Louis Vuitton is the most counterfeited designer out there. They have produced many different lines of bags throughout the years; canvas monogram, epi, vernis, damier azur just to name a few of their outside finishes. With all of this, authentication can be overwhelming. So, we put together an easy beginner's guide to authenticating Louis Vuitton bags. Enjoy!
When authenticating Louis Vuitton purses, there are many details to study: leather, stitch trim, inside lining, hardware details, monogram pattern/alignment, d-rings, etc, etc. Unless you're really familiar with LV, it is just too much! So, let's look at 3 of the most important authentication features that apply to ALL Louis Vuitton bags.
These are all AUTHENTIC Louis Vuitton stamps.
The main Louis Vuitton stamp is very important for authentication, and oftentimes it can easily allow you to determine that a bag is fake.
Features to pay attention to:
1. The tail on the L is very short.
2. The O's are very round and look bigger than the L.
3. The T's are almost touching each other or are so close that it looks like it.
4. Lettering should be thin to somewhat thin, clear and very crisp.
5. Study the general font used and how it is aligned.
*There are rare exceptions to the above rules.*
Next up, are some counterfeits that you can compare to:
These are all FAKE Louis Vuitton stamps.
Notice how the first three fake Louis Vuitton stamps all have obvious errors. For instance, oval O's instead of round O's, the size of the O's, the space between the T's, and width of the imprint.
The last (4th) fake Louis Vuitton stamp is from a better counterfeit. Notice how this stamping does not appear to have any mistakes. Further authentication steps would be required to weed out this fake.
Authentic zipper is on the left, while the counterfeit zipper is on the right.
In general, most fake Louis Vuitton bags will have very poor quality hardware. In fact, some are colored plastic!
Observing how clean and precise the imprinting is on hardware will also be a giveaway for many fakes. Notice how clean and crisp the lettering and imprinting on the authentic hardware is compared to the replicas.
Authentic clasp is on the left, while the fake clasp is on the right.
All Louis Vuitton bags before the early 1980s did not come with a datecode. But most Louis Vuitton bags still in circulation will have a datecode.
Datecodes can provide the date and place of manufacture of the bag. Because many datecodes provide the country origin of this bag, this can be another checkpoint for authentication. Again, this is another thing that counterfeiters mess up on. Please note the below list may not include all datecodes.
For instance, the fake datecode is MI 1920. MI means that the bag came from France. If the stamping on the Louis Vuitton bag states: made in U.S.A or Spain, you know that this bag is a counterfeit. The country signified on the datecode must be the same country specified on the "Made in" stamping.
Countries and their Datecodes:
made in France- A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS (Special Order), AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, DR, DU, DR, 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- BC, BO, CE, FO, MA, NZ, OB, PL, RC, RE, SA, TD
made in Spain- BC, CA, LO, LB, LM, LW, GI, UB
made in U.S.A.- FC, FH, FL, LA, OS, SD, TX
made in Switzerland- DI, FA
made in Germany- LP, OL
Datecodes are located on a piece of leather on the inside of the bag or on the side near a seam inside the bag. They can sometimes be difficult to find. Unless the datecode has been rubbed down or the bag is very vintage, it should always be there. Fake bags oftentimes do not have datecodes.
We hope that this simplified guide helps you significantly. These 3 easy tips would be adequate for many Louis Vuitton counterfeits. A thorough authentication guide for Louis Vuitton would cover specific hardware pieces, datecode fonts, monogram alignment and much more; it would be extremely lengthy and too exhaustive for a non-specialist!
Love learning about authentication? Then, you'll probably want to read about authenticating Christian Louboutin shoes, and authenticating Chanel classic double flap bag. Or, test your Celine authentication skills or other designers.
And, if you don't want to worry about authenticity at all, browse all of these authentic Louis Vuitton bags on sale here.