Celine's runway show isn't for about another two weeks, but creative director Hedi Slimane has already put his notorious stamp on the brand. The designer has already changed the logo to drop the accent over the first e, making it just Celine. With 65 percent of Celine's business being accessories, and his predecessor Phoebe Philo creating iconic It bags for the fashion house, including the Celine luggage tote, the pressure was on for Slimane to create a must-have bag, and fast.

While his full collection hasn't hit the runway yet, his new Celine 16 bag, named after the brand's headquarter's address, 16 Vivienne Rue, was spotted on Lady Gaga. The internet quickly pounced on the debut of this handbag, although with many mixed opinions, but it was clear that Slimane was generating the buzz the brand expected.

Séverine Merle, chief executive officer of Celine, told WWD that, “The 16 handbag is the ultimate symbol of Hedi Slimane’s vision for Celine: it emphasizes our knowledge of incredible craftsmanship."

Celine has temporarily shut down their e-commerce site in anticipation of Slimane's show on September 28. In early October, the brand plans to unveil a redesigned e-commerce platform carrying a capsule collection of Slimane's men's and women's first collection for the brand. The redesign aligns with the launch of the brand's e-commerce site in the U.S. after having successfully launched e-commerce in France, the U.K., Italy and Germany.

The 16 will officially go on sale on November 12, and will be available in three sizes and three color ranges at a price point between 2900 and 3500 euros. It will come in calfskin, in addition to exotic leather versions that will be available upon request with five-figure price tags.

Since Lady Gaga's Instagram post with the bag on August 30, Celine has been receiving endless inquiries regarding the 16, cementing its place as a best seller before Slimane's first collection has even gone down the runway. It took over six months to craft this bag, with over 100 leathers tested to reach the final design.

It might be too early to call, but Slimane might have just created 2018's It bag of the year.

 

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