Louis Vuitton bags are iconic and a must-have for any fashionista – but how can you spot a fake Louis Vuitton bag from a real one? Don’t worry, we’re here to help answer that question!
Authentic Louis Vuitton bags are some of the most sought-after handbags in the world thanks to their stunning designs and the famous LV logo monogram. Unfortunately, this does mean that LV bags are some of the most replicated in the world, and there are plenty of counterfeit bags knocking about.
In this article, we’ll share everything that you need to know if you are trying to work out if a Louis Vuitton handbag that you own is real, or if you’ve been sold a fake.
Brief History Of Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton began his well-known brand by making trunks in 19th-century France. Vuitton walked 292 miles to Paris from his hometown and was taken on as an apprentice, learning how to make durable trunks for luxury travel.
In 1858, Louis Vuitton made a name for himself by creating the first LV flat-top trunk – these were much more practical for travel as they could be stacked but were also waterproof.
Even in the late 19th century, Louis Vuitton needed to prevent his popular products from being counterfeit copies. Hand-painted patterns, including a stripe and the now-famous Damier print, covered Louis Vuitton items so that these sought-after products couldn’t be copied.
Many Louis Vuitton bags proved so popular that they are still around today, with only minimal changes from when they were first introduced. The Speedy bag is one of these beloved LV bags. It was first introduced in 1930 in three different sizes, as a more convenient version of the Keepall. Later, Audrey Hepburn requested a smaller version of the Speedy, so the 25 size was added to the collection.
Two years later, the Noé was added to the collection of Louis Vuitton bags as one of the first bucket bags available to 1930s shoppers.
The Noé was designed to carry five bottles of champagne at the request of one of France’s best champagne producers. The remarkable design has guaranteed that it has stood the test of time to remain in Louis Vuitton boutiques still to this day.
Another favorite LV bag was also designed in the 1930s – the Alma. This momentous bag was personally commissioned by Coco Chanel. The beautifully curved design was inspired by the Pont de l’Alma bridge and was initially a larger bag, called the Alma Voyage.
By 1934 Coco Chanel agreed to a small version of the Alma being released and this stunning bag has remained a part of the Louis Vuitton cannon to the present day.
Perhaps one of the most famous tote bags out there, the Louis Vuitton Neverfull, was only designed and released in 2007, under the leadership of creative director Marc Jacobs. The timeless design and totally practical details are mixed with a little bit of the Louis Vuitton heritage to create one of the brand’s best-selling bags.
How To spot a fake Louis Vuitton bag
While we’ve done our best to describe the most important differences you need to watch out for when looking out for a fake LV bag, we understand that sometimes, a video describing the differences can be invaluable. So, we’ve also embedded a helpful comparison video from Emma Anders below.
1. The Silhouette
The first thing you should notice when it comes to a fake bag is an imperfect silhouette. Red flags include a bag that is slouching, creased, or has unnatural proportions, meaning it probably is a fake.
The top craftsmanship associated with Louis Vuitton products means that genuine Louis Vuitton bags are produced perfectly with sturdy handles and a strong and symmetrical shape; they should stay this way even after years and years of use.
Real Louis Vuitton handbags will have flawless stitching – the authentic bags are hand-stitched, meaning there should be a slight angle on the stitches to show that it has been done by hand. If the stitches are perfectly straight, frayed, or unsymmetrical, this could be a sign it is a fake LV bag.
The color of the stitches will also help you to work out if it is the real deal – Louis Vuitton makes sure to coat its threads in resin to guarantee durability, which gives the stitching a mustard-yellow color. Often, fake Louis Vuitton handbags will try to recreate this color but instead, the threads are a synthetic yellow or orange.
You can also count the number of stitches to check to see if it is a real bag – the top of the tab where the handles join to the body of the bag should have 3 or 5 stitches, depending on the style of the bag. An even number or any more or less will indicate that this is a fake Louis Vuitton bag.
3. The inside Stamp
All LV bags will have a leather label that has a heat stamp Louis Vuitton Paris logo – this is one of the best ways to see if your bag is an authentic LV bag. Inside of the bag, this label should be easy to find and if you look closely at the spacing and font of the stamp you should be able to determine if it is the real thing.
The L of Louis should have a short base and the O should sit close to the L – if there is a noticeable gap between the L and O, it could be one of the fake Louis Vuitton bags.
