How to Tell If a Louis Vuitton Bag is Real vs. Fake: Your Guide to Authenticity

How to Tell If a Louis Vuitton Bag is Real vs. Fake: Your Guide to Authenticity
Designer fakes are everywhere. On street corners, sketchy markets, and dubious resell sites, these off-brand reproductions may offer seemingly great prices — but they can’t fake quality. There are a number of ways to tell if a Louis Vuitton bag is legit. Keep reading

Real Vachetta Leather Can’t Be Faked

While at first glance a fake Louis Vuitton might look similar to the real thing, over time an authentic bag will reveal itself. Vachetta leather, used to make the elegant straps of real bags, oxidize over time. Turning from tan to a dark, rich yellow, Vachetta leather’s natural tanning properties distinguish it from fakes. If your bag doesn’t age like a fine wine, it’s not an original.

Gold And Brass Baby!

Artisanally crafted brass and gold, the locks, zippers, and other metal accouterments should be shiny and smooth. If the zipper catches annoyingly, the surfaces don’t shine like a mirror, or the metal itself feels cheap or plasticy — that bag is a fake!

Check the Artistry

For any designer bag, the craft of the product is what gives the brand its reputation for quality — and Louis Vitton is no different. The outer shell should feel silky smooth, if it’s rough, that’s a bad sign. The red trim on the artisanal Vachetta handle is a sultry burgundy, while reproductions will be a cheap, bright color.

The most obvious drop in quality in reproductions is the print on the outer shell. On genuine Louis Vuitton products, the signature VL pattern will be evenly spread out. The L will always be below the V. If portions of the pattern are crooked or awkwardly cut off, that bag is fake.

Tags and Date Codes

Louis Vuitton bags don’t have price tags attached with plastic, plain and simple. If they do have one, they’re tastefully placed in the dust bag or the purse itself. Generic plastic attachments are a sign that the bag you’re looking at is anything but authentic.

Quality date code tags, on the other hand, are a staple of the Louis Vuitton brand. These codes are engraved in leather, sewn into the lining of the purse, or attached to a leather tag stitched into the pocket or seam. They’ll tell you when the bag was made and where it was crafted, making it easy to track and authenticate. Any real LV will have one of these tags, the exception being those made before 1980 (these can be tougher to track, but are harder to fake too.) If you see an LV that doesn’t have a date code — scam alert!

Does the Dust Bag Match?

Louis Vuitton dust bags have changed pretty significantly throughout the years. Knowing which purses come with which dust bags can save you from buying a convincing fake.

Dust bags in products that predate 2004 were made from a beige flannel. They have the signature LV logo, and are adorned with brown drawstrings. Between 2004-2016 the design changed, the logo being printed in a deep brown. Post-2016 the dust bag went through a more significant change. They’re cream colored, with navy blue script.

If the bag you’re buying claims to be authentic, but has the wrong dust bag, buyer beware! Your seller is either not knowledgeable in designer products, or is selling counterfeits.

Sense and Sensibility

When you’re around enough designer products, eventually you’ll be able to sniff out fakes instantly (and we mean that literally.) Quality leather has a certain smell about it that reproductions simply can’t replicate. Oftentimes, forgeries will have a synthetic, chemical scent about them that is a dead giveaway. The touch of a real Louis Vuitton is unparalleled by copies as well. The sleek sturdiness of high-class materials is replaced by flimsier goods, and the difference is immediately apparent.

Finally, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. You’re probably never going to find a $1000 bag being sold for $150 (as sad as that is). Louis Vuitton doesn’t have sales for a reason — the bags are worth the price.

So use your head, and your newfound knowledge, and snag the best bags! We at Buyma thoroughly authenticate our products, and offer the highest quality goods at great prices. Looking for a Louis Vuitton? We’ve got yours right here girl! Interested in other LV products? We’ve got that too.

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