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Celine 101:
The luggage & the phantom

By Koyaana R. Jan 26, 2020

Often referred to as the “smile bags,” Celine’s Luggage and Phantom,

although separate models entirely, are often mistaken for one another. Now, we’re taking the opportunity to explain their similarities and differences so that you can determine which Phoebe Philo creation is best for you.


Introduced in 2010, the Luggage was the first of the two bags to be released. As part of her vision and direction for the house, creative director Phoebe Philo wanted to invent a new bag that would put the brand back on the map. Its debut was a smashing success; flying off the shelves faster than Celine could stock it, with waitlists as long as weeks to several months. While the hype is no longer as high, this bag is still a staple in the brand’s line, and many hope it will remain so even with the takeover of Hedi Slimane.

A year after the Luggage was released, Philo expanded the range in an interesting way. By taking the front panel and making a few changes to the body and silhouette, she managed to create another “it” bag. Tailored to those who need more room than the Luggage has to offer with an open top and adjustable wings, the Phantom is much roomier with a wider base.


Sizing Breakdown

When it comes to sizing for these two bags, it can be confusing. First, the Luggage sizing is not typical in its naming, making it incredibly disorienting for many people. Second, since the Phantom looks like a larger version of the Luggage, it is sometimes referred to as the “larger” size. It’s important to note that the sizing does not continue from the Luggage into the Phantom.


The Luggage

This bag has the most counterintuitive sizing of the two. It is a common practice to use small, medium, and large or similar terms when it comes to most size ranges; however, Celine has taken a different approach. The sizes for the Luggage from smallest to largest are Nano, Micro, Mini, Medium, and Shoulder. The latter two have been discontinued.





Medium (Discontinued)

Shoulder (Discontinued)

The Phantom

The Phantom, launched in 2011, is the younger, yet larger sister of the two bags. It is only available in medium and large. The sizing difference between the two may seem inconsequential by measurement but in person, the medium and the large are significantly different due to the width of the wings when fully extended.



Materials And Hardware

There are typically two hardware options for the Luggage and the Phantom: aged gold and aged silver. There are pieces with distressed matte black hardware, but this is not an option that is available often.

When it comes to materials both models have similar options available. The most popular are smooth leather and grainy leather, with crocodile embossing and canvas as common alternatives.

Smooth Leather

Grainy Leather

At one point, a new front design was introduced, however, it was not in circulation for very long.

Typical Front Panel

Discontinued Front panel

Special Editions

There have been several exceptional designs available for both models, but overall, Celine has opted to keep the range fairly simple and less embellished. That being said, one of the variations for the Luggage is a series of bi- and tri-color pieces in various colorways that have become well-known. The Phantom is not offered in the tri-color option but there are several bi-color pieces that have been released over the last several years. Here are some of the special pieces that have come out since the bags’ inception nearly a decade ago:


Bi-color And Tri-color Options

Special Techniques And Materials

Smooth Leather

Smooth Leather

Smooth Leather

Smooth Leather

Grainy Leather

Grainy Leather

Grainy Leather

Grainy Leather

The Luggage vs. The Phantom:
A Visual Comparison

To put an end to some of the confusion surrounding the two models, we’ve compiled a side by side comparison to help identify the differences between them.

Zipper pull tab and top closure

To put an end to some of the confusion surrounding the two models, we’ve compiled a side by side comparison to help identify the differences between them.

Wingspan size.

Corner covers, rectangular versus square base.