13 November, 2012

How to spot a fake Birkin

I am very good with spotting fake bags. I can spot few fake bags even in facebook pictures. But I always feign ignorance and never embarrass anyone who carries the Bangkok replica. Personally, now I am anti leather. But I do have enough knowledge about the real stuff. This is how you can spot a fake birkin.
In 1985, Hermès created the Birkin bag as a dedication to the British-born actress and singer, Jane Birkin, subsequent to an incident on an airline flight. Hermès CEO, Jean-Louis Dumas, got the idea after seeing Jane Birkin struggling with the belongings that were spilling out of her bag. It wasn’t long until the Birkin bag became iconic and on the top of every lady’s wish list.
Although the Birkin was an ‘it’ bag for a long while, it was hardly ever seen around because of its expensive price. In early 2009, the Birkin bag became every girl’s arm-candy and appeared far and wide after being frequently seen around by celebrities and socialites.  Is it feasible that everyone has all of a sudden become filthy rich? Especially during a rough time such as a worldwide recession? Of course not! What’s shocking is how young girls now receive their Birkins in every single color and skin in less time than Victoria Beckham can get hers! Isn’t that shockingly absurd?
Being the connoisseur of Birkin bags, I know how to distinguish between the fakes and authentic by one fleeting look around the crowd. So, how does one spot a fake Birkin? It’s a very easy job. If you know the basics, you’ll be able to spot a knock-off in a glimpse.
1) Birkin bags are made of real, exotic leathers and expensive metal hardware whereas the knock-offs are made of cheap quality pieces.
2) People walk around carrying Birkins in strange colors that were never released by Hermes and odd-looking types of skins. This is one of the easiest ways to tell whether the bag is authentic or not.
Hardware used for the Birkin (that do not tarnish):
* Brushed palladium
* Gold
* Blushed Gold
* Ruthenium
Regular types of skins available:
* Vache Liageè – The most luxurious regular type of leather
* Togo – Most commonly used
* Fjord – The toughest kind of leather used for the Birkin
* Clemence – Almost identical to Togo but softer
* Epsom – Stamped leather
* Chevre – Goat leather
* Swift
Exotic types of skins available:
* Porosus Crocodile
* Niloticus Crocodile
* Alligator
* Lizard
* Ostrich
Sizes available:
* 25 cm
* 30 cm
* 35 cm
* 40 cm
Colors available:
* Every season, Hermès releases certain colors in which the bag will be sold in. The most commonly released colors are the basics such as black, and they are the most obtainable. Other colors such as blues, greens, pinks, yellows, and oranges depend on the season and the skins available. (PS. I’m sorry to say this, but neon was never ever released!)
3) Stitching is a crucial quality of the Birkin. Everything in this bag is handmade and it takes 48 hours to construct one single bag. If there is missing or loose stitching, then you can be sure that the bag is a replica. An authentic bag’s stitching is even and the stitches are very close together, without gaps between each one. In addition, the color of the thread must match the color of the leather.  So a blue Birkin with yellow stitching? Never existed.
4) The Birkin’s shape is stiff and defined, while the replica bag’s shape is bulgy on the sides.
5) The stamp on a Birkin bag is neat and even, whereas the stamp on a fake bag is blemished and unbalanced. Pay attention to the accent over the “E”.
6) The engraving on the Birkin’s hardware is thin and polished, while the engraving on the fake’s 
hardware is wider and bolder.
7) The interior leather zipper tag should be parallel with the zipper hardware and not perpendicular to it.
8) A Birkin bag never goes on sale and is only sold at Hermes boutiques. If available at vintage stores they will never be sold at a price way below its original price (unless it was damaged by the previous owner).
If you are planning on buying a pre-owned Birkin, on eBay or a vintage store, or simply from someone you know, but are doubting its authenticity, these fundamental tips will ensure you get a better deal. Or if you want to bust people carrying this big fashion faux-pas around shopping malls, these tips will help you differentiate between an authentic and a fake Birkin bag like an expert.

The Hermes birkin bag is the most sought after IT bag ever. With the high price tag and celebrity adhores its no surprise they have started being faked and are being sold as authentic!
It is so easy to spot a fake birkin once you know what your looking for. Firstly, the leather. Hermes discard 95% leather and use only 5% on a bag. The leather on a birkin must be flawless - and look sooo expensive. House of Hermes use the best of the best leather so the leather on the bag itself should be a dead giveaway. 

The Hermes stamp on the bag must be in the Hermes font and the hyphen must be parallel to the E. The font on fake bags is usually too skinny or too fat! Fake bags often have a stamp that looks 'bitty'.

The stitching on the bag should be slightly slanted. The stitching should be flawless. These bags are hand made by selected craftsmen. Not one bit of stitching should be out of place or irregular! Hermes simply wouldn't pass the bag to be sold if it was imperfect!

The base of the bag, when set down, must be off the ground and standing on the four feet. If the leather on the base of the bag is touching the ground, chances are it's Fake. The inside of the bag must be lined in chevre leather. There is 1 zippered pocket inside of  the bag and 1 patch pocket. The zippered pocket should have a metal H stopper. This H must be straight cut and not rounded or ruff around the edges. The zipper pull should be parallel to the zipper and have Hermes engraved on it. Also the zipper pull should have a leather tab the same colour of the bag.

The packaging - The packaging you get with the bag is a work of art itself. Big orange box and two dust bags (one for the bag and one for the lock and keys). If you are thinking of buying a birkin that has no box, be sure to ask what happened to it? If they state they threw it away i would be very weary as to why they would throw it away! I personally would never throw any of my big orange boxes away - they are just so beautiful!
If the bag comes with the box, it should have layers of tissue paper inside with a 'pillow' of tissue paper to lay the handles of your birkin on, so it doesn't lose shape. This tissue paper should be an off white colour.

Lastly, just be smart. I have seen Fake birkins sell for $ 1000 in Thailand. Lets be serious, if you have a Brand New Birkin bag that you just paid $ 10,000/- and above, last year would you really sell it for 
$ 1000? No. If anything it should be selling for near on or more than what they paid for it as the wait lists are so long! Don't end up paying $1000's for a cheap, poorly made replica that is worth nothing.