Did you know that Louis Vuitton is the most valuable luxury brand? Louis Vuitton is one of the most successful luxury brands of all time, and the company shows no signs of slowing down.
From 2019 to 2021, its value rose from 13.58 billion dollars to 14.86 billion dollars Sadly, this lofty status does not deter imitators and fraudsters.
Knockoffs and counterfeits of several Louis Vuitton products have been around since LV’s early days. These imitations vary in quality, but some are made well enough to fool unobservant shoppers.
If you want to know how to spot a fake Louis Vuitton bag, you need to familiarize yourself with all things LV.
The Louis Vuitton Brand
Even those who take no interest in the fashion world have heard of Louis Vuitton. Fashion fanatics and the rest of the world know this legendary brand name.
That world-renowned brown pattern with its LV monogram and distinctive yellow flowers represents the wildly famous fashion house. Louis Vuitton specializes in high-end luxury goods like shoes, clothing, accessories, and handbags.
The company got its start in 1854 and now exists as one of the oldest fashion retailers in the world. LV initially gained popularity by offering luxury trunks that featured the brand’s patented treated canvas.
That same treated canvas is used to create some handbag styles.
As one of the most coveted handbag brands ever, it is no surprise that scammers looking for a quick profit have developed several techniques to mimic LV’s exclusive, iconic merchandise.
Real vs Fake Louis Vuitton
Here are some general tips about the difference between real and fake LV bags:
-Look at the stitching. Real Louis Vuitton bags have very precise and even stitching. If the stitches are uneven or sloppy, it’s probably a fake.
-Examine the hardware. Louis Vuitton hardware should be made of solid metal, not plated metal or plastic. And it should be engraved with the Louis Vuitton logo.
-Check the date code. Every Louis Vuitton bag has a date code stamped on it that indicates when and where it was made.
The best way to be sure you’re getting a real Louis Vuitton bag is to buy from an authorized dealer.
Below we’ll go over the detailed steps on how you can spot a fake LV bag.
Read Also: Cheapest Louis Vuitton Bags
How to Spot a Fake Louis Vuitton Bag?
There are so many Louis Vuitton handbags on the market that it would take a novel to cover all the authentication tips for each bag.
Thankfully, there are still some distinct hallmarks you can always count on when scoping out an authentic LV bag.
Louis Vuitton has amassed over 150 years of consistently flawless craftsmanship.
The brand has a legacy of using only the highest quality materials and effectively executing its vision. The margin for error is small when the bags undergo quality testing before shipment.
When you search for signs of a fake Louis Vuitton bag, any inconsistencies or irregularities are major red flags.
This is especially true when it comes to the Louis Vuitton brand. Below you can find several tips on how to spot a fake Louis Vuitton bag.
Read on to discover this valuable information and ensure that you don’t get fooled.
Consider the Price Point
While the idea of getting a genuine Louis Vuitton bag to complete your wardrobe might sound like a dream come true, don’t let your eagerness get the better of your common sense.
When it comes to price, always trust your instincts. If you encounter a deal that seems too good to be true, you are probably getting scammed.
Louis Vuitton bags are luxury items known for being expensive collector’s items. A seller will rarely let go of an authentic LV bag for much cheaper than usual. There is a reason these handmade products sell for a thousand dollars plus.
Once you familiarize yourself with the quality craftsmanship, premium materials, and attention to detail in a Louis Vuitton bag, you will understand just why their price tags are so steep.
Authentic LV merchandise is well worth the price. So heavily discounted products could be a clue that the bag is fake.
Read Also: Does Louis Vuitton Have Sales
Search for Common Irregularities
There are many indicators to look for when authenticating a Louis Vuitton bag. At first glance, there are some glaring signs of luxury imitation.
Strange proportions, slouching, creasing, or similar inconsistencies in shape should put you on high alert.
Brand new bags will be in mint condition. They will be perfectly symmetrical and sturdy. The bag’s posture should be impeccable, with no creasing or slouching evident.
Used LV bags may develop a patina after a while, but they will still retain the same qualities as a new bag when stored properly.
Unlike other luxury brands, these bags are durable and easily retain their value. Keep a sharp eye out for any glaring signs of wear and tear.
That could be indicative of a fake bag. A quick once-over could reveal glaring issues before purchasing an imitation handbag, so stay alert.
Study the Iconic Monogram
The most notable feature of a Louis Vuitton product is the signature LV monogram pattern that made the brand a household name.
