How can you tell fake vs genuine Louis Vuitton handbags? Our guide shows the things to check to ensure you don’t get caught with a counterfeit.
A pre-loved Louis Vuitton is the perfect, inexpensive alternative to a new one. Unfortunately, the market is flooded with plagiarism, so it’s not so easy distinguish fake vs genuine Louis Vuitton. So how can you be sure that the object of desire is really a good investment?
General information about the Louis Vuitton brand
Louis Vuitton is available exclusively to buy directly from an official Louis Vuitton store or online on www.louisvuitton.com. There is no Louis Vuitton outlet! No article has ever been reduced since the company was founded. On the contrary, annual price increases are the rule.
So be careful when it says “the bag was bought on holiday” or at online shops that offer new bags at a greatly reduced price. However, the situation is different in marketplaces. With a bit of luck you can make a real bargain there.
Fake vs genuine Louis Vuitton
The overall impression counts
Fingers off offers promising an original bag for $200, which was supposedly bought for $2800. Louis Vuitton bags in good condition do not have such a big loss of value. It is always the subtleties that distinguish fake vs genuine Louis Vuitton.
Monogram Canvas, probably the most famous pattern with the gold-brown letters L and V, very striking and therefore loved by many.
For the Monogram Canvas bags, vinyl-soaked cotton fabric is used as the main material and not leather, as is often assumed. Due to this coating, the material is very durable, water-repellent and does not fear any scratches compared to leather.
- Matte surface
- Structure of the surface runs horizontally
- Monogram applied in stripes with gradient from bottom left to top right
- Color of the monogram may also be slightly different depending on the model, age, usage. Often the color is slightly weaker than shown above
- material is used with the use of soft and malleable
- Highly shiny/reflective surface
- Structure often too coarse or fine
- Monogram often printed smoothly, irregularly or dismembered edges
- Colour of the monogram often too strong/ very yellow
- Material often very stiff and firm and remains mostly unchanged despite use
2. Pocket edge
- The edge of the bags is usually cut off to the “flowers”, almost never on the LV
- Monogram that is upside down is unavoidable with continuous canvas (e.g. Speedy) and is not an indication of fake
- Edge of the bag is often cut off on the LV
- Monogram at the edge skewed or badly sewn
3. Leather parts / edge sealing
- Material: untreated real leather, in the new state usually very bright (almost white), which slowly darkens due to sun and use (forms a patina)
- Edges of the leather parts sealed in a (brownish) wine red. From bag to bag there are also slight color variations.
- Material: dyed leather or imitation leather, the color never changes, often looks plastic-like.
- Edges often in a bright red, orange or completely absent
Should occur at least once, whether inside or outside. Spelling may vary depending on the age of the bag. There are also bags Made in Spain or USA.
The logo is always placed in the middle and easy to read.
- Fitting: Louis Vuitton is engraved on all fittings and easy to read
- Models from the 80s do not have zippers with brand edits, but come e.g. from the zipper manufacturers YKK or Eclair
- Many parts are made of brass, which can start greenish over time. This can be removed with a special cleaning agent.
- Embossing: skewed placement, letters or distances uneven and poorly legible
- Fitting: color peels off, logo uncleanly engraved, difficult to read and very edgy
- Lining made of solid material, depending on the model and pattern in beige, brown or red. The lining is always smooth on
- Older models also have a leather-like material that dissolves over time and becomes sticky
- The lining is often made of very soft material, beats wrinkles and has color variations
- Seams always run straight and at an even distance from the imprinted line below the seam. The exterior and inside look identical for open pockets without closure.
- Seam runs crooked, embossed line often printed in dark color. Standing threads, knots or crooked labels.
- Corners and edges without visible traces of adhesive, the Louis Vuitton brand is printed with a small recess on the lid and is always placed in the middle.
- Just printed on, letters often crooked, gluemost visible
Bag or slipcase
- made of a thick, yellow fabric, the logo is also always placed straight and center
- older models up to 2003 have a light brown dust bag with the central imprint “LV”
- Poor cut, crooked seams, other color
- The bill looks identical worldwide
- The paper is in bright yellow and has a vertical corrugation, which is noticeable when driving over with the finger
- Format is shorter than A4 and always folded in the middle
- At the unrecognizable spot at the bottom left is the purchase with name and address
- A registered customer with Louis Vuitton can easily receive a duplicate of the invoice at any time
- Simple paper, incorrect formatting and format
- Common excuse that the bag was bought in another country and therefore looks different
8. Serial number
- The serial number/datacode indicates when and where the bag was made. From 1990 it consists of two letters and a 4-digit sequence of numbers and is usually located in a very hidden place. Either it is attached to a leather label, which is usually easier to find; or punched directly onto the inner lining (leather), which is more difficult to find.
- The data code is read as follows:
Letters = Place of Production
1.+3. Digit = Month
2.+4. Digit = year
Letters = Place of Production
1.+3. Digit = Calendar week
2.+4. Digit = year
- An overview of the data codes can be found here:
- The serial number/data code is usually placed in a very obvious location or in a different location than the original
You’re still unsure?
It is an interplay of all the criteria listed, because almost all counterfeits have a serial number, cardboard and dust bags. Sometimes they have a certificate of authenticity that doesn’t exist at all, or even a fake invoice.
Reprinted with permission from Madchen magazine.