We've seen the runway shows. We've seen the collection of ready-to-wear, accessories and shoes. We've also seen the spring/summer 2019 campaign images. There is absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind that Hedi Slimane's incarnation of CELINE bears a likeness to his creative direction for Saint Laurent during his tenure from 2012 – 2016. The proof is all there in the razor-sharp tailoring, skinny rock-and-roll aesthetic, and penchant for moody imagery.
Hedi Slimane's signature look has now been fully realised with the unveiling of CELINE's New York flagship store on 650 Madison Avenue. The expansive 500sqm space is the largest CELINE store in the world yet, and stocks both the women's and men's collections. With furnishings designed by Slimane and consisting of materials such as polished stainless steel, brass and gold mirrors, the new CELINE concept is practically a branch out of the same Slimane tree; slightly updated but inherently and unmistakably similar.
The new concept has already been implemented to two men's-only boutiques that have since opened in Hong Kong—one located at Landmark Hong Kong and another at Ocean Centre. According to sources, Singapore will open a CELINE store stocking the men's collection by the end of 2019.
But does it really matter that both the Saint Laurent and CELINE boutiques are somewhat indistinguishable from one another? Probably not. Yet, it's hilarious to see how two giant fashion conglomerates—LVMH and Kering Group, owners of CELINE and Saint Laurent respectively—are seemingly competing in a game of 'Who Would You Rather'.
Here's a challenge for you: see if you can tell a CELINE from a Saint Laurent.