What Does Authentic Mean in Purses?

What Does Authentic Mean in Purses?

As a fashion-conscious individual, you might have heard the term “authentic” used frequently when discussing designer handbags. But what does it even mean for a purse to be authentic? I understand that this can be a confusing topic, which is why I’ve taken the time to conduct extensive research on the subject.

In this article, I’ll share my insights on what does authentic mean in purses. From examining the stitching to reviewing the materials used, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to ensure that the designer bag you’re interested in purchasing is the real deal. So, if you’re passionate about designer handbags and want to ensure you’re investing in a genuine product, keep reading!

Examining Brand Signatures

Examining Brand Signatures

One of the most essential features of an authentic designer handbag is the presence of brand signatures. This includes logos, stamps, engravings, and other details unique to the brand. For example, on an authentic Louis Vuitton bag, you should see markings like:

  • The LV monogram print
  • “Louis Vuitton” engraved on hardware pieces
  • “Made in France” stamped inside
  • Date codes that specify when and where the bag was made

These markings are incredibly intricate and complex for counterfeiters to reproduce. When examining brand signatures, you’ll want to check that font, sizes, spacing, and engraving depth all match what the designer uses. Subtle differences can be a tip-off that a bag isn’t the real deal.

Investigating Materials and Craftsmanship

Authentic luxury bags are all about superior craftsmanship. This means examining things like stitching, leather quality, and hardware.

For stitching, you’ll want to check for:

  • Consistent, sturdy stitching with no loose threads
  • Straight, evenly spaced stitches
  • Stitches that match the brand’s specifications (for example, Chanel uses stitches that are slightly offset rather than perfectly straight)

When looking at leather and hardware, you’ll want to check that:

  • Hardware has some weight to it, and logo engravings are crisp (light, flimsy hardware is often a red flag)
  • Leather is thick, supple, and has an even grain throughout
  • Any patterns on the leather match up at the seams

The quality control on authentic bags is meticulous, so stitching, hardware, and materials should be as close to perfect as possible.

Comparing Unique Identifiers

Most designer handbags have some type of unique identifier that can help confirm authenticity. This might be a serial number, date code, or hologram sticker.

For instance, each Louis Vuitton bag has a date code stamped into the interior leather. This code uses a combination of letters and numbers that specify the bag’s production country, factory, year, and week of production. You can use guides online to decode the date code and ensure it matches the model’s release date.

Serial numbers and hologram stickers can also be cross-referenced with the brand. Chanel provides an authentication service where you can submit the 8-digit serial number inside your bag to confirm it’s legitimate.

Having these identifiers match up with brand records is a good sign you’re dealing with an authentic bag.

Evaluating the Seller and Sales Platform

In addition to examining the physical qualities of a bag, it’s also important to vet the seller and sales platform. Some red flags include:

  • Selling on unreliable sites like Craigslist or social media buy/sell groups
  • Prices that seem too good to be valid for a high-end bag
  • The seller has no reputation or reviews on the platform
  • Stock photos instead of photos of the actual bag being sold
  • Unwilling or unable to provide proof of authenticity

Sticking to trusted retailers and resellers helps avoid fakes. Department stores like Nordstrom or Saks Fifth Avenue only sell authentic bags bought directly from the brands. Reputable consignment companies like Fashionphile and The RealReal employ expert authenticators to inspect pre-owned items. Purchasing from an individual seller has a higher risk of accidentally buying a counterfeit.

Spotting Red Flags: What Makes a Purse Fake?

Now that we’ve covered what makes a bag authentic let’s go over some telltale signs that a bag is a knock-off counterfeit:

  • Poor quality materials: Fakes often use inferior materials like plastic leather, tin hardware, and cheap canvas. This is especially apparent in low-grade fakes.
  • Flaws in branding details: Look for poorly cut stamping, uneven fonts, crooked logos, and other imperfections in branding details.
  • Shoddy craftsmanship: You’ll see uneven stitching, loose threads, glue stains, and patterns that don’t match up.
  • Incorrect brand signatures: The logo stamp or engraving may be wrong for the bag model. Vintage and limited edition pieces are commonly faked with the wrong details.
  • Irregular shape/proportions: The bag’s shape, structure, dimensions, and handle details may look “off” compared to the actual model.
  • No serial number or date code: Most fakes do not replicate the serial numbers or date codes found in authentic bags.
  • Cheap price: While great deals can be found, beware of new bags discounted more than 20-30% below retail prices.

These are just a few examples of what counterfeiters tend to get wrong compared to genuine luxury bags. Examining all the details closely is vital to determining authenticity.

A Breakdown of Popular Designer Handbag Brands

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of spotting authentic versus fake purses, I’ll provide a quick breakdown of what to look for with some of the top designer brands:

Louis Vuitton

  • Monogram canvas should be slightly shiny and vivid in color
  • Leather trim and piping should be high-quality, not stiff or bubbly
  • Date codes can be confirmed with guides online
  • “Louis Vuitton” engraved on hardware
  • The stitching is elegant and straight


  • Leather, stitching, and hardware quality are superb
  • No glue spots or residue inside
  • The hologram sticker matches the serial number inside the bag
  • CC logo throughout is perfectly aligned
  • Quilting is puffy, and stitches per square inch match authentic specs


  • Leather trim and tassels are supple, not stiff
  • “Gucci” is crisply stamped into zippers and hardware
  • Blue and red web striping has clean edges and correct color tones
  • Bamboo handle engravings are crisp and clear


  • The leather is exceptionally high quality, and the stitching is immaculate
  • The stamped logo inside matches the font and spacing of authentic bags
  • Craftsmanship shows superb attention to detail
  • Hardware heft and engravings indicate quality materials


  • Saffiano leather has a cross-hatch texture, not smooth
  • Logo hardware hangs appropriately, and alignments are accurate
  • Zippers are smooth, not chunky
  • Interior is made of fine microfiber, not cheap nylon

This covers just a sampling – countless other details go into determining authenticity for each designer. It takes time to train your eye to spot minute differences. Don’t hesitate to thoroughly inspect any pre-owned bag or bring it to a consignment shop for authentication.

