Celine celebrates craftsmanship with Haute Maroquinerie collection

The range features two of creative director Hedi Slimane's earliest designs for the brand, in crocodile leather

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A single artisan is responsible for assembling, by hand, each bag — crafted to order — from Celine’s new Haute Maroquinerie collection.

Created by its artistic director Hedi Slimane, the range features two of his earliest designs for Celine — the 16 and the Triomphe — both crafted for this collection from Niloticus crocodile leather. Recognisable by its large oval scales, the exotic leather is sourced from a supplier certified by the non-profit International Crocodilian Farmers Association.

In keeping with a centuries-old practice, the tanner of each bag polishes different sections with an agate stone, a glazing process that preserves the skin’s shine and depth of colour — as an homage to the leather, which is both rare and rooted in tradition.

The leather undergoes very specific, highly skilled processes, hence a dedicated artisan is responsible for the entire assembly of a single bag — from the selection of the skin to its cutting and handling.

Inside the Celine atelier. Photo: Celine

The 16 — which takes 17 hours of workmanship to create — is named in reference to the address of Celine’s couture atelier at 16, Rue Vivienne in Paris. It features a classic structured frame and a smaller, 1960s-style flap. For the Haute Maroquinerie version, the 16 is reimagined with handles that are saddle-stitched by hand. The underside of the bag’s flap features both crocodile and a glossy goat's leather lining, while a number 16 is embossed along the rise of the inner pocket.

The Triomphe, meanwhile, takes 12 hours to complete, and is labelled with the Celine Haute Maroquinerie signature. It contains a mirror bordered in crocodile and a closure that takes inspiration from the historic Place de L'étoile in Paris. Both bags come with white or yellow 18k gold hardware, and the closure of each model can be customised with diamonds in pavé or solitaire settings.

The bags come in 14 evocative hues, including parent purple, deep petrol blue, golden khaki, intense mauve and gilded gold. Each is presented in a lacquered eucalyptus wood coffer panelled with black leather.

Updated: December 12, 2022, 12:27 PM