldn’t agree more.

  •  Really awesome bags. I have never seen such types of bags . These bags are trendy and suits all types of ages specially on youths.

  • 19yearslater

    I think it works in the way that Balenciaga or Proenza Schouler remaking their most popular styles in fabrics does. There is a market for it, it looks nice and is unexpected because you don’t expect to see such utilitarian fabrics on these types of bags.

  • I actually saw in the store in the Milan this one and the luggage version too, and you know what? The canvas looks cheap! (piling a bit already) Shame on you Celine. (I am a BIG Celine fan, so these words coming out of my mouth taste like vinegar).

  • MamaM

    Reminds me of Casper the ghost. If he were a purse.

  • Vhikiki

    Not A Penny!

  • Bcm4

    Totally agree. Nobody should ever pay that much for a canvas bag unless you’re incredibly wealthy and you have on in leather already.

  • Hainutesuperpret

    I sell them, add me on fb, best louboutins:) mch cheaper

  • Lindasmith1215
  • Cynthia

    As a vegan that loves fashion, it makes me very happy when designers follow this trend. I am more than happy to pay the price and have a clean conscious, all while looking good.