In Praise of the Céline Trotteur Bag

This simple little shoulder bag is vastly under-appreciated, and we’ve got details on all the leathers, prices and sizes

In every brand’s handbag lines, there are tiers of sorts. The top tier is populated by the bags a brand chooses to put on its runways and in its advertisements; they’re the ones the creative team thinks best demonstrate how they hope consumers will view their products. They tend to be a little weirder (or, as brands are hoping you will think of them, “directional”) than the bags in the next tier, which are the actual bestsellers most beloved by consumers.

They’re the Céline Luggage Totes of the world, if you will: they never appear on the brand’s runways or in its ads but nonetheless sell like hotcakes. The next tier is one full of bags that don’t get all that much editorial or media attention, but they should, because they form the bedrock of a brand’s business and appeal to tons of shoppers. That’s where the criminally under-appreciated Céline Trotteur Bag comes in.

Céline Small Trotteur Bag, $1,850

The past few seasons have seen as many saddle bags show up on both the luxury and contemporary bag markets as you could possibly want, and still, among them all, the Trotteur (which debuted in Fall 2015) stands out in my mind as the most elegantly designed. The key, of course, is the signature metal plate slide closure, which tucks into a chevron-shaped leather holster for a neat, minimal look. The metal plate itself is also chevron-shaped, and it’s just as attractive left unfastened, which is an underrated factor in handbag design. So many people don’t fully close their bags every time they open them, so shouldn’t they look good both ways?

Beyond a slip pocket inside and one at the bag’s outside rear panel, that’s it! The Trotteur is functional and uncomplicated, but beautifully simple: it’s the best of what modern minimalism can add to someone’s wardrobe.

Céline Compact Lizard Trotteur Bag, $4,050

The Trotteur currently comes in three sizes: Small, Compact and Medium. The difference between each size is about two inches; the Small is 7″ x 7″, the Compact is 9″ x 9″ and the Medium is a little under 11″ x 11″.

For Summer 2017, the Trotteur is available in both smooth and pebbled calfskin, which are the most popular choices, as well as textured goat and watersnake. All versions are made with a lambskin-lined interior, which is a wonderfully luxurious touch that a lot of brands overlook.

The Trotteur is one of Céline’s more moderately priced day bags, with small calf versions going for $1,850 and snakeskin in the same size coming out at $2,800. The mid-size Compact in calf currently retails for $2,500, and while Céline doesn’t have any Medium Trotteurs in its lookbook sampling for Summer 2017, the brand’s Spring 2017 lookbook lists the Medium Trotteur in calf for $2,950.

Céline Medium Trotteur Bag, $2,950