13 November, 2012

How to spot a fake Louis Vuitton

Tips for determining authenticity for a Monogram Louis Vuitton

There are many ways to distinguish an authentic Louis Vuitton from a replica.
If you feel the urge to purchase an item from a website such as an online auction, do your research. Do not be fooled, they are getting more skilled at cheating people out of their money. You must be careful when purchasing from any websites that are not approved by Louis Vuitton. The ONLY authorized site by Louis Vuitton is eLUXURY.com. Do not be fooled by people claiming they have permission or a wholesale list chances are they do not.
Authentic Louis Vuitton products are sold exclusively in Louis Vuitton stores, by calling 1.866.VUITTON and through the website eLUXURY.com
When shopping online and you see a bag with a cheap looking tag, then it is an obvious fake. They do not tag their bags with a strand of string with a circular piece of plastic marked in brown LV, nor do they tag their items with a cut out portion of the logo.

Most dust bags just have the standard “LV” or “Louis Vuitton” logo. Also the dust bags are not made out of cheap material and most do not have rounded edges.

Difference between real and fake Louis Vuittons

Depending on the collection, Louis Vuitton uses a variety of textiles to line their bags: canvas lining in red or honey, fine micro monogram textile, cross-grain leather, tone on tone polyester, or microfiber suede. Con-artists pay little to no attention on the interior. Most commonly they would line the interior with plastic or cheap tan or brown suede.

Louis Vuitton uses oxidizing natural cowhide leather that turns a dark golden honey color over time. Plastic is not used!

If the look of the bag is something that appears to not look like anything that Louis Vuitton has ever designed, chances are it is a fake. Louis Vuitton is well-known for their high quality luxury goods. If the piece is of horrible quality or a nonexisting style then it is a replica. Remember, just because it has “LV” logo doesn’t mean that it is.

Pay attention to detail. Louis Vuitton uses brass and gold metal hardware, not gold painted plastic. The zippers should also have the letters “LV” neatly imprinted. If you are given pictures from a seller, then go onto a trusted Louis Vuitton website and compare the styles. Minor details such as this could save from buying a knockoff.

The LV on Louis Vuitton bags are always lined up. The pattern should never be tilted or not proportionate to the other side.

Here are some random pictures from dealers who claim that they are selling the real thing compared to an authentic Louis Vuitton.
Other minor flaws
Easy way to determine authenticity could be done visually. Make sure that the LV’s are lined up and the material is not tilted. Monograms should be clearly printed gold letters with brown lines though the LV’s, not cutout, solid colored, smudged, or have a greenish tint. The threading should look neat, thin and done with accuracy. If the LV’s are upright on both sides, it may be a fake. Many Louis Vuitton handbags have the logo’s upside down on the other side.
Artisitic license
allows designers such as Guess to copy the triangular Prada label. Such as replacing the word “prada” with “guess”
Guess also copies Coach’s signature “C” design by replacing it with their “G” logo, of coarse this is allowed through creative expression.

The bag’s design should be your first clue about its authenticity. Some fake designs are obviously fake, but others may require a little more research to catch.
  1. 1
    Find out if the bag is an authentic design. Odds are, if you do not recognize the design as a Louis Vuitton, it may not be. If you have any doubts, check the bag design through a boutique, on the official Louis Vuitton website, or in a catalogue to determine its authenticity.
  2. 2
    Be aware of designs that are likely to seem real but are actually fake. Multicolor, Cherry Blossom, and Cerises designs are not available in all bag styles. Vintage pieces are also more likely to be scams.
  3. 3
    If buying a trademark monogrammed bag, make sure the letters are clearly printed in gold with brown lines through the LV. Avoid solid colored monograms or monograms with a green tint.

Pay Attention to the Little Details

Your next biggest clue about a bag’s authenticity should be the little details, such as its zippers, interior lining, or date code. Every design is a little different, but there are many similarities between designs that will also help clue you in.
  1. 1
    Avoid bags with an attached tag. Most official Louis Vuitton purses do not have the tag attached. Instead, the tag is separate, often slid into a pocket of the purse. Be especially wary of tags that look cheap and are attached with little more than a thin piece of string.
  2. 2
    Pay attention to the interior lining. Most knock-offs use cheap plastic or suede to line their bags. A real bag may be lined with a variety of textiles, depending on the specific design, but most are lined with canvas, fine micro monogram textile, cross-grain leather, polyester, or microfiber suede.

  3. 3
    Be wary of bags that have plastic wrapped around the handles. The oxidizing natural cowhide leather does not need this protective plastic, and bags that come with that plastic might be fakes.
  4. 4
    Look at any clasps or other hardware. Legitimate bags use brass or gold metal, but many fakes use plastic with a layer of gold paint.
  5. 5
    Look for zippers with the "LV" logo imprinted on the pull.

  6. 6
    Check that "Made in" label. Originally, authentic Louis Vuitton bags were only made in France. For the past several decades, however, the company has also produced bags in the United States, Spain, Germany, and Italy.
  7. 7
    Check the date code. The majority of bags made after the early 1980's have a production code stamped on the bag. Since the 1990's, the code includes two letters followed by four numbers. Before the 1990's, the code was a one or two letter code followed by three or four numbers. Some were also simple three number codes.
    • Look in the right place. Usually, the date code is located beneath the D-ring.
  8. 8
    Know the specific parts of a particular bag. Even though there are many similarities from bag to bag, no two designs are exactly alike. Research what type of lining, feet, and base, among other details, a particular style of bag should have. Check on the company's website or ask your nearest boutique.

Check the Quality

Real Louis Vuitton bags are finely crafted.
  1. 1
    Examine the stitches. This is best done in person. Sloppy stitches suggest a counterfeit bag.

  2. 2
    Walk away from bags with a tilted pattern. Legitimate bags have careful, even patterns that are well matched and proportionate. A bag with a tilted pattern that does not match up with itself is likely to be a fake.
  3. 3
    Look for upside-down LV's on the back. Not all authentic bags have upside-down LV's, but many do, especially if the design was made with one continuous, seamless piece of leather that wraps all around the bag. This is especially true of the Speedy styles, Keepalls, and Papillons.