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How to Authenticate Louis Vuitton Bags

Designer bags and luxury brands have definitely become an important part of the fashion industry. A luxury bag is the perfect way to spice up any outfit, regardless if you’re going to a fashion show or just to run errands. There’s never a bad time to wear your favorite bags. But it can be difficult learning how to authenticate Louis Vuitton bags.

The French Fashion House that is Louis Vuitton began in 1854 and grew into one of the most notorious luxury brands. At the age of sixteen Louis Vuitton knew he would become a trunk-master. He set off to Paris by foot, which would then change his life and the Vuitton family lives forever. Obviously, the more popular his craftsmanship got meant more counterfeits would start to be produced.

It’s not always easy to tell the difference between authentic bags and fake bags. A fake handbag and fake purse that look like luxury a brand have become increasingly more popular over the years. That’s why we’re here to tell you how to authenticate Louis Vuitton bags.

It’s not only important to pay attention to the major details of authentic Louis Vuitton products, the minor details can be just as beneficial. Pay attention to if the stitching is even and in the right place. Look at the front of the bag, the back of the bag, the sides of the bag, the inside of the bag, the handles. Check if the side seam is a little bit off or if they are perfectly aligned. Examine the materials; is it Epi leather, Vachetta leather or cross-grain leather? There are countless factors that can go into authenticating luxury goods.

Here’s the scoop on fake Louis Vuitton bags compared to authentic Louis Vuitton bags.

Check the Stitching

A real Louis Vuitton bag will have top tier workmanship making it easy to tell if the bag is authentic or not. The bag will have perfectly aligned stitches that are all the same length. If the bag is the real thing, the stitches will be the same length every time. If they aren’t all aligned and the same length, you probably aren’t looking at a real Louis Vuitton.

The color of the thread is another important factor in authenticating a Louis Vuitton bag. On a classic brown LV bag, the color of the stitching is a mustard yellow color. Counterfeits tend to use a brighter yellow. A bright yellow thread will indicate that the bag is not real.

Another easy way to quickly tell if the bag is real is to count the number of stitches. Louis Vuitton uses a set number of stitches on certain items and on certain style bags. It’s known that the number of stitches that attach the handle to the bag has exactly five stitches that go across it. The speedy bag and all other bags will follow this every time.

Look at the Shape and Proportions

Luxury items are top-notch quality, that’s why their price tags are so high. Authentic LV bags are sure to have balanced proportions and the bag should not slouch. Creasing of the material is often a sign of being counterfeit items. If any odd proportions, slouching or creasing is noticed just by looking at the bag, it’s not the real deal.

Louis Vuitton’s hardware is specifically used to design durable products that will retain their shape and posture for years to come. Vintage bags and older bags should hold the original shape and continue to not slouch just like a modern Louis Vuitton bag would.

Examining the shapes, proportions and posture is one of the first and most important things to do when looking to buy a designer handbag.

Check the Stamping and Font

The first thing to check is the stamping. This will tell you a lot about how to authenticate Louis Vuitton bags,

Looking at the stamping is a great way to check if you are looking at a genuine Louis Vuitton bag or not. The stamping is kept consistent amongst all Louis Vuitton items. On the inside of the bag there will be a leather tag with a Louis Vuitton Paris heat stamp. The font size, spacing and quality is able to point to any red flags.

Checking the distance between the “L” and “O” or between the two “T’s” can help to authenticate the bag. If there is a noticeable gap between either the “L” and “O” or the “T’s,” this is a dead giveaway of counterfeit bags. A real bag will also have the ® symbol in the same placement everytime. It will be found above “Louis Vuitton” and placed symmetrically between the “V” and “U” in Vuitton.

The capital letters, specifically the “L,” are important when looking at authentic Louis Vuitton logos. The “L” has a noticeably short base, also referred to as a short tail. The “Os” are known for their round look, not oval.

The Louis Vuitton stamp is a crucial feature and the best way to tell the difference between real and fake Louis Vuitton handbags is by looking closely at this.

Make Sure the Date Code is Correct

Louis Vuitton has been using a date stamp and code system to detail where and when the bags were made since the early 1980’s. Louis Vuitton date codes are a combination of letters and numbers. The letters and numbers determine where the bag was made and the accurate time the bag was made. A date code is not the same as a serial number.

The letter code will refer to the factory location of where the bag was made. Louis Vuitton uses a combination of letters to represent the countries in which the real bags are made, known as a country code. Some of the letters are the same for the United States and France, and for Italy and France.

The numbers refer to the specific time the bags are made. The first and third numbers represent the week of the year the bag was made. The second and fourth number represents the year of production. The code numbers have changed over the years. Up until 2007, it used to be the first and third number representing the month and the second and last number representing the year.

The model number is not always going to be stamped in a Louis Vuitton product. Model numbers are mainly only on the website if the product is still available or on the paper tag that came with the product. It is the date code that will be stamped on the bags. Smaller items such as belts and scarves may be an exception and can have the model number stamped directly on them.

The date code definitely adds to the authenticity of the bag, but don’t solely rely on just this! The product codes can just verify the time and location of the manufacturing of the bag.

Check if There is an Authenticity Card

Now this is a big one and an extremely easy indicator at that. Louis Vuitton does not and never has had authenticity cards come with their bags. If your LV bag has an authenticity bag, then it turns out it’s a fake. 

