Are you a fan of vintage bags but don’t know if what you have is real? You can learn how to confirm that your vintage Louis Vuitton bag is authentic.
If you were asked to envision a fashion logo, which would you think of? The LV of Louis Vuitton most certainly. The popularity of this bag brand has endured for centuries. The French luxury brand has been in the business of leather goods and trunks since 1854 and over the course of time, they added ready-to-wear clothing, watches, shoes, sunglasses, pieces of jewelry, and books. However, the product that the label is best known for its handbags and the more uncommon ones are even better.
Vintage Louis Vuitton collectors should be at alert because a lot of counterfeits are out there.
Are You Shopping The Right Way For Vintage Bags?
If you’re buying online, you can get your pre-owned Louis Vuitton from reliable vintage luxury goods sites like FarFetch, TheHut, and Vestiaire Collection, as they list only items that have been authenticated. Otherwise, you should ask to see a lot of photographs to examine certain parts of the bag including the front, back, monogram, date code, lining, and the embossed stamp that reads Louis Vuitton Made in…”
You should request information about where the bag was originally purchased in order to confirm that it was bought in one of the 460 boutiques in the 50 nations that Louis Vuitton has operations. The receipt may not be solid proof, after all the receipt can be replicated just as the bag can be replicated. Sometimes, a counterfeit fashion accessory can even come with a genuine receipt.
When you have chosen the perfect Louis Vuitton style for you, follow these 10 guidelines to confirm that your Louis Vuitton vintage bag is real. They will certainly help you clear any doubts about the authenticity of your bag.
Ten Tips To Know If Your Vintage Louis Vuitton Bag Is Real
1. Louis Vuitton Logo
The unique Louis Vuitton logo was introduced over a hundred years ago as a way to tackle the issue of counterfeit products (which go as far back as that period). The logo is never tilted, smudged, or blurred on the edges, and the monogram is never crossed with folds, locks, or stitches. In some bags, such as the Speedy model, it is upside down. When this is the case, take note that a single piece of leather runs continuously from the front through the backside, giving the impression of an upside-down monogram.
This tells us that in a real Louis Vuitton Speedy bag, the backside should feature the Louis Vuitton monogram and the bottom should be seamless. Be wary of bags with two pieces of leather sewed together.
On checking the provenance of your bag, seeing ‘Made in USA’ or any other country different from France is not a cause for concern. There are real Louis Vuitton bags that are made in USA, Spain, Germany, and Italy. A good number of recent bags are Made in China, so don’t doubt that your Louis Vuitton bag is real just because it was made somewhere outside of France.
3. Leather and Handles
To know if your Louis Vuitton vintage bag is real, examine the material thoroughly.
For Louis Vuitton vintage bags, you’ll find that the leather is rather dark compared to the newer models. Coated canvas is also used in making some truly original bags, while the trim is made of leather. The leather trim should feel dry when you touch it. If you get a slippery or oily sensation when you touch it, the bag may be a counterfeit.
Furthermore, real Louis Vuitton bags are not delivered with soft paper, polythene, or tissue on the trims. Such coverings are only used on counterfeits in order to prevent the material from fading or eroding and to keep the stitches from coming off.
Another indicator from the handles of a real vintage bag is its shade. Light leather handles usually get darker on the inside. If the handles of your vintage bag have grown darker, it confirms that the bag is real. A little wear is a sign of an original leather handle.
4. Lining and Stitching
Authentic Louis Vuitton linings will never be dark brown. The colors usually range from grey to alacantara. Real vintage bags don’t come with suede linings, though cotton is used in some cases, depending on the style. From inception, red microfiber has been used in lining Damier Ebene Canvas bags.
Do your findings if you’re looking into a particular bag, as a different and unique lining is used for each one. Be very attentive to details that are usually missed by counterfeits, such as checking information from the production year of a bag to know whether they used a particular lining that year.
Louis Vuitton is flawless when it comes to stitching, so all stitches will turn out perfectly even and straight. The number of stitches is always constant. For instance, real Louis Vuitton Speedy, Neverfull, and Alma bags will have just five stitches along all the tabs on which the handles are fastened – nothing more and nothing less. The stitchings should have no zig-zag or back and forth as flawless stitching is one of the biggest indicators of a real Louis Vuitton bag.
5. Zipper and Hardware
One easy way to be sure that your Louis Vuitton vintage bag is real is through the zippers.
Vintage Louis Vuitton bags usually come with Eclair or Talon zipper pulls instead of the LV pulls used in more recent bags. Generally, the hardware on real Louis Vuitton bags is never cheap or thrifty in appearance. If there are no defects and you can confirm that it is not made from plastic, then it is a real vintage bag.
Also, ensure that you examine the Louis Vuitton logo stamp found on the zipper pull. It should look clear and sharp. Note that Louis Vuitton uses hardware made of golden brass, regular brass, or silvery metal colors (except in some cases where they use matte finishings).
6. Date Codes
You can verify that your vintage bag is real through the date code. But note that there are some real handbags that don’t have the code as well as some counterfeit bags that come with the code. A Serial Number and a Date Code should be present on most authentic Louis Vuitton bags, though some may not have a model number.
The date code is made up of six characters. The first 2 from the left are letters while the remaining 4 are numbers. For Louis Vuitton bags made in the early 80s, only four digits are present, while those from the late 80s have 3-4 digits with two letters. There are some vintage handbags with one letter and 5 digits.
The first two letters indicate the country where the bag was manufactured while the numbers indicate the year and month of production. In January 2007, Louis Vuitton started using a different serial number reading system: For Louis Vuitton bags made in the early 80s, only four digits are present, while those from the late 80s have 3-4 digits with two letters.
7. Stamp and Font
One of the best ways to know that your Louis Vuitton vintage bag is real is by examining the Louis Vuitton stamp to take note of the details. The font is always unique. In Vuitton, there is a wide and perfectly round O and the two Ts almost touch. The L has a particularly short tail. The letter indicating the country where the bag was manufactured should be in uppercase.
8. Tags and Cards
If there are original tags on your vintage bag, ensure that these are a pair. They should have an ivory white color with a black barcode and a dark brown letter. A real bag will never have a round, plastic, yellow, or white Louis Vuitton bag. On one tag, you will find ‘Louis Vuitton’ along with the fabric used in making it. On the other tag, you will find the barcode, model number, and the exact name of the bag in French.
9. The Dust Bag
Until 2004, vintage bags always included a 100% cotton flannel bag with perfectly finished seams. The Louis Vuitton logo is embossed on it in extremely small and dark characters. On a real bag, there are no hints of color, text, or forms of squiggle. In addition, if the dust bag is not made of cheap material such as nylon, then your vintage Louis Vuitton bag is real.
Another way to know that your Louis Vuitton vintage bag is real is from the price. Be wary of a bag with pricing too good to be true. Louis Vuitton items are never cheap! As a matter of fact, the French brand never offers a discount, sales, or wholesale distribution in their original boutiques. Louis Vuitton products are sold for a constant price all year, which doesn’t come as a surprise, given their strong market value. You may actually come across some rare vintage Louis Vuitton bags that cost more than new models.