No I'm not talking about boobs. You've asked yourself that scrolling through eBay; stalking that designer handbag that you might bid on. So here are 4 basics questions to ask yourself followed by 7 things to check for to see if those boobs (I mean, BAGS) are real!:
This is Part 1 of 2 blogs (LOUIS VUITTON is covered in this blog (Part 2), CHANEL was covered in Part 1).... Part 3 is in a fun and important separate blog: it is about authenticating... a life-partner. Which, is much more important than authenticating a designer handbag.
So let's get started authenticating a LOUIS VUITTON BAG!
1. Does your intuition say anything about it?
2. Take time to authenticate it.
"Realauthentication.com" can give you its verdict before the seller even knows you are interested in it. It requires a good resolution screenshots of your potential bag. Depending on the fashion house, each has its own mark of authenticity. See below for basic detective work on TWO of my favorite major luxury brands: CHANEL & LOUIS VUITTON,
3. Is the price too good to be true?
Some prices are set high so you think it is the real McCoy, but do Step 2 anyways.Some prices are set low, this is a big warning sign. Especially if the bag is "New" and in "Pristine condition"
4. Ask questions, and more questions. Your bag is an investment, just like your car or home. The more questions you ask, the more it is easier to do #1 above. Ask details on where the pre-loved bag's owner acquired it. If it is fake, the seller will be vague: "Bought her somewhere on vacation". If it is authentic, the seller will be specific and forthcoming with a lot of details:"Bought her from the LOUIS VUITTON boutique at the Cherry Creek Mall in Denver on 3/16/2009 and I can provide a pic of my sales receipt or whatever else you need to know it was bought new by me from a LOUIS VUITTON boutique." The seller will not be snippy, pressure you, or give you a guilt trip for example, "You don't need to ask questions, I only sell authentic LOUIS VUITTON."
1. Feel her
LOUIS VUITTON handbags/luggage that are in the Monogram (LV symbols) or Damier (checkerboard print) are leather bonded to canvas. The leather should feel good and not plastic-y. The leather will have a beautiful sheen to it as well.
2. LOOK AT THE STITCHING
All LOUIS VUITTON bags are made by hand. Because of this, the each stitch will not be straight (like a sewing machine makes the stitches). Instead, each stitch on a LOUIS VUITTON bag is at a slight slant. The slant is what naturally occurs when a person sews a bag by hand.
3. DATE CODE (my information was obtained from Yoogiscloset.com and is only for LOUIS VUITTON bags produced from 2007 and on
Each LOUIS VUITTON bag has a unique date code. Which is composed of two capitalized letters followed by 4 numbers. These date codes are found on a small piece of untreated Vachetta leather and date code is imprinted into it. This means that you should be able to run your fingers across the date code and feel that it is embedded into the leather (not just stamped on) (One caveat is that my SLGs (Small Leather Goods) like the Clemence Wallet will just have the date code hot-stamped directly(not imprinted)onto an area inside the SLG and the date code will not be on a separate piece of untreated Vachetta leather as in the bags).
The LOUIS VUITTON date code tells everyone what day the bag was produced. The first two letters on the date code is the country code. If you look on the Internet, there are very good charts telling you what what letters correspond to which country. For example, in this picture of my LOUIS VUITTON SPEEDY BANDOULIERE 25 IN MONOGRAM, the date code is "DU2131". DU means that my bag was made in France. If you watch my YouTube video ""5 Easy-To-Spot Features of an Authentic Louis Vuitton Neverfull Bag", my Neverfull bag had a country code of "SD" which means that my Neverfull bag was made in the United States.
The 4 numbers following the country code will tell you what day of which year your bag was made on. Take the 2nd and 4th numbers and that is the year the bag was produced(in this example, 2011) then take the 1st and 3rd numbers and that is the day the bag was produced (in this example, 23). So my LOUIS VUITTON SPEEDY BANDOULIERE 25 was produced on the 23rd day of 2011.
