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When I was in the fifth grade, my homeroom teacher established a pen pal program between my class and the second graders down the hall. The goal was to create a mentorship opportunity for us older kids, I guess, and for the younger students to strengthen their writing skills.
Before writing my first letter, I asked my teacher if I could write my notes under a different name than my own; it might be more exciting, I reasoned, if the second graders thought their letters were traveling from further than down the hall. She agreed, and so I began writing — and signing — all of my correspondences as Celine Dion, my celebrity idol at the time.
“Preparing for tomorrow’s concert in France, nervous but excited!” I’d write, or “Today I went shopping on Fifth Avenue and bought 20 new dresses, because I’m famous!” You guys, my pen pal totally bought it. It was great!
I’ve been a hardcore Celiniac since the age of four, when Dion provided the theme song for Beauty and the Beast. I grew up belting all the songs from her 1996 album Falling Into You on the drive to school; after Titanic hit theaters, I’d shriek at ear-splitting decibels whenever “My Heart Will Go On” played on the radio. Dion’s 1999 single “That’s the Way It Is” is still my friend group’s go-to karaoke song of choice. I’ve even planned my bachelorette party to revolve around the singer’s Las Vegas residency show dates — and I’m not even engaged.
So when Billboard announced last June that the singer would be launching her own lifestyle brand in 2017, to paraphrase Dion’s own lyrics: It gave me faith, ‘cause I believed. Believed it was high time for more than one Celine to dominate the fashion industry, that is.
When you think about it, it’s hard to believe it’s taken this long for Celine to branch into branded product. She’s had a line of fragrances for more than a decade at this point, but nothing in the way of fashion, home goods, or other beauty items. This morning, however, WWD delivered the news that Dion’s accessory collection will be the first to debut, hitting stores in September. Designed in partnership with the Montreal-based Bugatti Group, the first delivery will include more than 200 styles ranging from luggage to small leather goods.
Dion’s been making major moves in the style space lately; last year, she hired stylist Law Roach, who also works with Zendaya and Ariana Grande, to give her a high-fashion makeover. By that summer, the French-Canadian star was stepping out (and sitting front row at the Paris couture shows) in headline-making looks from Gucci, Jil Sander, and Balenciaga. Photos of her leaving her hotel wearing Vetements’s Titanic hoodie went instantly viral. The timing truly couldn’t be better for a Celine Dion fashion line.
And while Bugatti says that Dion’s line will “range from affordable to high-end,” it’ll be interesting to see how the singer reconciles her newfound taste for couture with the Canadian company’s traditionally accessible price points; in general, styles from the group’s Joanel and Mouflon brands are priced at around $100 or under. Laptop bags and briefcases from the company’s Bond Street, Ltd. brand and accessories from the primary Bugatti collection are priced slightly higher (between $100 and $300), but still fairly affordable.
It’s difficult to see how designs befitting a diva of Dion’s stature will fit into Bugatti Group’s mix, but we’ll get a sneak peek at the goods at the end of this month, when her accessories are previewed at the Project Womens trade show in Las Vegas. And let’s be honest: No matter what a Celine Dion accessories line looks like, there’s no question I will be shopping it. And that’s the way it is.