The monogram is often the first thing people notice on a Louis Vuitton handbag. It can be one of the best features to pay attention to when investigating the authenticity of an LV handbag.
A monogram pattern that is crooked or one that cuts off at the seam usually means the bag is a fake. A monogram that cuts off in the center is probably fraudulent as well.
The bags also sport three quatrefoil designs across them. Some Louis Vuitton bags consist of one continuous piece of leather.
This design will result in the pattern appearing upside down on one side.
Keep in mind that the material used to make Louis Vuitton’s bags is not leather.
The canvas might feel like expensive leather, but the bags should never have leather grains. Imitation bags tend to have faux leather interiors.
Below are a few exceptions to the rule. These monogram styles may differ in proportion, color, and placement.
Read Also: How to Clean a Louis Vuitton Bag
The brand’s Empreinte monogram is printed on calf leather to produce a supple, soft, and luxurious bag. Louis Vuitton’s leather has a distinct scent that never smells like chemicals.
Counterfeits will often have strange smells. LV leather is highly durable compared to other luxury brands, but it is not as durable as the original monogram canvas.
You can also find the Damier Monogram, a signature Louis Vuitton design with a fashionable checkerboard canvas.
The bags tend to come in two styles, a white and blue canvas called Damier Azur or a brown and black canvas called Damier Ebene.
The Louis Vuitton multicolor monogram comes from a limited-edition style discontinued almost 20 years ago.
These colorful designs come from a collaboration between Takashi Murakami and Louis Vuitton in 2003. The rainbow-colored bags are now very rare and highly sought after.
Lastly, we have the Vernis leather monogram. The Vernis is made of calfskin and varnished with shiny patent leather.
Unlike the classic monogram canvas, the Vernis is fragile and can easily be scuffed or scratched.
Read Also: How to Spot a Fake Chanel Bag
Verify the Hardware
Another great way to tell an authentic Louis Vuitton bag from a fake one is to inspect the hardware on the bag.
The term hardware refers to any part of the bag that is not the monogram canvas and the inner lining.
All the large pieces of hardware like clasps will include their etched monogram. It should be evenly placed and centered on the hardware.
If you look very closely, even the rivets on the bag should bear a stamp with the full Louis Vuitton logo. Always check all the rivets inside the bag and confirm all of them match.
Ensure that all the hardware on the bag is solid brass which is evenly colored and durable.
Fake bags often feature cheap, shiny gold plating that looks garish compared to authentic Louis Vuitton hardware.
Check out the Dust Cover
All authentic Louis Vuitton bags will come with a dust cover. They will either feature a monogram or the full Louis Vuitton logo and there should be nothing else on the dust cover. Dust covers can come in either drawstring or envelope style.
The covers will always be beige or soft tan and are made of one hundred percent cotton. A label comes printed on the dust cover indicating whether it comes from India or Spain.
If your dust cover includes extra information, like a serial number or a date code, then you have probably encountered a lookalike.
Watch Out for Sub-Par Stitching
Louis Vuitton bags are renowned for the quality stitchwork that goes into each one of their handmade products.
Poor stitching is a clear sign that the bag in question is fake.
The stitching on a Louis Vuitton bag will always be immaculate with no loose stitches, odd spacing, or unevenness. Each side should sport the same number of stitches without exception.
The hand stitches are angled slightly. Perfectly straight stitching means the bag is a knock-off that was made with a machine.
Authentic Louis Vuitton stitching will have a mustard yellow color. Sometimes you will find brown stitches on a real LV bag, but the stitching will never be bright yellow or any other color.
Louis Vuitton thread is treated with a resin that provides weather resistance and makes them extremely durable.
This resin is responsible for the thread’s distinctive tint and will often develop a darker patina with age.
Familiarize Yourself With Date and Country Codes
Louis Vuitton bags do not come with a conventional serial number. Instead, you want to look for a date code.
LV has included date codes somewhere inside every bag since the early 1980s. Vintage bags made before then do not include date codes.
Date codes refer to a combination of numbers and letters that are used to determine the location and date the bag was made.
The date is very accurate, down to which week of the year it was crafted. Sometimes the date code can be hard to find, but it should always be included somewhere in the bag.
Since 2007, Louis Vuitton date codes consist of two letters followed by four numerical digits. The letters indicate the location of the Louis Vuitton factory where the bag was made.
The first and third digits tell you the week of the year it was made. The second and fourth numbers represent what year the bag was made in.
Bags manufactured between 1990 and 2006 are very similar. They sport date codes with two letters and four digits.