Another easy way to check the authenticity of this stamp is to check the placement of the ® symbol. This ® should sit directly above the center of the V and U in Vuitton. If this symbol is not central and closer to the V or U, then the handbag is probably a counterfeit.
4. Serial Number
A genuine Louis Vuitton bag will have a serial number that is formatted in a date and location system so you can work out where and when your luxury bag was made. The serial number will begin with two capital letters; this is in reference to where the bag is made, and then four numbers indicate when the bag was made.
The first and third numbers refer to the week of the year the bag was made, while the second and fourth numbers will let you know the year the bag was made. This serial number system was brought in during the 1980s, so vintage bags will not have the same serial number format.
However, some counterfeit bags, known as super-fakes, try to replicate the serial number so it is worth checking the serial number alongside other aspects so you are 100% sure you have an authentic bag.
5. The LV monogram
The monogram pattern is an instantly-recognizable element of a Louis Vuitton item and is something you should check for authenticity.
The placement of the monogram should be careful and consistent, with no elements that are cut off or crooked. There should be no seams in the middle of the bag as the leather is in one piece, so the Monogram should flow seamlessly over the entire bag.
6. Authenticity cards
Another red flag is if the handbag comes with an authenticity card. A real Louis Vuitton bag would never come with an authenticity card, so this is one surefire way to see if you have one of the counterfeit bags.
Although inside a real LV bag, you may find a small cream card with the name of the style of bag and a barcode – this is not a card of authenticity.
Louis Vuitton Materials
Not only do the materials show how well-made and durable Louis Vuitton handbags are, but they can also act as a good way of showing a real or fake Louis Vuitton product.
Firstly, Louis Vuitton bags should feel smooth and soft, displaying the quality of the continuous piece of leather that the handbag is made from. If the fabric feels stiff or rough, or maybe even smells of chemicals, these are telltale signs that this is a fake handbag.
While the monogram canvas that is often used to make the Neverfull bags is luxurious. it is not leather, and thus it should not have any leather grains. Some counterfeit items use fake leather to replicate this canvas because they are not able to treat the canvas in the same way that Louis Vuitton does.
Although LV’s canvas bags are not made from leather, they all have a vachetta leather trim. When your bag is new, it will be light in color and even over the entire bag. Over time, exposed areas of this vachetta leather will darken to give the bag an authentic patina.
If you are buying your Louis Vuitton bag on the secondhand market, make sure to check that this leather trim has darkened in exposed areas, but remained a lighter color in more concealed areas.
Our top picks
If you are looking to buy a Louis Vuitton bag, these classics are some of our favorites and a guaranteed to never go out of style.
1. The Speedy
The Speedy is a classic from the Louis Vuitton cannon – the stunning round shape is totally individual and completely timeless.
The LV Speedy is also available in different sizes, the 25 was created upon the request of Audrey Hepburn, while the Nano was created more recently for those customers who wanted something a little more compact. Both are great options if you are looking to add a first Louis Vuitton bag to your collection.
2. The Neonoe
One of the first bucket bags out there, the Neonoe was added to the LV bag collection in 1932. This roomy bag is perfect if you like a little more space but still want to look effortlessly stylish.
The classic LV canvas is accented by the peach cream accents on this more traditional example of the Neonoe bag. Or, if you are looking for something a little unique, there is also the beautiful summer cream option, with an oversized, ombre LV monogram.
3. The Onthego
The Onthego is a more recent design that Louis Vuitton has added to their collection of irresistible bags. If you are looking for something a little more structured, then the Onthego is perfect for you.
The brown and beige edition has an oversized LV monogram on the bag, then the handles are decorated with the reverse monogram – a completely stunning detail. For something a little more neutral, the Onthego in Tourterelle is perfect. The monogram is subtly embossed into buttery-soft leather for a more delicate finish.
If you are looking to buy a Louis Vuitton handbag secondhand, make sure to check the little details to make sure you are getting a genuine bag. If you are buying your LV bag from a Louis Vuitton boutique, you can guarantee that this is an authentic bag.
However, if you buy your new bag from a resale sites like Fashionphile, be sure to check the stitching, quality of the leather, serial number, and Louis Vuitton stamp to be sure you have your hands on the real deal. After that, just enjoy your stunning new Louis Vuitton bag!
We hope you found this article on how to spot a fake Louis Vuitton bag helpful! For more luxury fashion content, check out the posts below.