10 Ways To Tell If A Louis Vuitton Bag Is A Fake

Louis Vuitton is one of the most desirable and well-known brands of handbags in the world. Their classic designs and signature “LV” monogram pattern are almost always easy to spot and show that this brand is well-known and exclusive.

Since so many people are familiar with these bags, you would think that a fake bag would be easy to spot, right? It’s not that simple, though.

Everyone seems to want one of these iconic styles because they are seen as high-end, cost a lot, and are worn by celebrities. Unfortunately, this has led to a huge number of fakes, or “dupes,” that look just like the real thing.

Since these bags have been around for so long, people who try to make fakes of them have only gotten better at it. Also, e-commerce websites have made it harder for people who want to get a good deal to spot fakes. So, how can you tell if a Louis Vuitton bag is fake?

Today, we’ll talk about how to tell if a Louis Vuitton bag is real and how to spot a fake when you’re out shopping.

Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis with Model

When it comes to high-end luxury bags, it’s important to remember that everything is done to perfection. There is not much room for error. Bags are often checked for quality more than once before they are sent out. This means that any small sign of inconsistency should make you suspicious. This is true of Louis Vuitton in particular.

But this brand is well aware of how common fakes are, so there are many ways to tell a real Louis Vuitton bag from a fake one. Here are some things to watch out for:

1. Check the quality of the materials, hardware, and construction

When you think of a Louis Vuitton bag, you probably think of a Speedy, Alma, or Neverfull in the brand’s signature brown canvas with the LV monogram. This is probably the most common and well-known style of Louis Vuitton, but there are many others.

The materials, hardware, and build quality of Louis Vuitton’s wide range of handbags are all very similar. Knowing your materials is a great way to tell the difference between real and fake LV. Here are some of the most common things Louis Vuitton uses to make its handbags:

“LV” Monogram Canvas: The LV monogram canvas has been a classic look for Louis Vuitton for over 100 years. This material was groundbreaking for its time because of how it was treated and how durable it became as a result.

Louis Vuitton Neverfull Monogram Canvas

Don’t mistake it for leather. The monogram canvas feels very nice to the touch, but it shouldn’t have any leather grains. Because they can’t copy LV’s treatment process, counterfeiters often use fake leather and print the monogram on that.

Be careful: If the Monogram Canvas material feels like leather, it is a fake. Monogram canvas should feel stiff and strong, not soft and pliable.

Multicolor Monogram: The limited-edition multicolor monogram was first sold in 2003 and is no longer available. It was a special project by Louis Vuitton and the artist Takashi Murakami, who got their ideas from the bright summer colors of tropical places.

The LV monogram on the bag is rainbow-colored because of this. The bags are getting harder to find and can only be bought on the resale market for designer handbags. As time goes on, their prices will only go up, making them a great collectible investment.

Louis Vuitton Speedy Multicolor Monogram

Pictured is Takashi Murakami’s LV Speedy bag with a multicolored monogram. It is without a doubt one of the most eye-catching designs Louis Vuitton has ever made.

Damier Monogram: The Damier or “checkerboard” canvas is another style that is unique to Louis Vuitton. You might see this style in Damier Ebene (brown/black canvas) or Damier Azur (white/blue canvas). It also comes in other colors, such as graphite.

Many women choose to carry the Damier print bags instead of the logo-covered monogram bags because they make a more subtle statement. The material is the same, though. The Damier bags are great for everyday use, but the Damier Azur is more likely to show scuffs and scratches because it has a white overlay.

Louis Vuitton Damier Monogram Bags

From left to right, you can see the LV Beaubourg tote in Damier Ebene, the LV Speedy in Damier Azur, and the LV Tadao tote in Damier Graphite.

Monogram Vernis Leather: This is one of Louis Vuitton’s more youthful and fun styles. It is made of calfskin leather with a shiny patent layer on top. Not only does it look different from other LV bags, but it also lasts longer. The monogram canvas from Louis Vuitton is known to be almost impossible to break, but the vernis is much more fragile and easy to scratch and scuff.

LV Monogram Vernis Leather

A Monogram patent Vernis Keepall 45 is shown. Vernis lets you use interesting colors, like this one from Blue Lagoon.

