How To Tell Real vs. Fake Celine Bags: Most Popular Handbags

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Celine bags are distinct. No big labels or logos are needed. The distinct lines, shape, and design of their bags tell you right away – that is a Celine bag!

Usually slung over the arm of a stylish woman, who prioritizes quality and style over flash and logos. Celine handbags are not cheap. Their high price tag makes them an elite item, so you don’t see every other person with one.

Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens, and Emily Blunt carrying Celine handbagsAshley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens, and Emily Blunt carrying Celine handbags

Designer bags hold their value quite well and are a popular resale item. You can find different consignment websites or classified ads with people selling their Celine handbags.

This is a great option, and you’ll be able to get a great bag at a lower price.

But how do you know if it’s real?

Imagine paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for a second-hand Celine bag made in a shady warehouse overseas. These independent second-hand retailers aren’t the only ones you need to be wary of.

There are many brick and mortar and eCommerce stores selling fake bags.

Celine Pre-Owned Trapeze Two-Way Bag, $4,967 at Farfetch

Green Trapeze two-way bag with gold-tone hardware and padlock detailGreen Trapeze two-way bag with gold-tone hardware and padlock detail

From the price tag of these new items, you may not suspect anything to be fishy; however, once you start using your bag, you will soon find the quality is not there.

There are a lot of realistic fakes out there, but it often isn’t built to last like a real Celine bag, and you won’t be receiving the same quality.

If you want to sell it down the road, you may find out you have a fake bag and won’t get more than $10 for it.

Again, that begs the question – how can I tell a real vs. fake Celine bag? Well, it’s all in the details!

History of Celine

Although the brand, specifically the bags, has gained a lot of international attention over the past couple of decades, its history goes back a lot further. Celine Vipiana opened a boutique children’s shoe store in Paris, France, in 1945.

Celine and her boutique quickly gained a positive reputation. Soon, her shoes adorned the feet of the petite Princess and Prince of Monaco. Quickly the brand grew, making men’s and women’s shoes.

Céline Pre-Owned Macadam Shoulder Bag, $4,860 at Farfetch

Pink/gold-tone Céline Macadam bag with single shoulder strapPink/gold-tone Céline Macadam bag with single shoulder strap

In 1959, the iconic Celine moccasins were developed, and over the next five years, Celine established her line of women’s clothing. By the mid-1970s, Celine had gained international success and was selling in the US, Russia, Japan, Korea, Italy, and Switzerland.

As many luxury brands do, Celine was purchased by LVMH, the largest luxury goods supplier, in 1996. This strategic move elevated the brand to new levels of success and fame.

Celine Designers

The brand has seen its share of designer turn over. Following Celine Vipiana, designer Peggy Huynh Kinh was appointed and modernized the brand.

In 1997, an American designer named Michael Kors was brought in where he designed until 2004 when he left to focus on his own brand (and as we now know, has done very well!).

In 2005, Ivana Omazic was brought on in hopes of transforming the brand. Unfortunately, after three years of disappointing designs, she was replaced by Phoebe Philo in 2008.

Céline Logo Ring Clutch, $4,037 at Farfetch

Black/red/yellow Céline logo-debossed gold-tone ring clutchBlack/red/yellow Céline logo-debossed gold-tone ring clutch

Celine found their flow with Phoebe, and she continued to build and design the brand for nearly a decade until she departed in 2017.

At that time, the brand appointed Hedi Slimane as Artistic, Creative, and Image Director. He has been focusing on transforming the brand and infusing it with his own personal style.

Each designer and phase of the brand’s growth has reflected a unique style. Although trends have changed, the quality of each bag has remained consistent.

Celine Craftsmanship

Celine’s “La Manufacture,” or factory, is located in the small Italian village of Radda in the Chianti region. The massive space is a 5200 m2, eco-sustainable building designed by Italian architect Fabio Barluzzi.

From beginning to end, over 15 lines of Celine bags are made here. There are 117 leather specialists that cut and punch the leather by hand as they sculpt and sew the Celine bags.


Fake handbags don’t have the precision and quality that these handcrafted bags do. This is your tell when determining a real bag from a fake.

1. Check the zippers

Look at the zippers, and if you can, test them. A cheap, discolored zipper identifies a fake.

Authentic hardware on Celine bags are always a genuine precious metalAuthentic hardware on Celine bags are always a genuine precious metal

Celine zippers are made of metal that will match the color of the bag. They are quite sleek, usually with one number engraved on the front.

2. Check the leather

The materials the brand use are quality leather. The next step is to give it a sniff –you may want to do this discreetly.