5 Examples of Authentic Designer Bags

To give you an idea of what authentic high-end bags look like, here are five examples across different brands:

1. Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM

  • Monogram canvas has a sheen and vivid coloring
  • The pink interior is high-quality microfiber
  • The date code inside matches the time period
  • “Louis Vuitton” stamped neatly into leather trim
  • The stitching is perfectly straight and consistent

2. Chanel Classic Flap

  • Signature quilting is puffy and intricate
  • Interior has zero glue spots or residue
  • Leather and chain have a luxurious feel/shine
  • The hologram sticker serial number matches the interior stamp
  • CCs are evenly aligned and spaced

3. Gucci Dionysus

  • Bee embroidery is vivid with no loose threads
  • “Gucci” engraving on the hardware is crisp
  • The blue/red web stripe is clean and even
  • The lining is fine suede
  • Stitching is small, straight, and neat

4. Hermes Birkin

  • The stamp inside matches the Hermes font exactly
  • Stitching is wholly flawless and consistent
  • Hardware richness indicates precious metals
  • Key, clochette, and lock numbering match
  • Handles have perfect shape, sheen, and engraving

5. Prada Galleria Tote

  • Saffiano leather has a cross-hatch texture
  • The logo plate lined up correctly, no tilting
  • The zipper is sturdy metal, not plastic
  • The interior lining is luxurious microfiber
  • “Prada” embossing on zippers is clear and clean

I hope these examples help illustrate high-quality craftsmanship and detailing on authentic designer bags. Every element adheres to the brand’s strict quality standards, from the materials to hardware to stitching.

How to Care for and Protect Your Authentic Designer Purse

How to Care for and Protect Your Authentic Designer Purse

So you’ve decided to invest in an authentic luxury handbag – amazing! To help it hold its value and last for years, here are some tips for care and protection:

  • Stuff it with paper or an insert when not in use to help it keep its shape. Never overstuff, or it can stretch out.
  • Clean gently with a soft cloth to wipe away dirt and stains. Use leather cleaner only when necessary.
  • Store in a dust bag and avoid hanging if possible to prevent stretching.
  • Keep away from moisture and extreme temps to avoid damage to leather and canvas.
  • Avoid setting it on floors where it can pick up dirt or get stepped on.
  • Use a base shaper insert inside to soak up small items and protect the interior base.
  • Spot treat any stains immediately to prevent discoloration.
  • Use bag charms sparingly to avoid unnecessary weight strain on handles and trim.
  • Get professional care for significant issues like dye transfer or broken hardware.

With proper care, an investment designer handbag can last decades and hold a good resale value long after purchase. So cherish your authentic piece, which will stand the test of time!


What are signs that a designer bag is fake vs real?

Signs it’s fake: cheap materials, bad stitching, misspelled logos, uneven patterns, plastic-y leather, wrong date code or serial number. Marks it’s real: high-quality materials, perfect branding details, serial/date match records, superior craftsmanship.

Is it worth it to buy an authentic designer bag?

Authentic bags are worth the investment for many buyers because they last incredibly long and hold value well. The quality difference between real and fake is substantial. If a high-end bag sparks joy and fits your budget, it can be worth the splurge!

Why are authentic bags so expensive?

The high price comes from the sheer amount of time, rare materials, and skill that goes into making them. For example, one Hermes Birkin takes an artisan two full days to handcraft entirely. Exotic leathers and metals drive up costs as well. You certainly pay for the quality and exclusivity.

Where can I get a used, authentic designer bag authenticated?

Many consignment stores like The RealReal or Fashionphile offer free in-house authentication. You can also pay for services like Authenticate First or Entrupy to authenticate purchased items. Some designers like Chanel also provide authentication services directly.

How can you tell if a vintage designer bag is authentic?

Vintage bags often lack serial numbers, so you must examine materials and craftsmanship closely. Key indicators are leather quality (supple and even grain), hardware weight (real metal), stitching perfection, branding font and spacing, and condition consistency with the age described.

Summary and Conclusion

Knowing what makes an authentic bag is essential for any handbag lover in the world of luxury and designer items. Signs to look for include:

  • Accurate branding details and high-quality materials
  • Meticulous stitching, hardware, and craftsmanship
  • Matching serial numbers, date codes, and hologram stickers
  • Purchase history from a reputable retailer or reseller
  • Overall condition that aligns with the described age of the bag

With bags from Zubi, you’ll embark on a journey around the world, where each meticulously crafted piece becomes a symbol of sophisticated joy and enduring elegance, reminding us that while comparison shopping and scrutinizing details may take time, the payoff is truly worthwhile for a well-made, authentic designer investment that stands the test of time with proper care and storage.

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