Celine vs YSL: Which French Luxury Brand Is Best For You?

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Celine and YSL are two of the top French fashion houses, but how do you choose between them? That’s where this Celine vs YSL article is here to help answer that question!

Metallic silver YSL Kate bag
©Andrea Astesiano | Depositphotos.com

Celine is a classic French luxury brand, well known for chic and timeless designs throughout their ready-to-wear and accessories collections, while Saint Laurent is a designer brand with a long, rich history that celebrates bold, striking, and innovative designs.

Both brands have been home to incredible creative directors and have plenty of beautiful bags, accessories, and gorgeous menswear and womenswear collections on offer, so how do you choose just one brand? If you are looking for a new stunning handbag, you are likely to have taken a look at Celine and YSL designer bags, but which is the right brand for you?

We’re here to help you answer that question and find a new luxury bag to add to your collection. This Celine vs YSL article will explore the history of each brand, the significant differences between them, and some of the best-selling designer bags from both brands before coming to a conclusion on Celine vs YSL.

Celine vs YSL

The History of Celine

The luxury brand, Celine, was founded by Céline Vipiana, alongside her husband Richard, in 1945, with the brand starting out as a made-to-measure children’s shoe business with a boutique located at 52 rue Malte in Paris. Then, in 1960, the brand changed and began to focus on women’s ready-to-wear clothing, with a practical, sportswear-based approach.

The collections revolved around wool skirt suits, fitted shirts, leather vests, and pastel-colored denim, while leather goods were added to the brand a few years later. This meant the modern French woman has a whole range of beautiful clothing and accessories to choose from.

By the 1970s, Celine was an international fashion house, with new boutiques opening across the globe. After years of success, Céline Vipiana stepped down as the creative director in 1997, and Michael Kors stepped into the role. Kors continued to create elegant and practical clothing with a sportswear glam edge, an aesthetic which continued when Phoebe Philo took over as creative director from 2008 to 2018.

Hedi Slimane became the creative director in 2018, completely changing the aesthetic of the brand, with more of an edgy, rock, youth culture focus.

The History of YSL

Yves Saint Laurent founded his eponymous French fashion house alongside his partner Pierre Bergé in 1962. Saint Laurent had previously been the creative director of Christian Dior from 1957 to 1959 but decided to create his own brand that centered on Avant Garde womenswear that would appeal to the artistic Parisian youths.

Yves Saint Laurent’s designs, including the Beatnik look and tuxedo suit for women proved popular and influential all over the world.

In the 1990s, Saint Laurent was finding the workload too much and so Pierre Bergé hired French fashion designer and photographer Hedi Slimane in 1997 to design the ready-to-wear collections while Yves Saint Laurent focused on the haute couture shows. Slimane only stayed for a few years before Tom Ford took over as creative director.

In 2007, Hedi Slimane returned and began to rebrand, first by taking the controversial decision to remove the Yves part of the brand name to create the Saint Laurent name we know today. In 2016, Slimane left YSL and Anthony Vaccarello became creative director and continues to ensure Saint Laurent is at the forefront of luxury fashion.

Differences between Celine Vs YSL

To decide between Celine and YSL, we need to take a look at some of the most important differences between these two French brands, including the price range, materials, and brand aesthetics – so let’s get started!

1. Price range

The price of these designer handbags will have a significant impact on the brand you decide to go for and which one suits your budget better. Celine bags range between $990 and $6,000, however, there are some bags crafted from exotic leathers which can be sold for as much as $22,300.

YSL bags, on the other hand, range between $1,000 and $4,690 depending on the size and materials of the bag. This shows how, at the lower end, there is not much difference between these brands, but when you look at the more expensive bag, Celine is significantly more expensive.

This means that if you are on a tighter budget, YSL is the better brand to go for as there will be more bags to choose from in your price range.

2. Materials and Craftsmanship

The materials and craftsmanship used to create the leather goods may have an impact on which brand you choose. Celine mostly uses calfskin leather in their handbags, which then have different finishes to create different looks, including shiny, natural, smooth, laminated, grained, and drummed. There are also coated canvas, raffia, lambskin, suede, lizard skin, and crocodile skin bags available, so there is something for everyone!

Saint Laurent also crafts most of their bags from calfskin leather, either with a smooth finish or grained finish, while there are also suede, denim, coated canvas, and woven straw bags available if you are looking for something a little different.

The craftsmanship of these two brands is actually very similar, with handbags from Celine and YSL all made in Italy by highly-trained craftsmen.

3. Brand Aesthetic

The aesthetic of each brand is going to play a big part in helping you to decide which brand is right for you and which one best suits your personal style. Celine is well known for its minimalist, Parisian chic style that highlights the stunning silhouettes and high-quality materials used.

There are a few bags that feature the CC Celine logo, but this is not a common embellishment on Celine bags. This means that if you are loving the current quiet luxury fashion trend, Celine is an excellent brand to go for since most bags from this brand are not obviously Celine.

YSL has a very different brand aesthetic, with more classic silhouettes, lots of quilted leather, and the YSL logo often uses as the bold embellishment on the front of the bag. As you will see with the bags below, Saint Laurent often decorates its bags with the YSL logo, making them instantly recognizable, however, you will see some bags, like the Sac De Jour and Shopping tote only feature a small Saint Laurent brand name for a subtle finish.

If you love a bold, luxurious look, Saint Laurent is the right brand for you.

Best Selling Bags from Celine Vs YSL

There are so many incredible Celine and Saint Laurent bags to choose from, so we have narrowed down the choice to a few best-sellers to help you find the perfect handbag to add to your wardrobe.

