Founded in 1854, Louis Vuitton is considered to be one of the most famous luxury brands in the world and is also one of the most counterfeited brands. There are many replicas that look very similar to the real Louis Vuitton bags, so it is essential to learn how to distinguish a fake LV bag from the real one so you don't end up wasting your money. To save yourself from buying a fake Louis Vuitton bag, we share these tips that will help you spot a faux bag.
Characteristics of an authentic Louis Vuitton Handbag
With the popularity of luxury bags, more counterfeit bags are hitting the shops and online, so it can be difficult sometimes to tell a fake bag from an authentic bag. However, there are several ways to differentiate a real from a fake handbag. An original Louis Vuitton bag has the following characteristics:
- Materials: Louis Vuitton handbags are expensive, and they are made out of expensive materials such as high-quality leather, crocodile, boa, lambskin, and camel skin.
- Trim: Louis Vuitton trims are done in Vachetta leather, which naturally tans as the bag ages.
- Monogram placement: The monogram placement is done carefully. The pieces are consistent and are not crooked or cut off. The monogram also looks the same on each style of the bag.
- Tags: The tags are not attached to the authentic Louis Vuitton bag. The tags are placed in the purse or dust bag.
- Hardware: The genuine Louis Vuitton bags have gold or brass metal hardware imprinted with the LV trademark logo.
- Dust bags: All Louis Vuitton bags come with a soft dust bag. The dust bag is a soft tan color with an LV logo at the center.
Tips on Authenticating LV Bags
High-end designer bags are done to perfection. Designer bags are often tested for quality several times before being shipped out. This means that any inconsistency is a sign that the bag is not genuine. Below are the details to pay attention to make sure the Louis Vuitton bag you want to buy is real.
1. Check the Materials
All Louis Vuitton canvases have distinct characteristics to ensure their authenticity, which is explained below.
- Monogram Canvas
Louis Vuitton's monogram pattern is always the first thing people notice regarding LV monogram bags. The classic LV logo pattern comprises the monogram and three quatrefoil designs that consistently repeat in the same order on the bag. The "LV: and quatrefoil repeating pattern can sometimes come in different colors, and it is never twisted or cut off at a seam in the center of the bag. However, some Louis Vuitton styles are made with one continuous leather that sometimes results in the pattern being upside down. Examples are the Speedy and Keepall have upside-down LV symbols on the back.
- Damier canvas
The Damier Ebene and Azur canvas are matte and not shiny. However, some Damier Graphite styles have a light sheen smooth finish.
2. Check the Stitching of the Louis Vuitton Bag
Stitching is often the sign of a fake designer bag. With Louis Vuitton and other designer bags, the stitching is always flawless. No loose stitches or uneven and odd spacing should be found anywhere in the bag. In fact, Louis Vuitton bags have the same number of stitches. An example is the Alma, Neverfull, and Speedy bags, which have exactly five stitches going across the handle tab areas. Another important thing is the color of the thread. The genuine LV bag always has a mustard yellow or brown (rarely) stitching.
3. Check the Lettering and Stamping of the Handbag
The lettering and stamping are essential factors in telling if the bag is real or fake.
An original stamp should display the following;
- The tail of the original L should be very short.
- The O's are very round and look bigger than the L.
- The T's are close to each other.
- The lettering should be thin, clear, and crisp.
All fake Louis Vuitton stamps have apparent mistakes, such as the size of the letter O of the space between the two T is wider.
4. Check the Handbag's Hardware
All Louis Vuitton hardware, clasp, or other closure should bear the monogram signature. It should be centered, crisply etched, and evenly placed. Even the rivets are stamped with the "Louis Vuitton" logo. One way to check if your bag is real is to make sure all the logos in the bag are matched and flawlessly attached. Louis Vuitton hardware is also made from high-quality solid brass.
5. Data Code
Louis Vuitton bags don't have a proper serial number, but they have a date code. If your Louis Vuitton bags were made between early 1980 and March 2021, your bag would be stamped with a manufacturer code. The codes include two letters for the location where it was made and four numbers that indicate when it was made. Remember that the stamping on the bag and the code should match. For example, if the bag code showed it was made in France, the stamp should say, "made in France."
A recent style of date stamp comprises two letters at the beginning, which show where it was made, followed by four numbers that show the approximate date the bag was made. Here is an example:
For 2007 or newer bags, the code is two letters followed by four digits. The first two letters represent the factory location, while the first and third numbers represent the www of the year it was made, while the second and fourth numbers represent the year it was made. A code that says AA-1039 shows that the bag was made in France on the 13th week of 2009.
For bags made in 1990-2006. The code is two letters followed by four numbers. The letter represents the factory location where the bag was made, the first and third numbers show the year it was made, and the second and fourth represent the year it was made. An example, a code that says BO-0023 shows the bag was made in February 2003 in Italy.
If your handbag was manufactured after March 2021, you would not find a date code but a microchip embedded into the lining or pockets of the bag. This microchip is tiny and thin, and hard to detect. But this can be scanned through the fabric to verify the bag's authenticity.
6. Check the Handles
There are a few keys to look out for in identifying a genuine LV bag from a fake one. First, in a real bag, the handles are made of soft, smooth leather that oxidizes and darkens with age. The handles are also trimmed with a contrasting burgundy edge that gets dark over time. If the trimmings look bright red, painted, or plastic, it's a fake bag.
The zippers are another detail that can be used in authenticating a real Louis Vuitton bag. The zipper always contains an LV signature monogram or brand name in Louis Vuitton bags. The zipper in a real LV bag should also glide open and close smoothly and can be cleanly sewn in without any loose threads or unevenness. A zipper that gets caught on itself or is hard to close is a sign of a fake bag.
8. Check for the Dust Bag
Every Louis Vuitton bag comes with a dust bag that is an envelope or drawstring style. The dust bag is always a soft tan or beige color with the "LV" or "Louis Vuitton" logo at the center. The dust bag is 100% cotton with a label showing made in Spain or India.
9. Familiarize Yourself with Louis Vuitton Styles
It is always better to check and familiarize yourself with the bag you plan to buy. Many counterfeiters may try to sell a Louis Vuitton bag that the brand did not design. So to avoid being a victim of a fake Louis Vuitton bag, familiarize yourself with the design, colors, and sizes of the bag.
10. Check the Price of the Louis Vuitton Bag
Be careful when buying bags online. If the price seems like it's good to be true, then it probably is. So aside from familiarizing yourself with the bag, try to research the market value of the bag you're planning to buy.
Having a genuine Louis Vuitton bag is something that many women dream about. But one of the best tips on buying an authentic Louis Vuitton bag is to always rely on your instincts. If the deal seems too good, it probably is, and always purchase from a trusted source. Hopefully, the above tips can help you authenticate the bag you're planning to buy. Thank you for reading our blog, read also our related blog, “Tips on Caring for Your Handbag,”