Louis Vuitton, established in 1854, is among the world’s oldest high-end fashion retail outlets. The French fashion house’s premium trunks, which showcased the company’s signature medicated canvas, were extremely popular.
The now-famous LV monogram first appeared on Louis Vuitton’s travel trunk collection in 1896, when shoplifters were already attempting to imitate the legendary trunks. However, this is a handbag handbook, so why are we discussing Louis Vuitton trunks?
Well, the answer is just simple that: the qualities that distinguished LV’s travel trunks are still evident in today’s LV bags. In reality, the medicated canvas used on those classic trunks is similar to the canvas used on LV’s trademark bags, such as the Neverfull or Speedy.
This unbelievable durability as well as quality is what helps make Louis Vuitton bags so preferable and costly. Having said that, with this popularity and authenticity emerges the urge of counterfeiters to sell low-quality knockoffs.
Louis Vuitton has created so many various types of bags all the time that detailing the authentication stages for every handbag even requires a book. Nevertheless, if there is just one thing that Louis Vuitton has repeatedly done over the past 150 years, then it is the quality of the used materials, hardware, and handwork that goes through each handbag.
Learning the attributes that most, if not all, Louis Vuitton bags share is an excellent way to point out the counterfeits that you are prone to experiencing when purchasing your next Louis Vuitton bag. The steps below can be applied to all Louis Vuitton handbags varying from 20-30 years old to Louis Vuitton handbags designed for the 2020 and 2021 collections.
Table of Contents
- 1. Check the Shape, Posture, and Proportions
- 2. Check the Pattern and Stitching Quality
- 3. Check the Build Quality, Material, and Hardware
- 4. Check the Stamping, Size and Shape of the Font
- 5. Make Sure the Date Code is Correct
1. Check the Shape, Posture, and Proportions
When you buy an expensive handbag, such as a Louis Vuitton, you are paying for high quality. And the look of the handbag is an extremely essential first step in verifying an authentic Louis Vuitton, since you should instantly recognize odd proportions, creasing, slouching, and a somewhat flawed appearance as a big warning sign.
New Louis Vuitton handbags must be flawless. In particular, the handles must be strong and balanced, and the handbag should also not sag. Pre-owned Louis Vuitton bags must hold the very same qualities as new ones, though they might have a kind of vintage look depending on their age (a lot of Louis Vuitton enthusiasts really prefer the classic color of golden honey patina.)
To put it simply, real Louis Vuitton bags are unlike those of other designer brands in which they keep their form and solid posture even after years and years of use. It is also worth mentioning that the LV bag’s shape and posture are heavily influenced by the material it is made of.
Warning: If a pre-owned or completely new Louis Vuitton bag lurches, it is probably not authentic.
2. Check the Pattern and Stitching Quality
The stitching, like anything else on an original Louis Vuitton handbag, must be completely perfect. Check that the seam is even and shapely, and that there are no unraveling or other unsightly elements.
Hand-stitched Louis Vuitton handbags are usually authentic. Every stitch must have a subtle angle. So, be cautious of any handbag with completely straight sewing, as this is an indication it was machine-made and fake.
Warning: Flawlessly straight seams on a Louis Vuitton handbag were most probable machine-made, indicating that it is a fake.
The color scheme of the seam is another distinguishing feature of genuine Louis Vuitton bags. To add additional weather resistance and sturdiness, Louis Vuitton sprays its strands in a unique type of resin. And this resin also provides genuine LV sewing a clearly different mustard-yellow color.
Knockoffs regularly use synthetic, brighter yellow or orange strands for their seam, which is a dead giveaway. Besides, the resin on original LV bags, like the Vachetta leather trim typically occurring on LV monogram canvas bags, would create a patina with age. However, this will only serve to discolor the hue.
Lastly, when performing a Louis Vuitton authenticity verification, the sewing count is critical. Depending on the style, specific areas, such as the point where the handles connect to the bag, must have 3 or 5 stitches running along the upper edge of the tab connecting the handles to the bag.
3. Check the Build Quality, Material, and Hardware
When you think about Louis Vuitton bags, you likely think of a Neverfull, Alma, or Speedy in the brand’s signature brown canvas. Perhaps this is Louis Vuitton’s most well-known and famous style, but there are many other choices available.
The build quality, materials, and hardware are all very comparable across Louis Vuitton’s vast collection of handbags. Recognizing your bag’s materials can help you tell the difference between authentic and fake Louis Vuitton handbags. The following are the most commonly used materials for Louis Vuitton bags:
Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas
For over a century, the most identifiable Louis Vuitton style, the LV monogram canvas, has been considered a wardrobe staple. Thanks to the excellent treatment process and the final unrivaled durability, this material was ahead of its time.
However, do not befuddle it with leather. In particular, although the LV monogram canvas is extremely glamorous to the touch, it does not contain any leather particles or grains. Because counterfeiters cannot imitate LV’s perfect treatment process, they frequently use faux leather and then print the monogram on it.
