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Yes, we’re actually doing it. We’re comparing style icon and beauty standard Chanel with a fresher, hipper Celine in this month’s Style Showdown. If you missed our last Style Showdown, where we compared design legends Louis Vuitton and Prada, be sure to check it out here. Otherwise, let’s dive in to how Chanel and Celine compare to each other on the basis of style, quality, and price. Let the games begin.
Chanel—the unmistakable classic. Anywhere a Chanel bag goes, it brings instant name recognition and an air of timeless beauty and elegance. Not only are Chanel bags wildly popular, they could even be considered a wardrobe staple among designer handbag collectors. Despite braving the test of time, the Chanel style has evolved little through the decades. While some believe Chanel caters towards an older crowd, it has its place in the fashion-loving youth as well. From its signature quilted exterior to its striking and distinct “C” hardware, classic Chanel bags prove that a unique blend of simplicity and charm are a designer lover’s must-have.
Celine—the hip, trendy, re-vamped classic. While Celine seems to be geared towards a younger generation than Chanel, there’s no reason it should exclude an older crowd—all of the classic handbag staples are there. Minimalistic silhouettes, versatile in design and function, and always on trend, Celine has a way of merging the timeless designer staples with fresh punches of originality and creative details that perfectly spice up any wardrobe.
When first asked to compare the styles of the two handbag designers, we were stumped. (“Who could rival Chanel?”) But getting the best of both worlds with the combination of classic must-haves and trendy details? We gotta say, Celine wins hands down.
Quality can mean many things, but we’ll be looking at craftsmanship and durability to make our recommendations here. Chanel’s craftsmanship is a well-known point of pride, and has perpetuated the idea that it’s right on par with (and even justifies) its steep price. But many Chanel lovers have admitted that the durability of the leather, unless it’s a vintage bag, is just not there. Chanel bags often require a lot of extra attention in order to maintain their shape, exterior, and condition.
Perhaps a bit surprisingly, Celine’s durability has been said to have been far superior to that of Chanel. While many Chanel bags require ongoing care and attention, it seems that Celine bags are virtually indestructible (to an extent, of course). To put it bluntly, those things can take a beating! Scuff marks and small markings tend to take much less time and effort to remove from a Celine bag, which is always something to consider. After all, unless you’re buying your bags for them to sit on a shelf for decoration, they’ll need to survive inevitable everyday wear-and-tear.
If you’re the type of person who tends to get lazy about proper and continuous handbag maintenance, then the Celine bag may be for you. But, If you’re okay with spending a little extra time to care for your beauties (after all, we want them to last!) then you should have no problem being a Chanel girl.
Let’s talk numbers. While Chanel’s undeniable beauty, quality, and reputation give the brand more than enough room to charge upwards of $8-9,000, we can’t help but wonder if we’re overpaying (is that even a thing?). Ultimately, you have to consider that the Chanel name brings a value of instant prestige and luxury—something Celine just doesn’t quite have. The name Chanel is backed by a rich history and has proven to be a pioneer in classic fashion throughout the years.
The Celine price point is, admittedly, in a whole different ballgame, but rather than compare prices between the two at face value, we’re looking specifically at the value you get for what you pay. While Celine bags are of high quality, ready-to-wear, and are unquestionably stylish, they don’t carry the same generational superiority that Chanel has monopolized for decades. Yes, Celine bags are trendy, cool, and classic, but they’re just… not a Chanel. So how well does the price reflect that? Pretty well, we think. Regardless of any perceptions consumers have about the name, you are getting a pretty good value for the price you’re paying.
This one’s a tie.
What’s the verdict? It was a close call, but we believe Celine can take the win on this one. While Chanel’s classic, timeless elegance has been a highly sought after fashion accessory for years, Celine’s fresh take on time-honored simplicity and a reinvention of classic handbag staples is an indisputable victory. What do you think?