Admittedly I have a problem – I am a hoarder of bags. It doesn’t matter how many I already own, I have an itch that I can’t scratch until I impulsively purchase a bag. My top three bags are: The Hermes Constance, which is a long one-sided love affair, the second is the Sac Du Jour by Saint Laurent and the third is the Gucci Lady Web, in the most gorgeous crimson suede. The problem is I am not affluent enough to pay for such luxuries at the rate that I fall in and out of love with them. Truth be told, I am not too fussed about it either- there are some great high street options available with similar styles.
Being a bag enthusiast is a hard job- you bear a constant burden of figuring out what someone is carrying is original or fake and if its fake- how fake is it? To each their own, but sometimes my eyes can’t help glaring into the souls of the sad copies. I live by a simple rule- if you can’t afford it, don’t settle for a copy and for that I will set out my reasoning later. I did a bit of digging and found that there are quite a few people here selling AAAA copies of designer bags and they claim that the every last detail including the material is the same as the original.
Designer bags are a status symbol for people here and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t go with your outfit, older women and girls alike will carry them shamelessly – kudos for the confidence but really?
The Hermes Constance is classic – the bag is pure elegance and can go from a day to a night bag with next to no effort. However, the price tag the most basic of version carries starts at a throwaway price of $8, 677 dollars. Even if you buy a pre-loved bag it will, if it’s in a good condition at least cost you almost 2/3rds of the retail price, if not more. Now to put things into perspective- I have seen a crazy amount of Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent bags recently and more than half were well, copies of the original.
- The state of the stamp is the first sign: Where stamps on fake bags are not only slightly larger letters but also spotty. The authentic bag has a very clean stamp. The colour of the stamp is always the same colour as the hardware of the bag.
- The ‘made in…’ part of the stamp can also help recognize if the bag is fake. The LV/Murakami Cherry Blossom collaboration handbags were in fact made in Spain, so any bag that carried the ‘Made in France’ stamps were faker than the blonde bits in my hair.
- The engraving on the hardware for original bags is very clean, almost like it was written with a pen, however the fake bag carries a deep-set engraving and the colour of the tiny bolts in fake bags differs slightly.
- The engraving on the bottom of the lock for the original Hermes is neat whereas on the fake bag it is deep set and too close together. The lacquer on the fake also peels off after some time.
- The inside lining of an original Hermes is always matted however in the fake version the lining is rather shiny. The lining of the various bags can differ, however it is the quality of the lining that can give it away.
- No matter what material is used for the bag, the straps are always leather. The best way to test for authentic leather is to see how it is to the touch. It should not be sticky or slippery. It should be smooth and dry to the touch.
- If the bag is patterned, such as the Monogram or Damier canvas, the pattern is never cut of and is in fact sewn in a manner that keeps the pattern flowing throughout. LV nags are made up a single rolled piece of canvas. If the pattern whether it’s a quilted Chanel or a LV Damier does not line up, it is definitely not original.
- The stitching is one of the most important aspects; with original bags, great caution is taken with stitching that essentially means that there will be no missed or double or frayed stitching. Original bags last longer partly due to the quality of their stitching, which does not fall apart due to wear and tear. The quilted Chanel is never puffy and this is due to the high thread count. A low thread count would cause the quilted effect to be puffy.
- For a Chanel, always remember, the right C of the logo overlaps on the top and the left C overlaps at the bottom. If it’s any other way- its not Chanel!
- The authenticity cards are always an indicator of an original bag. Some manufacturers also copy these to the last detail. However bags by Louis Vuitton do not come with authenticity cards but instead has date codes on the inside of the bags.
- A serial tracker for Chanel, depending on the era it was produced in can vary from 6 to 8 digits and never more.
- Always remember, the cowhide LV leather oxidizes naturally over time so the bag may become a little darker over time.
Since manufacturers of copies have become extremely meticulous in their copies, the small details can tell the difference. Some retailers of AAAA copies retail bags such as the LV Damier Neverfull GM for RS.30, 000 and even the Constance for about the same amount.
An expensive bag is an investment. The Neverfull GM you can sell a year later at 80% of the retail price if the condition is decent. Even designer bags whose conditions are not very favourable are sold for at least half or slightly less than half of the price. So go on, save and invest. Nothing like the joy of purchasing your very own designer bag!