Monogram Empreinte: The Louis Vuitton Empreinte Monogram is very similar to Gucci’s Guccissima leather, in which the brand’s logo is stamped on soft, supple, and luxurious calf leather.

LV leather also has a unique smell, and it should never smell like chemicals, which is what many fakes do. Compared to the leathers of other designers, this material is pretty durable, but it won’t hold up as well to the weather as the monogram canvas.

Louis Vuitton Speedy Monogram Empreinte

Monogram Empreinte is a stylish way to say something. You should be able to see and smell that this beautiful material is high-end and well-made. Don’t be surprised to see more and more Monogram Empreinte bags everywhere you go: it’s one of the most popular LV styles for 2020!

2. Lining

Louis Vuitton bags, unlike Chanel bags, come with dozens of different linings. Some are made of red or honey canvas, leather, or microfiber suede with a micro monogram pattern. Do a little research on the type of bag you’re looking at and compare what you have to the real bag.

Louis Vuitton Store

Most fake Louis Vuitton handbags won’t have high-quality interiors, since that’s not as important when trying to pass the bag off as real. Watch out for cheap brown suede or even plastic that looks like suede.

3. Pay close attention to the quality and pattern of the stitching

The stitching on a Louis Vuitton bag should be perfect, just like everything else about it. Make sure the stitches are even and symmetrical, and that there are no frayed edges or anything else that looks bad.

Louis Vuitton bags that are real are sewn by hand. Each stitch should be at a slight angle. If the stitches are all straight, it’s a sign that the bag was made by a machine and is a fake.

Be careful: If the stitches on a Louis Vuitton bag are perfectly straight, they were probably made by a machine. This could mean that the bag is a fake.

The color of the stitching is another important sign that a Louis Vuitton handbag is real. Louis Vuitton coats its threads in a special type of resin to make them more durable and resistant to the weather. This resin also gives authentic LV stitching its distinctive mustard-yellow color.

Fakes often use synthetic yellow or orange thread that is brighter and easier to see. This is an easy way to spot a fake. Authentic LV handbags will get a patina over time, just like the Vachetta leather trim that is often found on LV monogram canvas handbags. However, this will only make the color darker.

Last but not least, the number of stitches is an important part of a Louis Vuitton authenticity check. Depending on the model, there should be 3 or 5 stitches along the top of the tab that connects the handles to the bag. This is where the handles attach to the bag.

Louis Vuitton Alma BB

In the picture, you can see a beautiful Alma bag from 2004. Notice how the leather got a golden patina over time and how the stitching is a honey mustard color. The Alma has exactly 5 stitches on top of each tab, which is shown in the picture, where the handles connect to the bag’s body.

4. Check stamping and lettering to see if a Louis Vuitton bag is a fake

Anyone who knows how to tell if a Louis Vuitton bag is real will tell you that the lettering and stamps are one of the most important ways to tell. Some people who make fake bags are very good at copying the font of the brand, so you’ll need a sharp eye to spot any differences.

Louis Vuitton Alma BB

Lollipuff, a professional authenticator, has some tips on how to spot these small differences in the main Louis Vuitton stamp:

  • The L should have a very short tail.
  • The O looks bigger and rounder than the L.
  • The Ts are so close to each other that they are almost touching or look like they are.
  • Lettering should be thin or almost thin, clear, and very crisp.
  • Look at the font and how it is lined up.

5. Handles

Most of the time, the handles of a fake bag are forgotten. There are a few important things to keep an eye out for and, more importantly, to stay away from.

Louis Vuitton Handles

First, trust your sense of touch always. The handles of a real bag are made of soft, smooth leather that gets darker as it ages. A burgundy edge is often added to the handles, which will also get darker over time. This trim is a fake if it looks bright red, painted, or made of plastic.

6. Zippers

When making and buying fake bags, zippers are another detail that is often overlooked.

The zipper pull should always have Louis Vuitton’s brand name or signature monogram in a clean and clear way. Notice any changes to the font or pattern of the brand that doesn’t look right.

Also, make sure to quickly check the bag’s zipper(s). It should be easy to open and close, and it shouldn’t have any loose threads or uneven spots where it’s sewn in. A zipper that gets stuck or is hard to close is a red flag.

