After the controversy that followed the long-awaited first show of Hedi Slimane for Céline, the business has started again and the buyers have finished the budgets available to them

How they organized their purchases between the Saint Laurent collection, signed by Anthony Vaccarello, and that of Celine by Hedi Slimane, but also between two competing houses, the first belonging to the Kering group, the latter to its direct rival LVMH? A delicate choice in front of two collections that now offer the same rock aesthetic, black and super short.

The small black mini-dress, a must-have item for the two fashion houses

“It’s very simple, we bought tailoring from Celine and the shirts and dresses from Saint Laurent“, summarizes Massimiliano Nardiello, manager of women’s purchases for a multi-brand Milanese, who does not hide his bewilderment. “Obviously, the sales managers of both fashion houses were not happy. But for us it was terrible. The same day, we went to Celine and then to Saint Laurent. We had the impression of seeing the pre-collection in the morning and the collection in the afternoon, or vice versa! “.

In general, after the marked phenomenon of sportswear, which has dominated the runways in recent seasons, buyers have seen a return to the glamor-rhinestones proposed by the majority of the market. But as some people observe, “some trends have been presented in some repetitive ways by some brands,” making orders even more complicated.

It was clear that Hedi Slimane could not easily get rid of her rock style, with her characteristic dark and subtle silhouette. Based on this, he could apply to Celine only the same recipe for the success he had experimented with Saint Laurent, of which he guided the creation and image from 2012 to 2016.


The tuxedo is worn, both on one side and on the other, with a very sexy white shirt – PixelFormulaThe patron of LVMH, Bernard Arnault, knew it well when he focused on the designer star to repeat the company accomplished by Saint Laurent, whose turnover grew by 75%, reaching 974 million euros, in 2015. As is understandable that Anthony Vaccarello has continued to adopt, pointing with force, the “rock-glam” effect, which proved so profitable for Saint Laurent. In other words, the situation was predictable.
On the other hand, for some brands, such as the Russian group Mercury, which distributes the major brands in the region, including Celine and Saint Laurent, the problem does not arise. They will continue to buy one and the other.

“Of course, Celine has totally changed style. But remember that when Alessandro Michele succeeded Frida Giannini from Gucci, he caused the same clamor. Not only has the brand survived, but its sales have skyrocketed! We have to do with it, the Celine in recent years is dead and buried. This does not detract from the fact that this fashion house, as well as Saint Laurent, represent two very beautiful stories, each with its own know-how. Some products will sell better from the first, others better from the second. In the end the customer is the final judge”, notes a Fashion Director, who remembers that” there are three brands in the world that the woman will never abandon: Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent “.


The golden micro-dress is almost identical from one and the other brand

As for the accessories, the majority of buyers are waiting to see the offer of the next seasons, with Hedi Slimane which for now has only presented some models. Especially since the teams have also changed. According to an expert in the field, who wants to remain anonymous, LVMH has moved the creative team, which created the bags of Celine, from Loewe, another brand of the group, while Hedi Slimane has repatriated his team.

The new menswear by Celine was instead appreciated unanimously by buyers.


 Celine Man

With the launch of the men’s line, Celine clearly wants to kill two birds with one stone in the eyes of multi-brand stores. The turnover of the maison, which has more or less 140 stores, is estimated at around 1 billion euros. The ambition is to double sales in five years.

For this launch, the company has not spared on investments, turning the huge tent raised behind the Invalides for the first fashion show signed Hedi Slimane in a giant showroom, which has presented as many men’s and women’s clothing. The label is, of course, capitalizing on the manic enthusiasm that the creator of Italian-Tunisian origin is able to arouse around his person, hoping to attract the unconditional fans of Slimane previously anchored in Saint Laurent. But not only: it also points strongly on Man.

The same volumes on the shoulders by Celine and Saint Laurent

But the luxury brand that could benefit from this delicate puzzle coming out as a winner would be rather to search in the orbit of Kering. In fact, there was a big wait around Bottega Veneta after Tomas Maier’s departure last June, after 17 years of faithful service. These were replaced by Daniel Lee. A graduate of Central Saint Martins College, the young British designer (32 years old) worked among others for Maison Margiela, Balenciaga and Donna Karan … before coming to Céline in 2012. With him he moved from Bottega Veneta ‘team that first supported Phoebe Philo.

The brand has not paraded this season. However, he presented some models in his Milan showroom. “The first looks we could see immediately make us understand that there is a willingness to go in this direction”, an Italian buyer whispers.