Decoding the New Celine Logo Hedi Slimane Just Unveiled on Instagram

Celine has a new logo. Blink and you might possibly miss it. But still. Unveiled today, via fashion’s preferred communication, Instagram, the post came in triplicate. Each involved a video of what looked like a camera pan past a gold foil curtain, with the logo sitting below.

The accompanying text explained it was directly inspired by the original historic version conceived in the 1960s but that the “modernist’ typography” used actually dates from the 1930s. It also explains that the acute accent, previously on the ‘E’ has been removed to enable a “simplified and more balanced proportion evoking the Celine collections of the 1960s.”

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LE NOUVEAU LOGO S'INSPIRE DIRECTEMENT DE CELUI, HISTORIQUE, DES ANNÉES 60. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ LA TYPOGRAPHIE EST MODERNISTE, DATANT DES ANNÉES 30. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ L'ACCENT SUR LE "E" DISPARAIT PAR SOUCI DE RÉDUCTION ET DE PURETÉ, A L'INSTAR DES COLLECTIONS DES ANNÉES 60. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ L'ESPACEMENT ENTRE LES LETTRES A AUSSI ÉTÉ ÉQUILIBRÉ, LES LETTRES RAPPROCHÉES. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ LA MENTION "PARIS" TRÈS PRESENTE HISTORIQUEMENT, REVIENT DE MANIÈRE INSTITUTIONNELLE SUR LE NOUVEAU CONCEPT PACKAGING ET SUR LES GRIFFES DES NOUVELLES COLLECTIONS. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ LA MENTION "PARIS" NE FIGURERA PAS SUR LES CAMPAGNES PUBLICITAIRES INTITULÉES "CELINE". ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #CELINEBYHEDISLIMANE

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The brand notes that the accent wasn’t often used in the decade anyway. Elsewhere, the spacing between the letters “has been evened out and the letters have been brought closer together.” Finally it reveals that the use of the word ‘Paris,’ which was also prevalent historically, is to be reinstated in the new packaging concept, appearing on all boxes and bags and even on the garment labels themselves. It will not, however, exist on publicity campaigns.

So much for all the detractors who maintained that Hedi Silmane, having moved the label’s design studio to L.A., would throw the baby out with the bath water. Both Slimane and the brand, not to mention parent company LVMH are way too savvy to do that. The subtle change is a recognition of a new chapter for Celine with Slimane at the helm, its legitimacy underscored by the archives, despite the Hollywood glitz suggested by the gold curtain. The addition of the word ‘Paris’ cements the French connection.

The new Celine logo.
The new Celine logo.
CREDIT: Celine

Smart. Very. Even those bemoaning the erosion of the French language (removal of aforementioned accent) have few grounds for contention. You can’t argue with an archive. Perhaps more telling, though, than the tweaked logo, is the fact that all previous posts (ie all evidence of previous creative director, Phoebe Philo) on the Celine / Céline (delete as applicable) Instagram feed have actually been wiped.

But what of the product? Slimane left it to Lady Gaga to give the world its first taste of his Celine vision. According to her stylist Tom Eerebout, Slimane gifted her the bag. And as she posted it twice on her own Instagram feed (over 29 million followers) the strategy certainly paid off. Don’t forget that Gaga also debuted Slimane’s first collection for Saint Laurent when he joined the brand in 2012. Those two have history as well.

Slimane will present his first full ready-to-wear collection for the label 28 Sept. during Paris Fashion Week; he will also introduce menswear.

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