If the bag has a chemical smell reminiscent of gasoline, this can show that it is fake leather.

3. Check the stitching

Next, look at the stitching. These bags are made by hand by experts in the leather making industry, and they go through extensive quality checks.

Stitching on Celine bags should be flawless with no loose stitchesStitching on Celine bags should be flawless with no loose stitches

A real Celine bag will have even stitches throughout. If you spot uneven, shady stitching – drop the bag and run; it’s a fake!

4. Know the products

When you are familiar with the brand and know the products well, you are less likely to be fooled by a fake. Sometimes these fakes have zippers, pockets, or details that don’t exist on the real version.

If you are already knowledgeable about the bags, then you have better luck identifying a fake. If not, here are some of the best sellers and the ones most likely to be replicated and sold on Canal St. in NYC.

That said, if you are looking for a real bag – avoid Canal Street altogether. I promise you these are not real bags that “just fell off the truck.”

6 Most Popular Celine Bags

When buying a Celine bag, it’s hard to pick a style – they are all beautiful. That said, there are a few designs that remain the chosen arm-candy of women around the world. These six styles are the most popular Celine bags.

1. Luggage

This bag was one of Phoebe Philo’s first creations when she joined Celine and is the most recognized (and replicated) bag. It was first released in 2009 and now comes in a variety of sizes and colors.

Celine Medium Luggage tote with logo stamp on the frontCeline Medium Luggage tote with logo stamp on the front

These bags range in price, depending on the size. If you want to get yourself a Celine Luggage bag, you will have to pay between $2,000 and $3,750 USD.

2. Trio

This unique bag is designed with three individual compartments. Although relatively small in size, these three compartments make the bag super functional.

Trio bag in smooth lambskin with an adjustable leather shoulder strapTrio bag in smooth lambskin with an adjustable leather shoulder strap

It is also one of their more affordable bags, with prices starting at $1,100 USD.

3. 16 Bag

Hedi Slimane designed the 16 bags and is one of Celine’s latest releases. This bag’s 60s vintage inspiration has quickly made it one of their best sellers.

Celine large soft 16 handbag in supple grained calfskinCeline large soft 16 handbag in supple grained calfskin

The 16 line features several different styles and sizes, including the Besace 16, Chain Bag 16, Small, Medium, and Large 16’s. The cost of a Celine 16 bag is from $2,100 up to $7,500 USD.

4. Triomphe

Made at their newest Italian factory, this 2018 creation is a fancier version of their Classic bag. It has a stunning gold “Triomphe” clasp. The Triomphe is available in different materials, including calfskin, embroidery, lizard, watersnake, cowskin, and more.

There are also various shapes and sizes. The design of the Triomphe emblem is what makes this line distinct. With such variation in style, there is also a significant range in pricing.

Strap Bag Triomphe in natural calfskinStrap Bag Triomphe in natural calfskin

A Small Triomphe Camera bag with embroidery costs $1,500, where the Medium Triomphe bag in Lizard costs $7,000 USD, with many styles and prices in between.

5. Belt

This sleek bag is perfect for everyday use. It was designed to have a more casual feel, with its defining feature being a tied belt that runs across the front.

Orange/black belt bag with a foldover top with magnetic fasteningOrange/black belt bag with a foldover top with magnetic fastening

Just as all the other bags do, the Belt bag comes in various sizes and colors. This bag costs between $2,100 and $3,000 USD.

6. Classic

Designer bags are a great investment, and the Classic Celine bag is one of the best investments you could make. Its timeless design features clean lines and simple adornment.

It was first released in 2011, and each year, a new collection of Classic bags is released. Due to the appeal of its classic style, it is one of the most expensive Celine bags you can get.

Small Classic bag in box calfskin with an adjustable and removable leather strap and a metallic clasp closureSmall Classic bag in box calfskin with an adjustable and removable leather strap and a metallic clasp closure

Made from lizard or calfskin, the Classic bag costs between $3,300 and $7,500 USD.

As we can see, a new Celine bag doesn’t come cheap, which is why many look to second hand or discounted retailers.

Although it’s possible to find a real, authentic Celine bag at a lower price, you need to be wary of purchasing a fake.

When you buy from an authorized retailer, you can have more confidence in your purchase.

Receipts and certification of authenticity can help, but these too can be faked, and you need to do your due diligence to ensure you get a real vs. fake Celine bag.

Do your research, know the Celine product well, and inspect the bag you are purchasing, and you can avoid making a costly mistake!

Credit: Michael Wright / WENN

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