How To Tell If A Louis Vuitton Bag Is Authentic Or Not!

Spot the real deal out of hundreds of fakes as you learn to identify these little details.

Reviewed by Michelle Wagman, Fashion Stylist Michelle Wagman Michelle WagmanFashion Stylist facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc Pratima Ati MSc
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Madhumati Chowdhury MA (English Literature) Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English & Literature), Certified Style & Image Consultant Srijita De MA (English & Literature), Certified Style & Image Consultant Experience: 2 years

If you are up for purchasing a Louis Vuitton handbag, there are certain important things you need to keep in mind. Widely loved across the globe, these are a must-have. But given the demand, there are also many counterfeit LV bags to avoid. You should know how to see the difference between an original LV handbag and a fake product. So, how to tell if a louis vuitton bag is real? While it might be a bit challenging to identify the original pieces, there are specific key points that can help you navigate the process of buying an authentic luxury handbag. And this is exactly why we are here. Today, in this article, we will help you purchase the authentic Louis Vuitton handbag with some tips that we have mentioned below. All you will have to do is, scroll down and find them out. So without further ado, let’s help you purchase an authentic LV handbag.

protip_icon Ace The Look
  • Pattern: Check for a uniform design throughout the product. Uneven patterns could indicate it is a fake.
  • Thread: Check for 5 mustard yellow thread stitches at the base of the handle. Black or any other color could indicate it is a fake.
  • Footwear: You can pair your LV monogram bag with neutral-colored shoes like black, gray, taupe, or white to balance out your look.
  • Accessories: When carrying a solid LV bag, accessorize your look with a chunky belt or a classic watch. For minimalistic purses, stick to small statement pieces.

How To Know If You Have An Authentic Louis Vuitton

How to know if you have an authentic louis vuitton handbag
Image: Instagram @louisvuitton.reetzy

There are some brand basics you should know to save yourself from wasting time and money. You don’t have to have a certificate to learn the rules and know how to spot a real from a fake. Here are four easy ways to know if you have an authentic Louis Vuitton purse in a second.

  • Material
Louis Vuitton handbag
Image: Instagram @mely_eny

Louis Vuitton uses the best high-quality materials, which is quite apparent. So, when you look at a bag and know that something is off, it must be. Trust your gut. If you are purchasing from an online retailer, it’s quite a tricky situation, so do not pay in full unless you have verified that the bag is designer. Ask for more pictures. The signature materials are Monogram canvas, Damier Ebene, and Damier Azur, which are all perfect canvases for handbags because they are waterproof, durable, and can be cleaned easily. Louis Vuitton Empreinte leather was introduced in 2010, and was an instant hit. Monogram Vernis Leather, Electric Leather, Damier Carbon are all additions to the classics. So, if you are buying from a retailer and want to know if it is legitimate merchandise, ask these questions. You’d know whether the bag is authenticated or not.

protip_icon Trivia
Louis Vuitton’s famous Damier and Monogram prints were created to avoid copycats. Georges Vuitton is accredited with the overlapping L and V logo in 1896, four years after Louis’ death, to pay homage to Louis Vuitton and combat counterfeit products.

  • Hardware
Louis Vuitton handbag's hardware
Image: Instagram @fmasarovic

Inspecting the hardware is the easiest way to figure out if a product is not trustworthy because you will know if the accessory of the bag like zipper, etc., is made of plastic or other fiber materials and coated with gold color. Plus, the brand name is embossed on it, which counterfeit editions fail to duplicate because they cannot achieve that kind of precision with the materials they use, and also don’t have the valid technology to do so. Also, Louis Vuitton uses hardware of the highest quality, which is invariably strong, heavy, and sturdy. Other details like the cut of the D-rings to fit the specific hardware that sits perfectly on the leather interlocks without allowing too much space for movement are unique characteristics of the brand and its bags – purse, tote, satchel, clutch, shoulder bag, crossbody bag, backpack, duffel bag, and luggage to name a few.

