Paris Fashion Week Looks & How to Spot Fake Designer Bags
Advertising. This article was written in friendly cooperation with Vestiaire Collective.
For Paris Fashion Week I teamed up with Vestiaire Collective. I have to admit this cooperation got me over the moon. The online platform sells a great selection of vintage luxury clothing and is the online shop everyone should know. Vestiaire jumped right into the niche and is like your stylish Parisian aunt that you can ask anything about fashion. Not only their concept is fantastic, and I could easily spend hours there digging up vintage treasures, the team is impressive too. During Fashion Week I had the chance to visit their headquarter and learn how a company growing that fast ensures such high quality and the authenticity of high-end fashion pieces.
So this is how it goes: About 3000 products are uploaded on Vestiaire daily. Whenever a seller uploads a product an employee of the curation team checks the seller’s personal information, record, and the counterfeit rate meaning if they tried to sell replicas before. They also adjust the price as many dont know the value of vintage pieces increases with time. Working in the curation team requires know-how of early collections and current trends to identify the authenticity of the product.
Shop my Look Slip Dresses:here & here & here & here & here & here Trenchcoat: similiar ones here Boots: similiar ones here Jacquemus Bags: similiar ones here
The second check happens at the HQ, where a professional team controls wear, color, measurements and eventually touches the item up. The final say about the authenticity of a piece lays with Victoire. She is the head of the quality control department. Victoire worked at well-known auction houses and in the high-end fashion industry. Having seen the most iconic pieces from the world’s best labels, she knows what’s real and what’s not. Everyone in her team is specialized in a different product group like watches, bags, jewelry or collabs. When the product is not authentic, Vestiaire Collective informs the seller that the piece does not conform to the quality standards and it will be sent back. These women experience the sad truth of holding an expensive counterfeit bag in their arms. And you do not want that to your fellow fashionista.
Victoire prepared a table for us with replicas and authentic pieces for us to take over as fashion police. But before our investigation started, she explained what to look for. I thought of sharing this with you as the counterfeit market has been thriving with a huge number of fakes sold to unsuspecting women every year. To treat your inner Carrie and your budget with care here are several characteristics that will help you determine the authenticity.
HOW TO SPOT A FAKE DESIGNER BAG
1. The Design. At first, make sure that the certain style was available and part of an official collection. The hides and colors used by luxury brands are unique and a sign of the quality of the bag, many counterfeiters are unable to source the material and recreate the original colors. Substitutes are often a shade or two off. It’s also worth holding the bag up to the light, the hide should never look like the color is painted on.
2. The Material. One of the main indicators is the quality of fabric, luxury hides are deemed top quality. Every detail on these bags is purposefully created to ensure a luxurious look and feel. Remember that a bag is only as good as the quality of its material. If you look at a smooth or pebbled leather and it looks fake to you, just stay away.
3. The Stitching. Luxury bags are created with craftsmanship and great attention to detail. An expert spends a lot of hours to hand-sew each stitch. Is it handmade? Look closely. Machine stitching is too perfect; an authentic piece shows small imperfections.
4. High-Quality Zippers. Certain brands work with the same producers, just google if its the regular supplier (e.g. Chanel works with YKK). And be on the lookout for dinky and overly shiny zippers. High-standard zippers are something you really can’t fake. And don’t fall for that thing where imitators just put a faux finish on lightweight zippers to make it look more like the heavy stuff.
5. The Metal Hardware. Pay attention to the quality of the locking bar and clasp. When you open and close the hooks and clasps they should align with precision and fasten firmly without needing pressure or manipulation. Having to bend or fumble for components to make the clasp secure firmly indicates inferior quality.
6. The Serial Number. To simplify the verification process high-end brands invented a number system which correspondents to the year the bag was made. The Codes have unique styles depending on the period the bag was created. If serial number and year do not match you can be sure its a fake. Counting the number of digits can also shed light on the authenticity for example if the serial number is too long or too short.
Crazy fact: Some fake handbags were produced in the same factories but after the official working hours. It is the same manufacturer and the same material, but a small detail like the serial number is not correct.
7. The Stamps. In a lot of cases, they are embossed onto the material. Replicas feature printed or pressed on logos. The font used can also be a giveaway, irregular or blocky letters give reason to believe that it is fake. The position of the logo stamp can also be a tell-tale sign of its authenticity.
8. The Dust Bag. Last but not least check the dust bag that comes with the bag. The design of these covers depends on when the bag was made. Many fake dust bags have the wrong color, cheap material, and logo inaccuracy. Inspecting the logo color and touch really closely can help you determine if the bag is genuine or fake.
Now you know what distinguishes iconic bags from others, there’s no excuse for putting yourself through the disappointment and wasted money of a bad buy. You deserve the best you can afford. Go on and treat yourself or keep on reading if you are curious about what happens to replicas.
What exactly happens to Replicas?
The black market is enormous. A high-end brand could never collect every inauthentic piece, but they are trying to amass a remarkable amount confiscating any false product sent to their in-house repair services. This brings us to another problem with replicas: What exactly happens with them? Well, eventually they will be destroyed. We really should not buy any fake products. Can you imagine the environmental impact on our planet? Vestiaire is taking steps to tackle this problem and founded an academy with a focus on fabric technology, where expertise like Victoires is being transferred to the next generation. I love this!
As some of you might have seen on Instagram already I created three looks for Paris Fashion Week focusing on Vintage. As the pieces are unique, I did my best to find similar ones for you. Make sure to head over to Vestiaire Collective for the prettiest vintage finds. Happy Shopping!