COUNTDOWN: Just nine months after its launch, Celine has halted trading on its e-commerce site in the latest move building up to creative director Hedi Slimane’s debut collection for women and men, scheduled to be unveiled in Paris on Sept. 28.
Since Lady Gaga whipped up a frenzy by posing on Instagram on Aug. 30 with what is widely believed to be Slimane’s first bag for the French fashion house, the brand deleted its entire Instagram account and then unveiled a new logo — minus the accent on the “e” — in addition to the first images from Slimane’s inaugural campaign.
Customers accessing the celine.com web site are now greeted with a film of trucks bearing two images from the campaign driving through the streets of New York, in a move timed to coincide with New York Fashion Week, and a countdown to showtime.
Instagram followers requesting access to the online shop are directed to send their details through direct message to the brand’s customer service.
With the long-awaited launch of its e-commerce site last December, Celine joined the ranks of luxury brands that are bracing against the onward march of Internet behemoths such as Alibaba and Amazon by shoring up their own online businesses.
The French fashion house, owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, had long been reluctant to offer all product categories for purchase online.
Analysts at HSBC forecast the online proportion of luxury sales will grow from 7 percent in 2015 to around 12 percent in 2020, accounting for as much as 40 percent of the industry’s growth overall.