Louis Vuitton’s stamping system is how they keep track of the bags made. It tracks the location and time, as we mentioned previously. The code should always match the “made in (country)” heat stamp.

Look at the Material and Patterns

Louis Vuitton hardware is unique and of the highest quality. There is no such thing as poor quality LV. Louis Vuitton has a variety of materials and designs. Knowing the materials Louis Vuitton uses will be beneficial in determining if the bag is authentic.

The classic monogram canvas is one of the most popular and recognizable materials of Louis Vuitton. The Louis Vuitton monogram pattern has been around since 1896 and has found its way onto many of the iconic handbags, wallets and luggage. The pattern should always be the same as well; a fleur-de-lis, a circle, a fleur-de-lis, the LV logo.

The multicolor monogram works a little bit differently. The LV multicolor monogram was created in 2003 and discontinued in 2015. The monogram pattern should still follow the same way as the classic monogram. Be sure to check the date stamp when repurchasing one of these.

The Damier canvas is another one on the list of iconic Louis Vuitton styles. Other Damier designs have been created since the original, including the Damier Anuz, Damier Graphite, Damier Infini and the Damier Ebene canvas. Damier Ebiene canvas bags are one of Louis Vuitton’s biggest successes. Take a close look at the checkmark pattern, there should be no cutting in the squares. The continuous piece of leather should have a perfect square pattern.

The Louis Vuitton Leathers

Real LV bags and small goods are made from multiple different types of leather. The leathers the brand uses in each product are to showcase a unique look carrying the spirit of Louis Vuitton. The durable leather is perfect for everyday use or for special occasions.

Louis Vuitton’s Epi leather, created in early 1980s, is ideal for everyday use for both men and women. The Epi leather pieces have a stamp with an “LV” in the bottom right corner. Epi leather uses a textured horizontal line pattern. Real Epi leather will hold vibrant colors. A vintage Louis Vuiotton bag made from Epi leather will look new for years.

Vachetta leather is a good indicator to see if your LV bag is real. Vachetta is often on the top, bottom and handles of Louis Vuitton handbags and luggage. Also, Vachetta comes from natural, untreated calf hide. It starts out as a pale color, but it should turn to a golden shade as it ages due to the oils from hands. If the Vachetta leather does not change colors, the bag is a fake.

Look Closely at the Zipper

Another way to go abotut learning how to authenticate Louis Vuitton bags is by checking the zipper. The zippers of Louis Vuitton bags can be a hard feature to review, it takes more knowledge than just common sense. Obviously, there are different styles of zippers for the different styles of bags. However, there are some key features to note in all real LV zippers.

The zipper is symmetrical and the “LV” or “Louis Vuitton” will always be perfectly centered on the zipper. Even authentic Louis Vuitton zippers can experience tarnishing, discoloration and scratching over an extensive period of time. The LV marking should remain intact and clear if it’s the real deal.

Majority of the older bags have brass hardware. Most of the modern bags, from the 1980s and on, consist of a coated base metal. Fake zippers are often plastic or tin and have paint to look like golden brass or the coated base metal real bags use.

Authentic zippers hold up much better than non authentic zippers do. The finish of an authentic LV zipper will be perfectly symmetrical and the shape will be the same for each type of bag every time. The bottoms are normally curved, but not round. Fake zippers tend to mess up the shape. They are either too wide at the bottom or too rounded. The finish on fake zippers can have streaks, air bubbles or show wear and tear extremely fast.

The zipper pull should be smooth. You should not have to struggle or mess around with the zipper for the bag or luggage to unzip.

Take A Look at the Dust Bag

All authentic Louis Vuitton bags come with a dust bag. A real LV dust bag will simply either say “Louis Vuitton” or have the monogram on there and that’s all. The bags are made of soft 100% cotton and are tan in color.

The history of the dust bags is important to know so you can be sure of what you are buying. Before 2004, the dust bags were made from beige flannel with the LV logo on it with brown drawstrings. The years of 2004-2016 used beige flannel or linen for their dust bags with the LV logo printed in brown. In 2016, the bags changed again. The dust covers now were a cream color with navy blue writing. The boxes are orange with navy blue writing.

There are two styles that the dust cover comes in. The first is an envelope style. There is a flap that opens to get to the bag. The other style is a drawstring bag.

If a dust bag says anything other than the name or the monogram on the bag, that is a huge red flag that it is fake.

Creating A Special Order

Louis Vuitton takes pride in their special orders tradition and have been doing this for over 160 years. Special Orders are a way for people to fit a specific need, express their individuality and reach their dreams.

My LV Heritage creates a way for people to personalize a monogram or damier bag, luggage or small leather goods. Hot stamping or hand painting is a complimentary option to add to your LV products.

You can request the service for personalizations in stores, on the website or if purchasing over the phone.

Special Orders and My LV Heritage makes it possible to own a unique Louis Vuitton piece, something that can’t be counterfeit.

Purchasing luxury items is a big commitment and we want to provide you with all the best tips before making your purchase. We hope this helps you learn how to authenticate Louis Vuitton bags!

Be sure to read the scoop before going to buy your next vintage Louis Vuitton bag! If you want to add to your collection, you can shop wallets and phone cases!

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