When we think of luxury bags, one of the first brands that strike our minds is Louis Vuitton. But ever since the brand’s introduction in 1854, their biggest concern was and still is the counterfeit bags. Their monogram canvas was originally introduced to tackle this problem. Of late, identifying a genuine LV bag has become increasingly difficult but you can definitely learn how to spot a replica using these simple steps.
The design and construction of every LV model will be different. So we’ve picked the popular Louis Vuitton monogram Speedy to demonstrate how to identify a fake from real.

LV Bag
LV Bag

Measure the size of LV bag
  • The classic Speedy comes in four sizes: 25, 30, 35 and 40. Measure and cross check with the sizes given below (length x height x width)
  • Speedy 25 – 25 x 19 x 15 cm
  • Speedy 30 – 30 x 21 x 17 cm
  • Speedy 35 – 35 x 23 x 18 cm
  • Speedy 40 – 40 x 25 x 19 cm
Feel the material for Authenticity
  • This is a foolproof method. If you’ve owned a monogram LV bag before, you’ll know what we mean
  • The material is canvas yet it is very smooth and soft to touch
  • It is flexible and has a little sheen when observed under light
  • Fake ones will have a plastic feel and be less flexible. Often, replicas have a matte finish
LV Monogram patterns
Monogram Patterns
Monogram Patterns
  • Though introduced to prevent counterfeiting, sadly the monogram is perhaps the most replicated LV pattern. It is extremely difficult to spot a fake just by looking at it
  • So what we can do is check its proportion on the bag
  • The monogram patterns are perfectly symmetrical from every direction
  • For example, when checked diagonally, if the pattern begins with a half circle, then it will also end in a half circle. The same applies vertically and horizontally too. That’s perfect symmetry!
  • Patterns in LV bags
    Patterns in LV bags
  • The two patterns on the top zipper will be a mirror image
  • This is because the Speedy has been crafted from a single leather piece
  • So, on one side of the bag, the patterns appear upside down
  • The bottom of the Speedy bag features no seams
LV Handle
  • An authentic Speedy handle will be pale beige in color
  • Overtime, the color will change to honey patina
  • This is because the handle is made from vachetta leather which is untreated European calf hide
  • Continual exposure to air and sunlight causes the leather to oxidise and darken eventually
  • The handle also has contrast red trims
  • On a genuine Speedy, this trim will be burgundy red and slowly darken overtime. In replicas, these trims are often bright red
  • Feel the handle strap; you will notice stitching indentations. In most counterfeits, these indentations will be missing
Construction of a LV bag
  • LV stitching is meticulous. For example, even the number of stitches per inch will be symmetric
  • The thread used for stitching is a mustard yellow color
  • The inner lining is canvas brown
  • Construction
Hardware of LV bags
  • The hardware is brass plated and will turn darker gradually
  • The rivets will also develop a greenish hue
  • But the functioning will always be smooth
Date Stamping
Date Stamping
Date Stamping
  • It was introduced post 1980
  • Lift the inside pocket of the Speedy bag, you’ll find the date stamp on the backside of the handle
  • The size and spacing will be perfectly even. In replicas, you will notice minor irregularities
  • LV bags are made in France, USA, Spain, Italy, Germany and Switzerland
  • The date stamp indicates the country, month and year of manufacture
  • Let’s decode it. Example: VI 2019 reads CC WYWY. So made in France, on the 21st week of 2009
  • For a vintage bag, if an owner has had it restored, LV will issue a new date code with the country of restoration. So check cross check with the seller
Trust your instincts
  • Louis Vuitton never puts its products on sale
  • If you are buying a vintage LV, always check the seller’s background, customer reviews and return policy

We hope these tips would prove helpful in identifying a fake LV bag. Remember to always buy from a Louis Vuitton store or online at louisvuitton.com unless of course, it is pre-owned. Your nearest LV store will be mentioned in their website.

Published by Nivedita Longjam

Nivedita is a fashion designer, freelance writer and a computer enthusiast. She believes in the 'Zen' teachings of life that sadly, goes out the window half the time. For the remaining half, a warm cup of tea and the company of good books, good music and her adorable pets help her stay Zen like.

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