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No E-commerce Yet for Celine, But a Manhattan Flagship in the Works

>> Phoebe Philo has been producing collections at Celine just short of two years now, and the label has leaped 20 or 30 places in overall editorial-credit rankings, entering the top 10 or 15 in most major markets, according to the label's CEO Marco Gobbetti.

Sales are on the rise, as well. Dresses have been the best category for Spring, while coats and jackets land at the top of the stack for Fall collections. And three bag lines Philo introduced with her first collection — the Classic, the Luggage, and the Cabas — are major hits for the brand; Gobetti calls them “pillars” of Celine's leather-goods business.

Although Celine was reportedly loss-making last year, Gobetti projects “very high double-digit” increase in growth worldwide for 2011. “I think everyone sees a significant potential for this brand.” Revenues this year have rebounded to historic highs approaching 200 million euros (approx. $289 million), and Gobetti says the label has the “potential to fairly quickly become a midsize brand,” with revenues in the 500 million euro range ($723 million).

To help make that happen, Celine is currently prepping two flagships — one in Manhattan at 870 Madison Avenue and one at 24 Rue François 1er in Paris — to open this Fall. But as for e-commerce, Gobetti says: “We will continue to study Celine’s e-commerce potential, and one day we will do it."

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