Quiet Luxury handbags, comparing Celine Classic Box Modern vs Vintage model-Luxbags

Quiet Luxury handbags, comparing Celine Classic Box Modern vs Vintage model

Quiet Luxury

There’s been a lot of talk lately about quiet luxury, and old money aesthetics. What exactly is it?

It refers to a way of dressing that emphasizes subtle elegance, a focus on quality material like silk and cashmere, craftmanship rather than flashy branding.  When it comes to handbags, what is not quiet luxury is LV, Gucci, MCM. For good examples, think of Celine, certain lines of Hermes (not the Birkin, I won’t call Birkin quiet at all). Bettega Veneta, The Row.


From left to right: Celine Classic Box bag, Hermes Bucket bag, Hermes Evelyne


Today I’m reviewing two handbags that are quiet luxury style. They are both made by Celine, both the classic box bag. One is a newer model, and one is vintage. If you are thinking of getting a Celine box bag, are considering between the newer model and the vintage. I hope at the end of the video you know exactly what you want.


This model is actually called the “Classic”, although everybody calls it the “box bag” because it’s made of box leather. We’ll talk about the leather in a moment, but now let’s focus on what you see first: the design. This structured silhouette, clean lines and iconic clasp closure, is the perfect accessory for modern-day working woman: a wonderfully minimalist, no-fuss aesthetic.

The original Celine Classic Box bag was designed by Celine’s founder, Celine Vipiana in the 1970s. It has changed over the years. And until the 2010, it was Phoebe Philo, the then lead designer brought it to a new level with this new look. When it first came out it became an instant hit, and has since been one of the most coveted handbags from Celine. Do note that there is no logo, hence it meets the quiet luxury style.


celine-vintage-vs modern size comparison
celine box bag vintage modern size comparison

The modern version is bigger than the vintage, thicker as well.

The insider of the bags are very similar too.  The both have the iconic three compartments, great for organizing. The newer model is slightly larger. And opens up bigger. They are both lined with leather. The corners are prone to tear.


Another big difference is the strap. I love the vintage celine box strap. It is the perfect length for a classy and feminine look. I personally don’t like carrying handbags across the body, unless I’m on a road trip and a tourist. For day to day carry, on the shoulder, by hand is enough for me to walk from home to my car or to the coffee shop down the road. I think it looks more feminine.

But over the last few years crossbody carry is so popular because of this free-your-hand trend, that every bag now has a crossbody strap, even Fendi Baguette.

Both straps are adjustable. The buckles for the vintage model is on the sides, on top for the new model. Both are very cleverly designed. It's a good sport to figure out how to adjust them when you first receive them. The two buckles on top of the strap on the new model have received complaints on them cutting into the shouder. Unless you are bare shouldered, it shouldn't be a big issue.

celine classic box bag different strap length try on


Box leather is a type of high-quality calf leather typically made from the hide of young calf or cow. Its known for its smooth, polished and durable characteristics, making it a very popular choice for luxury goods including handbags, shoes and small leather goods. It is very good for retaining its shape, and resisting scuffing. Therefore making it ideal for items that require structure and durability.

celine classic box leather close-up

The most famous box leather handbag is none other than the Kelly by Hermes, a favorite of Grace Kelly.

Another distinctive characteristics of box leather is its ability to develop a beautiful patina over time with proper care and use. You can see that on this beautiful vintage Celine box bag. The black leather is very smooth and shiny. On the other hand the newer model is more muted. It hasn’t developed a patina yet.

A downside of this leather is that it scratches very easily. Especially many ladies have long manicure, and we need to be careful around the bags. If you are worries about scratching, you can go for the calfskin liege leather. It has a glossy finish and a smooth texture.

Some people believe that brands don’t use as high quality material as before, and buying vintage is the only way to get the top grade box leather. There is no evidence showing that the leather on the newer model is less superior to the vintage, although they do give a different texture. But that may be due to leather sourcing, production techniques, finishes and treatment. I’m not a leather expert, so I’ll let you be the judge. 

Availability and Price

Vintage only three colos: black, burgundy, and very rarely a dark brown. And if you are lucky you spot an exotic leather vintage.

Modern celine box comes in a great range of color. You will sure find a favorite.

You can only get vintage on secondhand market. They sell for under 1000 dollars. And if you search hard enough you will find cheaper ones from sellers in Japan and Hong Kong on ebay or their own websites.

The modern model retails at $4400.  On secondhand market it’s between 2 to 3000, depending on the condition and color.


While the price may be the most obvious reason why someone would pick the vintage model over the newer one, you should also think about how much use you can potentially get out of it. Even if it costs more to purchase at first, the price per use could be reduced over time. And you may even fetch a good price later on when you want to resell it if you keep it in good condition.

Celine classic box bag modern vs vintage comparison



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