1. Shoulder bags
Brown Celine 2021 Triomphe Bag
Browse Celine Triomphe Shoulder Bags on The Real Real
Black Saint Laurent Loulou Medium Chain Shoulder Bag
Get this on Neiman Marcus

Small shoulder bags are so fashionable at the moment, which is why this Celine Triomphe Shoulder bag is a must-have in your collection. This shoulder bag features the CC Triomphe print on the dark brown coated canvas exterior and is then embellished with a gold CC Triomphe logo, which acts as the push lock too.

The chain link strap ensures a glamorous look, while the compact interior is lined with leather and just the right size for your phone, keys, and card case on a night out.

We love the luxurious, plush look of this Saint Laurent Loulou Medium Chain Shoulder Bag, with a super practical interior, that makes it the perfect everyday handbag! This YSL bag is crafted from shiny black leather, which is quilted in a Y shape for a sumptuous look, and then finished with a gleaming gold YSL logo.

The gold chain strap can be worn doubled up over the shoulder or at its full length across the body – so versatile – while the interior is divided with a spacious zip pocket and fitted with a slip pocket.

2. Crossbody Bags
Celine natural and tan Triomphe bag
Browse All Celine Triomphe Crossbody Bags on Fashionphile
Caramel brown Saint Laurent Lou Medium YSL Quilted Camera Crossbody Bag with Pocket
Get this on Neiman Marcus

Celine’s Triomphe bags come in all styles and sizes, and the Triomphe Crossbody Bag is one of the most popular styles. While you’ve definitely seen the black calfskin version of the bag with gold hardware on social media, if you’re looking for something more summery and unique, the textile version of the bag with tan leather is a fantastic option.

This stunning crossbody bag has a structured silhouette with an adjustable brown leather shoulder strap and trim. The practical bag has a brown leather interior, lined with leather that is divided in two, so you can always find just what you need – making this handbag a great everyday accessory! If the textile version of the bag doesn’t suit your personal style, there are also lots more colors and sizes to choose from, including monogram canvas and leather options.

The Saint Laurent Lou Medium YSL Quilted Camera Crossbody Bag is a practical and sophisticated handbag – plus there are lots of different colors available so you can pick the one that best suits your personal style. This calf leather bag featured chevron quilting, a glittering gold YSL logo, and a handy adjustable crossbody strap.

The top zipper opens to a spacious interior with a slip pocket – the ideal size for your daily essentials. The tassel decoration and exterior slip pocket are the perfect finishing touches. Pick up this beautiful bag for just $1,690!

2. Tote Bags
Grey Celine Mini Luggage Tote
Browse Celine Luggage Totes on The Real Real
Black Saint Laurent Small Sac de Jour Leather Tote with Pouch
Get this on Nordstrom

Celine has an iconic tote bag in their collection, the Luggage tote! This bag was first added to the Celine collection by Phoebe Philo in 2010 and has remained a cult classic bag ever since. The pebbled leather tote has wave detailing and a zip pocket on the front and then is fitted with rolled leather top handles for a chic look.

The interior is lined with suede for a luxurious finish and then fitted with a slip pocket for any items you need within easy reach. There are lots of more sizes and different colors available too!

The Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Leather Tote is an iconic handbag with a sleek and stylish looking, making it the perfect work bag. The tote is crafted from high-quality calfskin leather and finished with rolled leather top handles for a timeless, minimalist look.

This tote bag comes with a removable pouch to help you stay organized and a removable strap so this bag can be styled in many different ways. This Small Sac de Jour is available for $3,300, but there are different sizes available from Nordstrom.

4. Top Handle bags
Celine vertical Cabas bag
Browse Celine vertical Cabas bags on The Real Real
Grey Saint Laurent Medium Cassandra Calfskin Top Handle Bag
Get this on Nordstrom

The Celine Vertical Cabas Bag is another relatively recent addition to Celine’s bag line that is beloved in the fashion world because of its practical design.

The vertical Cabas bag would make an excellent first Celine bag as it is one of the most affordable bags the brand has to offer; brand new, the mini version of this bag retails for just $1,500. The bag comes in multiple variations, but the most popular ones are the Triomphe canvas version featured above, as well as the chic textile version of the bag in a beautifully natural and tan colorway.

The Saint Laurent Cassandra is a chic and sophisticated bag that expertly combines a structured silhouette with a mix of materials and glam hardware to create a striking designer handbag.

We love the subtle contrast between the storm grey shiny leather and matte grey suede on the front of the bag, perfectly embellished with a gold YSL logo. The top handle and leather shoulder strap mean you can style this bag in a variety of different ways, while the divided interior is fitted with a slip pocket for ultimate practicality.


Both Celine and Saint Laurent have so many gorgeous bags available, which means whatever brand you go for you are going to be more than happy with your decision! But to come to a final decision, the price range and brand aesthetics will be the deciding factors.

If you have a tighter budget and love a bold, high-fashion, logo look, then YSL is the brand for you! Their luxurious bags are just stunning and we love the glam aesthetic with the gleaming gold YSL logo that decorated most Saint Laurent handbags.

If you have more money to spend and want a bag with a sophisticated, striking silhouette, then Celine is the brand you should go for. Celine bags are so beautiful, crafted from luxe calfskin leather and finished with that effortlessly stylish Parisian chic look!

We hope you found this article analyzing Celine vs YSL helpful! For more luxury fashion content, check out the links below.

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