Louis Vuitton is one of the world’s most valuable fashion brands, and with that, it remains one of the most sought after in the world. But, in places like New York City, it has become increasingly strange to dictate real bags and such from others. With that, we’ve put together a guide on how to determine real from fake — after we mistakingly happened to accidentally come into possession of Louis Vuitton bag dating back to the Spring of 1930.
For example, let’s start with the Speedy 30 — first known as the Express in 1930 when it became a thing (h/t to the name). The obvious O.D to its name, the Speedy 30 is one of few bags still in existence that do not contain a serial number or date code because it was first manufactured before 1987. Louis Vuitton did not begin adding serial numbers and the like until 1987 when their policies and stuff began changing. Just because a bag doesn’t have one, doesn’t automatically mean its fake. It must also be noted that the date code (they are not often called serial numbers) very well could have faded.
We discovered this after it was determined that a bag that was given to us wasn’t actually a counterfeit as we had suspected. In fact, it was found to be an authentic original Express (Speedy 30) bag from 1930. With no date code present, we, originally weren’t aware that it was real until we did hefty research and sought the help of experts.
But, don’t stop there. Allot of different bags have different numbers, and, some have variating date codes. While it is extremely rare for a bag to not have a date code, it, isn’t entirely impossible.
Here are five tips to authenticating a Louis Vuitton bag:
- Check the obvious: There’s a difference between L0UIS VUITT0N and LOUIS VUITTON. The O’s need to be O’s and not 0’s. A popular feat among counterfeiters in New York City, is, that more often than not the lettering is off. This was the first sign that led us to have our bag investigated.
2. All LV logos; Louis Vuitton Paris logos, (etc) should all be facing the same direction. While an upside down logo doesn’t always necessarily mean something is up, it, is often rare to find something obviously upside down. Both versions of the same bag we encountered were upwards and right facing. Which is the second reason that led us to have it investigated.
3. The stitchings; linings, and more…
Should all be going in the same direction, have about 5 or so stitches going in that very direction, and should be done in meticulous fashion. If it looks a little sloppy, definitely get a second opinion before you make that big purchase. Bags that have been around for quite some time simply could have worn a bit, while others, are clearly counterfeit. For example, the 1930 ‘s Speedy/Express bag that we encountered indeed is a bit worn on the inside due to the fact that it has been around for more than 60 or so years. (Fun fact: We accidentally got it from a vendor in New York City who was later arrested for selling handbags without a license. Turns out, he had no idea that he was selling real bags).
Fun fact: If you absolutely cannot find a date code on the bag, we might suggest taking it to your nearest LV store or an authenticator. A local LV store was happy to . tell us about the bag we had. Otherwise, always check the seams and pay close attention to the inside of the bag. It may be heat stamped along the sides of the bag or may be slightly faded. Squint like your grandmother, you’ll find it.
4. Super fun fact….
Louis Vuitton bags with red alcantra interior, are, unfortunately super hard to actually see inside of. With the unusually colored interior (that makes it almost impossible to read anything on the interior) . it may be hard to actually find the date code or any numbers on the inside of the bag.