'The chicest thing is when you don't exist on Google. God, I would love to be that person,' said Phoebe Philo, the creative director of Céline, back in 2013. It's not surprising then, that the label was famously reticent to offer its products online.
Since Philo took the creative reins in 2008, Céline has come to represent a quiet - and exclusive - luxury, available only in stores (with the exception of eyewear) at its own international flagships and premium department stores. Getting your hands on it required a pilgrimage to the brand's carefully considered spaces - which were, ironically, Instagram catnip with marble parquet floors, precious-stone goblets (really) and towering gold lights designed by artist Thomas Poulsen.
It didn't hurt Céline's bottom line. LVMH, who own the label, don't announce sales figures for individual brands. But Philo allegedly lifted sales from around €200 (£178) million to over €700 (£622) million. There's a demand what for she does. Which is why the LVMH-owned e-commerce platform, 24 Sèvres, has finally made it available online alongside Louis Vuitton and Dior.
Eric Goguey, the Chief Executive Officer of 24 Sèvres, says: 'Since our launch last June, demand for Céline on the site has been high, and today it thrills us to let our customers know that we are now able to offer one of their favourite brands on 24 Sèvres.'
It's no secret that Phoebe Philo is leaving the brand, with former Saint Laurent designer, Hedi Slimane stepping in, introducing menswear, fragrance and couture this September. And we saw how Slimane transformed the interiors and graphics at his previous gig (famously - and contentiously - dropping the name 'Yves' from its branding).
Who knows what to expect from Hedi, besides radical change. But in the meantime, you can get Céline as we currently know it, for the last time, on 24 Sèvres.
And its online availability doesn't make it any less exclusive, with a capsule collection only available via the LVMH platform, designed by the team who worked under Phoebe Philo (and inspired by her last show).
Five pieces: a skirt, a top, a pair of shoes, a handbag and a pair of earrings.
Perhaps that exclusivity will placate internet-shy Philo as she departs. It'll certainly please Céline fans.
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