What are the best ways to tell a fake from genuine Balenciaga bag? Our guide gives you the clues to identify a fake Balenciaga handbag.
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Ever since the Balenciaga City Bag, Balenciaga has been one of the bag brands that fashion lovers and bag collectors simply can’t get enough of. But extravagant design, high quality materials and the prestige that comes with the brand has its price. But where high-priced goods meet at least as much demand, there is also an accumulation of counterfeits.
But as it can be very frustrating when you realize afterwards that you have been the victim of a fake bad purchase, you should always keep both eyes open and know the most important features that set a certain designer bag apart from a plagiarism. So that you can shop more safely, we have identified the most important features to distinguish a real Balenciaga bag from a fake.
Best ways to spot a fake from genuine Balenciaga bag
SHAPE AND SIZE
High-quality bags – such as those from Balenciaga – are very structured and have a clear shape that (except for certain models) does not lose its shape when stationary. With many fakes, the effort is often saved and the result is a shapeless, buckling bag that cannot stand on its own. So you should always take the stand or ask the seller to take appropriate photos.
Find out about the size of the model you want on the official Balenciaga website or directly in the store. Many models come in several sizes and you should know exactly what size your bag can be. If you have a model in front of you that does not meet the standards, you should rather stay away from it, as it is probably a fake.
MATERIAL AND COLOR
One reason Balenciaga bags are so popular is because they are made from the softest, lightest, thinnest, but most durable leather available. As soon as you have a real Balenciaga bag in your hand, you immediately fall for the luxury of the material. In many models, the leather already looks vintage when you buy a new one and you can find a lot of folds and lines – with the result that no Balenciaga bag is identical to another.
Counterfeit Balenciaga bags use either synthetic leather or low-quality leather, so the bag often looks stiff and shiny, and this is one of the top ways to spot a fake from genuine Balenciaga bag. Instead of the charming vintage look, the bag looks rather cracked. Rely on your feelings and if you are unsure, do a smell test.
Inside the bag there should be a label embossed with “BALENCIAGA PARIS” and a number. Both should be very clear and easy to read. The signs are balanced and centered. The stitching around the label should always be black and not reflect the color of the leather or the like. adapting – this is a common mistake that can be found with counterfeit Balenciaga bags.
The numbers on the label indicate the model of the bag (e.g. 115748 for the Balenciaga City Bag) – the same number should be found on the back of the label + another number combination afterwards. “MADE IN ITALY” should be stamped underneath. If the numbers differ or should be assigned to a different model,
Especially with models like the Balenciaga Motorcycles Bag, you should pay close attention to the handles. Are stretched or braided with a type of leather that Balenciaga calls “Sueded Leather”. This looks very natural and looks more like shoelaces or a string, so it is one of the really good ways to spot a fake from genuine Balenciaga bag. This leather should never be polished, coated or protected and should have a used vintage effect. If the braided leather shines, it suggests that the bag in front of you is not an original Balenciaga bag.
THE SHOULDER STRAPS
If you have a Balenciaga bag model in mind that comes with shoulder straps, you should always make sure that it is made of a single piece of leather and has an opening for the hardware at both ends. In many fakes, the leather is folded over the hardware and wrapped around it, resulting in a double layer of the shoulder strap.
The hardware around the ends themselves should, at least with older models such as the Balenciaga Motorcycle Bag, be rather rounded, while with fakes it is often angular. There should also be a small eye hook that holds the hardware together. The tip of the eye hook should go through the corkscrew-shaped hardware – in the case of fakes, the eye hook stops before the hardware. Here you need to look very closely!
THE INNER LINING
Since it always depends on the model what the lining of a Balenciaga bag looks like, it is best to find out about your model directly. In general, however, the inner lining of designer bags should never be too loose or too tightly attached to the bag itself. If you still have doubts, do a sniff test here too and feel it – if the bag crackles, that’s not a good sign.
Since the hardware can differ from bag model to bag model at Balenciaga, it is unfortunately not possible to set up a correct rule of thumb how it should look at Balenciaga bags. But what you can always pay attention to is that it should always feel relatively heavy.
In the case of counterfeits, cheap metal or even plastic is often used, which is very light and flakes off or scratches easily after a very short time. With models like the Balenciaga Motorcycle Bag, the hardware is never shiny or too silvery. It looks more like brass or “dirty” silver.
Real Balenciaga bags are made with Lampo zippers. However, Lampo has two types of zippers and Balenciaga only uses one of them. The Balenciaga Lampo zipper is the one on which “Lampo” is written in italics and forms a line underneath that consists of the lower part of the “L”. At the top right is the (TM) sign.
The other type of Lampo zipper is the one where “Lampo” is in odd capital letters – it should never be on a Balenciaga bag. The word “Lampo” should be embossed on the zipper (you should be able to feel the writing as it is three-dimensional) and not engraved. However, the correct Lampo zipper is not the only thing that you should rely on in a real Balenciaga bag,
THE AUTHENTICITY CARDS
A real Balenciaga bag should always come with a card with care instructions, a Controllato card, a Bag Inforamtion card and a small leather sample in a Styrofoam pouch. The leather sample should be identical to the leather of the Balenciaga bag and have the same properties.
The bag information card could have the following combination of characters printed on it:
- 2013 3 115748 D94JT 414
- When split, these characters mean the following:
- 2013: year of production
- 3: Season
- 115748: Pocket Style
- D94JT: Hardware Style
- 414: indefinite
So you can check exactly whether the bag in front of you was already produced this year, whether the bag hardware style corresponds to the bag at all, etc. But since such a card is pretty easy to forge, you shouldn’t just go here rely on it, but also thoroughly inspect all the other features
THE DUST BAG AND CARRIER BAG
Every original Balenciaga bag comes in a dust bag – it’s there to store and protect the bag properly. The dust bag has a relatively coarse structure, but is quite thin and has “BALENCIAGA” printed on it. As always, the letters should be centered, balanced and the same size. If there is still a paper carrier bag , it also looks very simple – white and structured. Here, too, it says “BALENCIAGA”. A real Balenciaga bag never comes with a hang tag or something similar, so if the bag in front of you has a label, you should keep your hands off it.
Nobody would sell anything for much less than what you could really get for it. This is especially true for designer bags. So find out exactly the new price of your bag (the most reliable source for this is the official Balenciaga website or a Balenciaga boutique) and compare the second-hand prices of your model. If the price you found is way too low, it is almost certainly a fake.
In principle, only buy expensive items from trustworthy suppliers. Now the safest way to get a Balenciaga bag is directly from Balenciaga (online or boutique) or from recognized providers such as mytheresa or net-a-porter.