  • Date Code
Louis Vuitton handbag's date code
Image: Instagram

Dare codes are another unique feature of Louis Vuitton merchandise, and these are different from the serial number categorizing that most brands follow. The date codes are a rather new invention, and thus you won’t find date codes on vintage bags made before 1980.

The newest of its collection goes like this – two letters, followed by four digits. For example, FL2079 – where FL stands for the factory it was manufactured at in the United States; the first and 3rd numbers represent the week (27th week) it was manufactured, while the second and fourth numbers represent the year, which is 2009.

Before 2007, it used to be two letters followed by the month of manufacturing and year. The first and third letters represented the month, and the second and fourth represent the year. So, FA1102 would mean it was made in a factory in Switzerland, in October 2012.

The early 1980s – numbers preceded the letters – anywhere between three to four numbers followed by two letters. So, if the code goes 8211CA – it means that it was manufactured in November 1982 in a factory in Spain.

However, a lot of knockoffs might try and randomly replicate this information, so doubly check if the condition of the bag, the design, model, series, and hardware are all in sync. I know it might sound like too much work, but hey, if you are investing on these, and not walking into an LV store or reliable and reputable dealer, you gotta do what you gotta do.

  • Stitches
Authentic Louis Vuitton handbag stitches
Image: Shutterstock

The stitches on Louis Vuitton tote bags and handbags are even, regular, and consistent. Even at the crevices of the handle tabs, the number of stitches on the bag are exact on both the sides of the handles. If the finish of the stitches looks sloppy, count them on either side, and that will give you a clear picture.

  • Packaging
Louis Vuitton bag packaging
Image: Shutterstock

Luxury Louis Vuitton handbags are presented in picturesque packaging, including a gift bag, a dust bag, and a well-constructed box. Over time, they have adjusted the look of the gift bag, with the most recent redesign in 2016 featuring a classy cream background accented with their logo in royal blue. The dust bag effectively shields your purchase from dust and particles. In addition, it provides comprehensive protection against elements such as sun exposure, moisture, and dry conditions. The box features a neatly aligned “Louis Vuitton Paris” stamp, matching the elegant product.

Check for all these additions in the packaging and take a closer look at the logo.

  • Certificate Of Authenticity
Louis Vuitton Certificate Of Authenticity
Image: Shutterstock

Authenticity cards are not provided with Louis Vuitton bags. Instead, manufacturers place a unique stamp with a date and a place code inside bags to verify authenticity. So, your purchase shouldn’t have any such certificate.

protip_icon Stylecraze Says
The tan leather used alongside the monogram is all-natural and contains no dye or chemical coloring. Therefore, an original authorized bag will darken over time.

Other interesting trivia – if you look closely, you can easily spot fake LV purses.
  • The tail of the letter ‘L’ is short.
  • The letter ‘O’ is quite rounded.
  • The letters in “Ts” should be so close to each other that they look like they are touching each other.
  • LV bags are rumored to be made of vinyl, but they are not, it has to be pure leather.
  • Louis Vuitton original merchandise never goes on sale. So, unless they are pre-owned or from an older series being sold by a seller, do not trust the reduced prices. Even then, you need to authenticate the bag first.
  • Louis Vuitton is also known to burn all rejected merchandise, so be wary of that too.
  • The interior Louis Vuitton logo is embossed inside your handbag – it is clear, concise and nearly perfect. A lot of fake sellers are given away here.
  • Contrary to popular belief, LV bags have upside down symbols in some of their models – like Papillons, Speedy styles, etc.
  • Louis Vuitton bags are made with a single big canvas without seams anywhere, not even at the bottom of the bags. However, there are some pieces that are made of a separate canvas, and they have the upside down symbols.
  • Louis Vuitton bags, suitcases or any other merchandise do not come with tags like other brand products. They are slid into little pockets inside the bag.
  • Louis Vuitton wristlets and bags are made in France, USA, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain.
  • Never trust a seller promising to sell the latest collection that has not been released. That’s a big red flag.