(In my YouTube video "5 Easy-To-Spot Features of an Authentic Louis Vuitton Neverfull Bag" I said incorrectly that the 2 outer numbers are the year, and the two inner numbers are the date of the year)
Here is another example of reading the LOUIS VUITTON date code to find out what day your bag was "born" :):
This says "SD 4118". SD is a code for the United States. So she was made in the United States on the 41st day of 2018.
4. Placement of the Monogram (LV symbols) or Damier (squares) across seams or zippers
Symmetry! Look along the seams: there should be a LV or Square directly across from its twin across the seams. If have purchased authentic LOUIS VUITTON bags where the symbols have been "off" slightly from its twin and that is still an authentic LOUIS VUITTON bag. It is annoying; but your bag is still authentic.
In the LOUIS VUITTON Monogram family, these bags are accented with an untreated Vachetta leather. Since this Vachetta leather is untreated it is intended to "patina" over time which means that the leather will gradually change from the off-white Vachetta leather to a beautiful honey-golden color. This process occurs naturally when the leather is exposed to sunlight, humidity, and the oils from our skin. For example, this is a picture of my LOUIS VUITTON Neverfull GM in Monogram and the Vachetta leather (found on the trim, handles, and side cinch cords) has patina-ed into a honey-golden patina.
This untreated Vachetta leather will easily show water staining when water drops on it. See below: picture of my LOUIS VUITTON Speedy Bandouliere 25 in Monogram: water stains on the side- panel Vachetta leather.
Because of this, some owners prefer to keep the patina "even" by preventing water from getting to it. Shea Whitney on YouTube likes to use AppleGuard Stain/Rain Repellent and will spray the untreated Vachetta leather prior to her using the bag. On the converse, Jerusha Couture on YouTube, prefers to allow the bag to "tell a story." so she does not apply any Stain/Rain repellent and allows the events (such as a surprise rain) to stain the handles or trim so that the stains add to the beauty of the bag.
This knowledge of a LOUIS VUITTON's untreated Vachetta leather will help you avoid buying a fake LOUIS VUITTON bag: if you have a bag that supposedly produced many years ago, but there is no patina on the Vachetta leather, this solid evidence that the bag is not an authentic LOUIS VUITTON bag since there should be patina by now.
6. Look at the rivets and the engraved word "LOUIS VUITTON"
The "LOUIS VUITTON" engraved into every rivet on a LOUIS VUITTON bag has an iconic font and spacing. Familiarize yourself with it and a fake "LOUIS VUITTON" engravings will be more obvious: the letters may be too tall or too wide or too far-apart. The authentic LOUIS VUITTON letters are very carefully placed and deeply engraved in so that the letters are very clear and easy to read. On the flip-side, fake "LOUIS VUITTON"bags will also have "sloppy" engravings that are "fuzzy" or not clear.
7. LOUIS VUITTON Speedy bags are made from one entire piece of leather
The LOUIS VUITTON Speedy bags (Speedy Bandouliere has the strap) are made from one entire piece of leather which wraps around to the back. Because of the leather wrapping down and up the back side of the Speedy, the Monogram "LV" symbols will be upside down on the backside (above picture: LOUIS VUITTON Speedy Bandouliere 25 in Monogram--Left: picture of front of the bag. Right: picture of the back of the bag)
Same will be true for the Damier square symbols which will be upside down on the backside of the Speedy bags (see above picture: LOUIS VUITTON Speedy Bandouliere 25 in Damier Ebene--Left: picture of front of the bag. Right: picture of the back of the bag)
So, if you see a bag that has the "LV" symbols in the Monogram or the "LOUIS VUITTON PARIS" in the squares of the Damier print upright on both front and back of the Speedy, the bag is a fake.
Hopefully, the above 7 tips will help you avoid buying a fake LOUIS VUITTON bag thus, saving you a ton of money and worse...heartbreak.
I would love to hear from you! Please share what you know about features of either authentic or fake LOUIS VUITTON bags!
Also! Check out my extra and even more important blog "Are They Real or Fake? Part 3: Boyfriends/Significant others/Life-partners" :)
As always, Look with Intention