The letters show the factory location while the first and third numbers represent the month in which the bag was made.
The second and fourth numbers indicate the year that bag was manufactured.
According to Lollipuff, a popular authentication service, this is a list of all the county codes used in Louis Vuitton date codes.
- Made in France
o A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS (Special Order), AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, DR, DU, DT, CO, CT, CX, ET, FL, LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SA, SD, SF, SL, SN, SP, SR, TA, TJ, TH, TN, TR, TS, VI, VX
- Made in Italy
o BC, BO, CE, FO, FY, MA, NZ, OB, PL, RC, RE, SA, TD
- Made in Spain
o BC, CA, LO, LB, LM, LW, GI, UB
- Made in the U.S.A.
o FC, FH, FL, LA, OS, SD, TX
- Made in Switzerland
o DI, FAMade in Germany
o LP, OL
Unfortunately, resourceful counterfeiters can produce near-perfect replicas and are aware of Louis Vuitton’s date code system.
They use that knowledge to make fake bags extremely convincing, so identifying date codes is not a full-proof method to authenticate your Louis Vuitton bag.
Look Closely at the Lining
Other luxury handbags are only available with one type of lining. Louis Vuitton bags can be purchased with dozens of different linings.
Some are made from microfiber suede, while others have a smaller monogram pattern. There are also honey and red-colored canvas and even leather interiors.
It helps to research the specific bag model so you know what kind of lining it should have.
Fraudulent bags often have cheap material inside because imitators are not as worried about the lining.
They focus all their efforts on the exterior to try and fool luxury shoppers. Plastic and brown suede are often utilized in knockoff Louis bags.
Some Louis styles will have vertical stripes inside and a few are made with Alcantara fabric. Certain limited-edition designs have brightly colored linings in turquoise and raspberry pink.
Damier Ebene bags boast a bright red lining that is thick and soft to the touch.
Read Also: Why is Louis Vuitton so Expensive
Analyze the Bag’s Handles
You might not pay too much attention to the handles on a designer bag, but it is one of the easy ways you can differentiate between a real Louis Vuitton bag and a fake one.
Let your sense of touch guide you and feel for smooth, soft leather on the straps.
This leather is called Vachetta and it oxidizes with time. This provides the leather with a darkened patina.
The straps might also sport a contrasting burgundy trim. Any other color of trim indicates a fake LV bag.
If you have owned a bag for some time or purchased a vintage handbag and the handles remain the same pale color, this is a sure sign of a duplicate Louis Vuitton.
Identify the Lettering and Stamping
One of the most important identifiers on an authentic Louis Vuitton bag is the lettering and stamping of the bag.
The better bag forgers can easily recreate the famous Louis Vuitton font, so buyers must know how to spot the tiniest irregularities.
Here are a few easy tips to remember when trying to recognize an authentic Louis Vuitton stamp.
- Observe the font on the stamp and the placement
- Authentic letters should be thin and etched
- The tail of the L on the logo will be extremely short
- The O will be larger than the L and is very round
- The two Ts are usually touching each other
- If not, they are close enough that it is indistinguishable
Never Forget the Zipper
It might be the last detail you would notice on a Louis Vuitton bag, but like every other detail, it can be a big clue about the authenticity of the handbag. Any zipper pulls on the bag will feature the iconic LV monogram or the full logo.
The logo or monogram will be cleanly printed. Any variation of the font or imprint is a major red flag.
Ensure that you test the zippers before you purchase the bag as well. The pulls will glide smoothly and will not get caught on themselves.
It might seem like a very small detail, but even the savviest shoppers can skip this step and end up with a very convincing fake in their closet.
Read Also: What are Louis Vuitton Bags Made of
The Big Picture on How to Spot a Fake LV Bag
Louis Vuitton bags have a reputation as the most counterfeited bags in existence. This means spotting a counterfeit Louis handbag can be quite a task.
Imitators have been making copycat LV bags since 1872 and knockoffs are more advanced today than ever before.
This list is not an exhaustive study on how to spot a fake Louis Vuitton bag.
Thankfully, if you pay close attention to detail and familiarize yourself with the attributes of authentic LV merchandise, you have a much smaller chance of getting fooled.
Above all, trust your instincts and remember that Louis Vuitton bags are the epitome of craftsmanship and quality. Even the smallest of inconsistencies is suspicious.
Buying a Louis bag, new or used, is a big investment. Be sure to check off all the tips on this list before spending your hard-earned money.