How to Tell if Your Céline Handbag Is the Real Thing

Words by Jody Hume | 10.24.14
Designer Phoebe Philo has a penchant for designing It bags. At the helm of Céline, she’s breathed new life into the once flagging house with designs that have generated waitlists around the world. The first Céline It bag was the Luggage Tote, and was soon followed by other popular designs like the Trapeze, Phantom, Trio, Box and Edge bags.

As Philo remarks of the women who are fans of her designs, “They are all different, but with the common thread of an appreciation for clothes that suggest something new but made to last far beyond fast-trend fashion.” While Céline’s bags appeal to lovers of minimalism with their clean lines, sleek colorblocking and lack of obvious logos, they are also instantly recognizable to those in the know. The popular flared gusset designs of Philo’s bags for Céline have spawned lookalikes from both luxury and contemporary brands across the industry, so taking a close and careful look at Céline handbags to ensure their authenticity is important.
When inspecting Céline, there are several telltale signs of an item’s authenticity.

1. Heat Stamping

Céline Mini Luggage ToteOn a Mini Luggage Tote, the exterior Céline logo should have an accent aigu, or right-pointing accent, above the first “e,” and “Paris” printed beneath. The font should not look thick and blurry, nor thin and faint. The interior label will have “Made In Italy” printed in caps to the right. Note that on different size totes, the labels will differ. On Nano Luggage Totes, the logo is embossed on a leather tab.

2. Serial Number

Céline Python Edge Bag
In most Céline bags, you’ll find a leather serial number tab. The embossed numbers are not unique and can be repeated. They should always follow this format: one letter, two letters, four numbers. Be wary of serial numbers beginning in “S-GA” as counterfeiters often use this prefix. The corners of the rectangular tab are normally clipped at clean right angles. Neither the tab nor the corners should ever be curved.

3. Zipper

Céline Box BagUnlike many other fashion houses, Céline does not use brand name zippers in their bags. The backs should be plain and unmarked. However, the size of the zipper is often listed on the end, i.e. the number eight. On Luggage Totes, the zippers should have an antiqued finish and should never be brassy or shiny. The D-Rings on the zippers should be large enough to leave space on either side of the leather pull.

4. Lining

Céline Trio CrossbodyCéline always uses high-quality, sturdy leather on their handbags, which lends to their hefty weight. Smooth calfskin Luggage Totes will have matching leather linings. Drummed or pebbled leather bags will be lined in microsuede. The Céline Trio is quite a versatile accessory, as it can be separated into three different bags. If you want, you can even mix and match different colors.
Like this video? Get more helpful how-tos for authenticating items from other iconic fashion houses like Louis Vuitton and Chanel in our authentication series.

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