Louis Vuitton has been at the forefront of design, beauty and prestige since 1854. They have a range of rare and highly sought after vintage handbags and accessories that can only be found in limited places. The immense popularity of Louis Vuitton merchandise has led to a high level of counterfeiting. Counterfeiters are becoming more skilled at replicating genuine merchandise and cheating people out of their money.
You have to be very careful when searching for and purchasing vintage Louis Vuitton. Most buyers who fall victim to scams do so because they haven’t conducted enough research into the item they are purchasing. Here is Harrington & Co’s guide to spotting signs of a counterfeit product.
Quality of Material
Many Louis Vuitton bags are made of leather, but others can be made using coated canvas or even denim. Plastic is never used. Make sure you are familiar with what material the bag was originally made with. Leather trim should feel dry rather than oily or slippery.
Genuine vintage products patina over time, meaning they develop an aged golden honey colour over time. Knock off vintage products will look shiny, suspiciously new and will be made with dirty plastic based materials.
The stitching should be flawless and occur in one straight line with no back and forth stitching. The number of stitches found in similar locations of a bag will be the same amount. Note that this is not always the case with some vintage pieces, which is why it’s important to research the individual product to know what to expect.
Are there any imperfections in the print? Everything should be the same size, symmetrical and perfectly printed. Look closely at the matching of the pattern in the outside seams. The letters shouldn’t be divided and where a pattern is on either side of the seam, it should be perfectly symmetrical. Many authentic bags will have upside down LV logos on the back because one continuous piece of material is used.
Logo and Serial Code
Check the font of the logo closely. Louis Vuitton uses a specific font consistently. There should also be a 6 digit serial code. The first two will be letters followed by four numbers. Counterfeiters often write “Made in France” on their products. But Louis Vuitton merchandise is also made in Italy, Spain, Germany and the USA. Research the specific product to find out where it was originally produced.
Louis Vuitton uses different textiles to line their bags including canvas, tone on tone polyester, monogram textile, cross-grain leather and microfiber suede. Counterfeiters don’t pay attention to genuinely replicating the lining and often use cheaper materials, making it one of the easier methods of spotting a fake.
Any hardware on the product should feel heavy and made from brass or gold. It will often have the Louis Vuitton name or logo printed on it. If it doesn’t, do some research into the original product to make yours is genuine.
Go to a Louis Vuitton store so you can see, touch and try on the real thing. That way you are familiar with the feel of a genuine product. Always ask for plenty of pictures of every aspect of the bag and don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions. Deals that sound too good to be true usually are. Never buy from street vendors.
When you’re investing in an expensive vintage Louis Vuitton product, it’s always best to use a professional and trusted dealer. Harrington & Co are expert vintage collectable dealers in Brisbane. We specialise in quality vintage products from Louis Vuitton as well as Chanel, Gucci, Prada and more. All of our vintage merchandise is subject to a strict testing policy to ensure authenticity and top quality condition. Check out our range or visit us in store. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.