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The official CELINE thread

CentrallyLocate

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I think they really went about the worst way in launching the brand. Menswear labels have, like womenswear, a core of dedicated fans (albeit smaller in number both proportionately and absolutely) - such as those of us on this board - who follow every major designer, runway show etc... But beyond that the name recognition of men is much, much narrower and more limited to the very biggest brands.

Think about it this way: the average woman who enjoys dressing well and wears designer, but who is not a fashion ‘fan’ (ie. doesn’t watch runways or follow designers) can probably name 20+ major houses, designers or labels, plus a few streetwear or more avant garde brands. The average man who enjoys dressing well may be able to name some edgier streetwear brands, but among the major houses has probably only heard of LV, Dior, Chanel (this is why Hedi setting up a Chanel Homme would be legendary), YSL, Gucci, Prada and maybe Balenciaga and Balmain. Celine is not on that list. Even for men who know/are in relationships with women into fashion, they probably don’t know or care about Celine’s men’s collection.

So the only audience the brand has had so far over the last year is mens fashion fans who actually know who Hedi Slimane is, who know what Margiela and Haider Ackerman and Ann D and Rick Owens are. Guys who probably follow fashion meme pages and make jokes about archive raf bombers etc etc... In other words, a niche audience. The brand that LVMH wants Celine to become for men has to be built up over time. It won’t take 3 years, it will take a decade or more.
 

CentrallyLocate

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What i understand is that it sells very well in Asia but that it's slow in Europe. SA are complaining about the collection, some items are overpriced (military parka, technic cotton western jacket)
And I completely agree with this. €2,300 for the souvenir jacket - which isn’t silk, as one would at least expect for that price, but *rayon* - is crazy. €1,600 for the black corduroy teddy - that would be like 900 or 1,000 at YSL or Gucci. €3,500-4,000 for many unremarkable, baseline leather jackets. €2,500 for the generic wool trenchcoat. €4,000 for a lot of cashmere and wool blend long/overcoats.

The brands charging those prices (which in menswear I guess is Loro Piana, Tom Ford, maybe a couple other smaller ones) are much smaller than YSL. And usually for higher quality stuff too. Across the board prices need to see ~30% reductions in most items to be reasonable.

It feels like pricing strategy was handled by people with no understanding of menswear. Yes, some women may be willing to pay €3,500 for a synthetic material dress made of barely any fabric with sequins, but most male customers are less willing to part with the menswear equivalent of that.
 

Louis Louis

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Prices come directly from HS (hearsay), the point is to be more premium than SL. But we reach a point where it becomes ridiculous because a lot of pieces are basics (flight jacket, chesterfield coat). And a lot are ugly (my opinion). And others are taken from the SL time.
 

SirGrotius

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lol, I should retire from this thread! I never could have conceptualized that Hedi sets the prices himself. That seems a next-level obsessiveness, and not necessarily artistic. ;)
 

Louis Louis

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I got this info from 2 different people. But maybe it’s just a marketing thing to make him appear like an omnipresent creative mind.

I also found that the SA are very well trained, they are more friendly than at SL. And they are well briefed on fabrics and tailoring. Can our informant confirm ?
 

CentrallyLocate

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The SAs in London are much friendlier than YSL SAs IMHO and very happy to chat about runway shows, styling etc for hours which I enjoy when I’m there to buy something on a quiet day and want to chat about fashion.
 

Louis Louis

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Everyone as always been chatty and nice at Celine, even when you tell them that you're not there to buy. I don't know if the staffing is well conduct or if it's a requirement from top management.

Question for the insider : are the SAs getting an individual commission or an interesment linked to the store profit ?
 

kieran84

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It seems that there were huge investments made and that the return is not as expected. Have you info about that ?

What i understand is that it sells very well in Asia but that it's slow in Europe. SA are complaining about the collection, some items are overpriced (military parka, technic cotton western jacket), others aren't made available easily. And the sales were rather disappointing, even SA don't understand why so few items were on sales, they had to send back a lot of pieces last week, but at first i heard that there was no sales planned at all.

The perfumes seem to perform well, and i must say that they are really well made.

The managers must have expected that Hedi Slimane's name will be forceful enough to draw customers behind but i think a lot stick to SL. And maybe some people not aware may think that Celine is copying SL...
And last, as you see this thread is not very lively because there's nothing really exciting to discuss.

But if you're willing to share any info about the creative process, i'm all ears.
Have you tried the technical cotton western blouson? I'm really interested in it, but agree it does feel like the price could do with being cut by as much as a third.

The pricing does feel high but quality is definitely a good notch up from Saint Laurent. It feels most off on the silk and viscose shirts to me. £1000 for a shirt just feels too much, and 650 for viscose is ridiculous. They're nice though, but my experience with both silk and viscose shirts from Saint Laurent being a pain to look after means I won't even consider them.

Footwear is a little on the high side to the point where it makes me be a little more discriminating. Sales might be a lot better at a slightly lower price.

Another thing is that the brand just isn't around that much due to not being on LVR, SSense, etc. Photos and styling outside of Hedi's own would probably help sell a lot more, not that I don't like Hedi's but it's not the same as many items don't get any attention.
 

bbconair

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i can believe that he is in charge of marketing, branding and promotion. but there's no way he's directly responsible for setting the price. he's a designer, not the owner. does he care (or does it matter) what the margins are at Celine?
 

Louis Louis

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The technical western blouson has a major flaw - beside its price - the color is really off. Looks like an east german outfit. The tailoring in itself is well done.

Shoes are good, the suede is nice, the chelsea in veal age a little fast and the thin sole is not comfy for winter, but the design is great. And all the shoes seem to be well constructed.

On the negative side, i find that some leather jackets look like premium Kaporal.

And the big question, who can sports the flare trousers for real? if you're not tall and very thin, forget about them.
 

SirGrotius

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I could see the Creative Director wanting to set prices or at least some min maxs to establish a certain level of prestige and exclusivity.

I would echo the sentiments above that all the SAs with whom I've interacted have been very well trained. Polite, friendly, and knowledgeable. This is different from the sometimes aloofness that Dior had in Hedi's heyday or the casual nonchalance of YSL.
 

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