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How to Spot A Real Designer Bag From A Fake

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Beyond their fashionable & practical aspect, vintage designer bags are also great investments. Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès or Dior are unchangeable references on the luxury market, and their products will continue to sell well in the years to come. As a matter of facts, the scarce supply of bags produced each year by those brands vs customer demand for those same bags, make them very desirable. It is not uncommon to see people queuing outside of a Louis Vuitton store for instance, a brand which also has a strict policy when it comes to selling its bags (no sales, limited editions, reservation system for some items, limited vertical distribution network, etc.).

All this craze and at the same time limitation around luxury designer handbags, participate to making them lasting investments. They’re handmade works of art, just like a Rolex, a limited edition print or a vintage collection car are.

Louis Vuitton train
© Louis Vuitton

Handbags are a common thing. But yet, some brands and models are particularly sought after. Being able to identify a specific luxury handbag or series and know its value, is a rare and very desirable advantage. A Hermès Birkin bag sold 8,000€ at an auction may sound like crazy expensive to most of us. But does that still seem insane when this very same bag is actually worth 35,000€? (True story)

“Each Hermès bag gain in value over time. It is a heritage object just like a work of art is”

Cyril Pigot, Director at Artcurial Briest

There are still hidden gems out there waiting for the right eye to spot them. Flea markets, vintage shops, antique stores, auction houses are great places to find them if you’re on your lucky day. But what makes the difference between a great purchase and a poor bargain, will highly depend on your ability to spot the unique from the common, the real from the fake.

If you have troubles recognizing a genuine handbag from a fake, you should know that there are a few simple hints & obvious indicators to remember, that will help you make a thoughtful purchase. As a matter of facts, you might be surprised to see how trivial it is most of the time to distinguish the original from the imitation. Here is a list of the most common & obvious features of real designer bags vs counterfeits.