Warning: If the LV Monogram Canvas material just feels like leather, it can be a forgery. Real monogram canvas is meant to be stiff and sturdy, not soft and pliable.
Louis Vuitton Multicolor Monogram
The LV multicolor monogram, which was limited edition and is currently removed from the market, was first made available in 2003. It was a one-of-a-kind partnership between artist Takashi Murakami and Louis Vuitton, and it was inspired by vibrant summer tropical color schemes.
As a result, the LV monogram on the handbag is rainbow-colored. The handbags are becoming increasingly scarce and can only be purchased through the secondary market, with their prices only rising over time, making it a superb collector’s item.
Louis Vuitton Damier Monogram
The “checkerboard” or Damier canvas is another trademark Louis Vuitton design. This style is most likely to be found in Damier Azur (blue/white canvas) or Damier Ebene (black/brown canvas). It is also available in many different colors, such as graphite.
A lot of women prefer Damier print handbags over logo-covered monogram ones since they make a more delicate statement, while the material is still the same. The Damier handbags are perfect for everyday use, but the Damier Azur will reveal scratches and scrapes more easily because of its white overlay.
Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Leather
Monogram Vernis, or “varnish,” is among Louis Vuitton’s more youthful and enjoyable options, made of calfskin leather encased in a bright trademark layer. It stands out from other Louis Vuitton handbags not only in look but also in sturdiness. While the LV monogram canvas is recognized to be nearly indestructible, the LV Monogram Vernis is far more delicate and prone to scuffs and scrapes.
Louis Vuitton Monogram Empreinte
LV Empreinte Monogram leather is typically the same as Gucci’s Guccissima leather in that it is made of soft, pliable, and glamorous calf leather that is emblazoned with the company’s logo.
Louis Vuitton leather has a unique smell and it would never have the odor of chemicals, as many knockoffs. This type of material is kind of enduring when compared to other high-quality designers’ leathers, but it will not withstand the elements and the monogram canvas as well.
4. Check the Stamping, Size and Shape of the Font
The stamping can be considered another attribute that Louis Vuitton uses consistently across all of its handbags. A leather tag with the “Louis Vuitton Paris” stamp can be found inside the bag. Look more closely at the font shape, size, spacing, as well as the quality of the stamp, as this is something that counterfeiters frequently can’t imitate.
The very first thing you should observe is the lettering style. In general, the font on genuine Louis Vuitton stamps is as regards: the “L” has a shorter base, the “O’s” are large and round (not in oval shape ), the two “T’s” are extremely close together – nearly touching (TT) though not quite, and the font style is skinny, precise, and sharp.
Loose strands, uneven seams, or an irregular mark are all tip-offs of a counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbag.
Always check the connection between the L and O in the word Louis, and the ® symbol, for a fast and simple authenticity verification on a Louis Vuitton stamp. If there is a visible gap between both the L and the O, this can be a wake-up call of a fake LV handbag.
On genuine LV stamps, the L and O are usually really close together. You might also look for the ® symbol to see where it is. It must be balanced between the letters V and U in the word “Vuitton.” And if it would seem to be too far away from the midpoint between the V and U, it is most likely a forgery.
Warning: When it comes to counterfeit products, the style of letters is a dead giveaway. Distanced “T’s” and oval-shaped “O’s” are a telltale sign of a forgery.
5. Make Sure the Date Code is Correct
In the 1980s, Louis Vuitton started utilizing a patented date code system to characterize when and where its bags were made. Chanel employs a series of numbers for date code, which functions as a serial number and could be used in the verification process. While Hermes, on the other hand, uses a letter inside a shape to decide the year the handbag was made.
In addition, Louis Vuitton utilizes a mixture of numbers and letters to identify the location and exact time the handbag was made. The main verification checkbox is ensuring that the Louis Vuitton handbag’s date code is genuine and matches the “made in” badge.
So, you need always be aware that several counterfeiters, particularly those behind the very persuasive knockoffs recognized as super fakes, are aware of LV’s date code system and can also replicate it on their counterfeit handbags.
As a result, never depend exclusively on the date code as evidence of authenticity. Instead, you must consider everything and inspect the handbag altogether to assess if it is genuine or fake.
The 2 letter code can be either preceded or followed by 4 numbers on the majority of Louis Vuitton handbags. Particularly made-to-order handbags, which usually use code AAS, and several vintage Louis Vuitton bags are the exceptions.
The 4 numbers are also significant since they encode the date your bag was manufactured. And Louis Vuitton gets it down to the accurate week of any given year on completely new handbags and down to the month on older models.
While this guidance is a wonderful way to teach yourself several major elements in authenticating Louis Vuitton bags, there is no substitute for a qualified authenticator who can basically tell the difference between an original and a fake LV handbag while handcuffed based on the odor of the handbag. That is why, whenever possible, I always recommend enlisting the assistance of a qualified authenticator if you don’t want to waste your hard-earned money on a fake LV bag.