The blogger shares her experience of having used the Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 Satchel for over 5 years. She claims that the LV satchel is her top pick to stay sturdy through the daily life commotion. She adds, “I’ve carried everything from my dog to enough clothing for an overnight trip in my bag (i).” She also mentions the importance of buying an original LV, by stating, “All Louis Vuitton products come with a lifetime guarantee. If something goes wrong with your LV, such as a zipper breaking, you can simply take your bag into any Louis Vuitton store, and they will fix it for free – provided your bag is authentic”.

Infographic: Top 8 Useful Tips To Help You Spot An Original Louis Vuitton Bag

Louis Vuitton is one of the most popular luxury brands across the globe that everyone wants. However, it can be difficult to differentiate an original Louis Vuitton from a knockout. We have curated the top 5 useful tips to help you spot an original Louis Vuitton handbag. Check out the infographic below to know more!

Top 8 Useful Tips To Help You Spot An Original Louis Vuitton Bag (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

If you have fallen victim to a counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbag scam or know someone who has, we feel you. Unfortunately, the worldwide demand for this brand and its glamorous creations makes admirers like us easy targets. Fortunately, there are very specific key features to help you identify an authentic Louis Vuitton handbag. We have shared all of that information with you in this article for your convenience. So, get these basics right and be smart and safe on the internet. We hope you land an authentic piece of your choice with the help of the above tips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all LV bags have a serial number?

No, they have date codes. LV bags do not have serial numbers, and that is what puts them apart from a lot of brands, plus it is easy to identify a fake. They have date codes, which follow a nomenclature that cannot be messed with. The date code should be aligned with the ‘Made In (country)” tag. So, if the date code says SA (Italy), the tag cannot say Made in France or Spain.

What is the date code?

Date codes are unique manufacturing codes about products of brands. These help customers authenticate bags if they are not directly purchasing from Louis Vuitton stores or a very trusted reseller.

How can I authenticate a Louis Vuitton bag if I’m buying it online?

Ask your seller to share pictures, and a lot of them. Now that you know how to spot a fake Louis Vuitton, insist on their sharing photos of some of the most intricate details – usually, the stitches, the shade of the canvas, the embossing of the logo, handles, hardware, tag, logo or monogram. They are quite telling if you look closely. And, when your gut tells you that something is not right, it probably isn’t.

What if my Louis Vuitton bag does not have a date code?

Some of the older versions do not have date codes, and on some old materials, the date codes may have faded out, so, look for other details to validate it.

Can I take my Louis Vuitton handbag to a store for authentication?

Although Louis Vuitton stores don’t offer any kind of bag authentication services, they might be able to check the authenticity of your bag with a date code or the stitch pattern.

Where can one find authentic Louis Vuitton handbags?

Get authentic Louis Vuitton handbags from Louis Vuitton stores and through Louis Vuitton’s official website. Do not buy LV handbags from street vendors as they would be fake.

What is the best way to care for an authentic Louis Vuitton handbag?

For cleaning, use a soft, damp cloth, avoiding the printed portions. Refrain from using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, cleaners, or chemicals on the product. To be on the safe side, always ask the LV store workers for cleaning tips.

Banner Image Credits: Instagram

Key Takeaways

  • Look for a clear and precise logo compared to smudged or off-center logos.
  • The material should feel sturdy and premium, free from defects.
  • If you notice anything chipping off or uneven color, it is likely to be a fake.
  • Check for a serial number to identify the authenticity of your Louis Vuitton.
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Learn how to spot a fake Louis Vuitton! This video provides ways to see the stitching, check the logo, and examine the material to make sure it’s the real deal.

Personal Experience: Source

Michelle Wagman

Michelle WagmanFashion Stylist

Michelle Wagman is a fashion industry entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience as a designer’s agent. She is also the editor-in-chief of FashionEdits, a fashion and lifestyle blog. She graduated from FIT with a degree in fashion merchandising and has worked with notable designers on 7th Avenue in full bio

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