7. Hardware

Even if you have a very good copy of a Louis Vuitton bag, the hardware is often a good way to tell if it’s real or not.

Louis Vuitton hardware

The first thing to remember is that the signature monogram should be on all larger pieces of hardware, clasps, and other closures. It should also be clearly etched, in the middle, and in the same place on each piece of hardware.

Even the rivets should have the name “Louis Vuitton” stamped on them. One way to make sure your bag is real is to look at the brand name on the rivets on the inside of the bag and make sure they all match.

The hardware on Louis Vuitton bags is also made of high-quality solid brass, which is strong and has an even color. Many fake bags save money by having cheap gold plating that is too shiny.

8. Check the date code to make sure it’s right

Louis Vuitton started using a date code system in the 1980s to show where and when its handbags were made. Chanel’s date code is a string of numbers, which can be used as a serial number and as part of the authentication process. Hermes can tell when a bag was made by looking at a letter inside a shape.

Louis Vuitton uses a combination of letters and numbers to find out where the bag was made and when it was made, right down to the week of the year. A big part of authenticating an LV bag is making sure the date code is real and matches the “made in” stamp.

You should always be aware that some fakers, especially the smart ones who make what are called “super fakes,” know how the date code system works for Louis Vuitton bags and can copy it on their fake bags.

So, you can’t just look at the date code to tell if a bag is real. You have to look at the bag as a whole and consider everything to know if it’s real.

Codes for countries:

Louis Vuitton codes

*Please note that both the USA and France use the codes FL and SD for their bags, and both Italy and France use the code SA for their bags.

Most Louis Vuitton bags have four numbers either before or after the two-letter code. Bags made to order, which use the code AAS, and some vintage Louis Vuitton handbags are the only ones that don’t follow this general rule.

The four numbers are also very important because they tell you when your handbag was made. For newer bags, Louis Vuitton knows the exact week of the year and, for older bags, the exact month.

From 2007 until now, the first and third numbers on Louis Vuitton bags show the week, while the second and fourth numbers show the year the bag was made.

This is the same for Louis Vuitton’s made in 2021. For example, a bag made in France in the first week (first and third digits 0 and 1) of the year 2021 would have an LV date code of DU0211 (second and fourth digits 2&1).

For bags made between 1990 and 2006, the first and third numbers show the month of the year the bag was made, not the week.

Louis Vuitton date stamps

  • DU2037 means “Made in France, week 23, year 07.” In the 23rd week of 2007, this bag was made.
  • Made in France, year 07, week 38, MI3087. The 38th week of 2007 was when this bag was made.
  • VI0998 means “Made in France, month 09, year 98.” In September 1998, this bag was made.
  • SP0053 means “Made in France, March 2005.” In March 2005, this bag was made.

This guide is a great way to learn about some of the most important ways to tell if a Louis Vuitton bag is real or not, but it can’t replace a trained authenticator who can tell the difference between a real bag and a fake one just by smelling it.

Because of this, we always suggest getting help from a professional authenticator when you can. But if you want to skip the guesswork, you can look through our Louis Vuitton collection. Everything in it has been checked by experts and comes with a money-back guarantee that it is real.

9. Dustbag

The dust bags from Louis Vuitton are simple and come in either an envelope or drawstring style. They will always be a soft tan or beige color and have the Louis Vuitton or “LV” logo in the middle. The dust cover will also be made of 100% cotton and have a label that says it was made in either Spain or India.

10. A certificate of authenticity for a Louis Vuitton handbag

This is the easiest tip, but it’s also kind of funny: if your bag comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, it’s not a real Louis Vuitton bag. You may get a cream-colored card with your bag that lists the style and barcode, but you will never get an authenticity card.

LV bag collection

Many fashionistas dream of getting their hands on a real Louis Vuitton bag. But make sure to go with your gut.

If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. These bags are well-known, expensive, and highly sought after by collectors, so it’s unlikely that someone would sell a real Louis Vuitton item for too little.

If not, you should pay the most attention to these signs of quality. The over $1,000 price tags on Louis Vuitton items aren’t for nothing. The real bags are made with high-quality materials and skills, which is why they have been so popular (and copied) for so long.

With the help of this guide, you should be ready to find and buy your new favorite handbag. 

Check out this post for some of the most popular LV bags here >>

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