After the awesome response to the previous two posts highlighting how best to purchase and authenticate pre-owned designer bags (for general tips check here and for a CHANEL specific guide here), I’ve once again asked Alice of LOVEthatBAG to offer her advice on this subject, this time regarding Louis Vuitton. Not only is Alice my own personal bag guru who’s sourced multiple bags for myself and friends, she’s also distinguished herself as one of the premier resellers in North America thanks to her dedication to providing her clients only the best selection of pre-owned new and vintage designer bags. Through her work, Alice has seen the good, the bad, and the woefully obvious of fake bags. From faked receipts and codes to the use of real leather, the counterfeit bags that are being produced are not always plainly obvious. As the demand for these luxury goods increases, the individuals and networks who produce counterfeit items work that much harder to produce items that are increasingly more believable. Of course, there are still countless fakes produced that are laughably obvious.
And for those interested in scooping up a new or vintage Louis Vuitton beauty, make sure to check out the killer selection that Alice is constantly updating on LOVEthatBAG’s website here. Happy shopping darlings!
*If you have any requests for future authentication guides, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org*
Louis Vuitton started adding date codes with 3-4 numbers in the early 1980s.
Current date codes have two letters followed by four numbers. The two letters represent where the bag was made. The first and third numbers represent which week of the year it was manufactured, and the second and fourth numbers represent the year it was made.
Date codes are stamped into the lining of the bag, on a leather tag or on the leather piece holding the D-ring.
Look at the quality of the leather piping, the stitching, and the hardware. Louis Vuitton is meticulous and frayed or loose stitching is not something they do!
Make sure that the monogram print is straight. Also be aware of any “LVs” that are cut off at the edges of the bag. While a crooked monogram is cause for concern, an upside down monogram is not. Some bags, like the classic Speedy, are made from one continuous piece of canvas resulting in an upside down monogram on one side.
Look at the colour. It should be on a brown background with a golden brown monogram print. Fake bags are often tinged with yellow or green.
The Louis Vuitton Paris stamp can be found in the interior on a piece of leather, printed directly into the interior, or printed on a piece of leather outside the bag. The L has a very short tail, the O’s are very round (not oval shaped), and the T’s almost touch each other.
A real LV stamp will be clear and crisp and will read “Louis Vuitton Paris” along with the country of origin. Louis Vuitton bags are made in France, Germany, Spain, the USA, Italy, and Switzerland.
Some Louis Vuitton bags are lined with a micro suede material called alcantara. The material is soft to the touch. Fake alcantara can feel rough and scratchy.
Louis Vuitton bags are also lined with a range of printed fabrics. Make sure to research which lining was used in the bag you’re interested in purchasing and always steer clear of monogram printed linings.
Check to see if the bag was ever created by Louis Vuitton in the first place. Was that Speedy 25 ever really made in Vernis Empreinte? Check online to see if the bag is currently available on the Louis Vuitton website or on a trusted reseller’s website for older styles. Some counterfeiters stay true to the original designs, while others create completely new products.
Louis Vuitton hardware is made from brass. Some fake hardware is simply coated plastic and will not be as heavy as real brass. Lettering on hardware should be clear and crisp.
Be aware of bags with tags attached or plastic around the handles or hardware. Louis Vuitton never does this.
Check the price of the bag online. An authentic bag would not sell for less than $100.
Know the Seller
Be wary of sellers that do not offer returns or will not send you additional photos of the finer details of the bag. You can also do a little bit of background research and read reviews of sellers.
Ask for a receipt, Louis Vuitton keeps excellent records and provides receipts going back many years.