Originally launched in 1945 as a maker of children’s shoes, Céline found its footing a couple of decades later, when it went on to create stylish horse-bit loafers and tasteful blouses for Parisian ladies who lunch. Now, in the hands of designer Phoebe Philo, the French luxury goods house has become a paragon of sophisticated minimalism—and a go-to label on both sides of the Atlantic. Case in point: the Cabas-style Céline tote. Whether made out of soft lambskin, crocodile, or wool tartan, it’s lightweight and roomy enough for everyday essentials and a change of shoes (cabas is French for “basket,” after all—you could toss just about anything into this bag). What it lacks in bells, whistles, buckles, and bling, it more than makes up for in utility and chic. Lambskin-and-tartan-wool bag, $1,050, by Céline.
With its inimitable French flair, the Céline tote is a great bag for travel.