Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fake, for real?!

Have you ever been on a vacation where people tried to sell you a fake Rolex, a knockoff handbag or maybe even faux perfume? Of course you have!
You see more and more fake accessories in the streets nowadays. Maybe these people don’t care that they are wearing fake or maybe they think we can’t tell the difference between a knockoff and the real deal. But what upsets me the most is that some of these people may have been tricked into buying fake, believing it was a genuine product, but at a lowered price! We all know tourists get ripped off easily…
I want to show you some easy tips & tricks that will help you distinguish the fake from the real stuff when you are planning to buy a designer piece and you are not quite sure about the authenticity of the product you want to purchase. If you already have a trained eye, you won’t be needing these tips. You might even know some more, so feel free to comment below! I will explain them on the basis of examples, but these rules are quite general so they’re applicable on all designer brands.

Rule n°1: location, location, location!

Most luxury brands have their own flagship stores. If you would like to buy for example a Louis Vuitton bag, check their website if there is an official store near you. Some designers, for example Chanel, only sell their goods in official stores or certified corners in department stores (e.g. Harrods). In this case, you can be a 100% sure you are buying the real thing. Other designers, for instance Alexander McQueen, collaborate with a lot ‘local’ retailers and various online shops, which makes it more tricky for you to determine the authenticity of the product.
If you don’t go to at an official store, take a look around at the atmosphere and the interior of the store. The luxury of the products should also be found in the design of the store, even in the personnel working there.
For instance: places like Canal Street in NYC or markets near a tourist attraction, where men sell designer bags and wallets out of a cardboard box on the street, aren’t places where real Chanel handbags are sold. Just go with your instincts on this one!
Rule n°2: don’t forget about the price tag
Always remember that you are buying a designer piece. They won’t be sold off for next to nothing, unless there is something wrong with it. Do your homework and try to find the original price. Outlets, second-hand stores, … are OK, as long as you use your common sense. For instance, a new (with tags,…) LV bag sold for 40 dollars is probably a fake. LV doesn’t have official outlets and doesn’t produce bags with flaws. If you are able to buy a Vuitton at 50% off, you probably already have a very good deal! Anything below this price is questionable…  FYI: always keep in mind that official stores of LV don’t do sales, ever. So if you buy LV with discount, it’s a used of fake item.
Rule n°3: it’s all in the details
Luxury goods aren’t expensive without a reason. Lots of big fashion names stand for years and years of craftsmanship and quality products. This rule is very, very important! Fakers never manage to make an exact copy or use the same materials; otherwise their products would cost the same as the original ;-). Some things you need to keep in mind:
-packaging: counterfeiters not only fake bags, but also boxes, dust bags, receipts,… so don’t be fooled by the extra’s!
- presentation: expensive bags will never be wrapped in plastic by the brand itself. Furthermore, LV never has price tags on their goods!
Genuine Louis Vuitton boxes and bag
-finishing touch: LV usually uses their monogram on everything (buttons, zippers, locks,…); most high fashion brands do this. Only real leather is used, trimming should be flawless,…  Louis Vuitton NEVER cuts off a monogram at a seam!! Also, the light brown leather, frequently used for handles, gets darker over the years. So vintage pieces should have tanned color; if they don’t, its fake.

Top belt: fake, baught on Canal Street. Notice the silver button; that should not be there...
The bottom one is a real Inventeur, baught at the LV store in Antwerp.

The real belt has a seeming, the fake one does not. The direction of the stripes is also different.
The real one has nubuck lining, the fake one is 'Damier' on both sides.

Quality? Don't think so!

Top: fake, bottom: real

Definitely fake!! Bags should also be symmetrical.

Poor lining...
The real button says 'Louis Vuitton', the fake wallet has a random silver button on it.

 -technicalities: Louis Vuitton Paris nowadays also fabricates their goods abroad, e.g. Spain, USA. So don’t worry if the stamp inside your product doesn’t say ‘made in France’. All products should have a serial number, which can easily be tracked by an employee at LV.

Top: fake; bottom: real.
Finally, let me just say that buying a fake is never the answer. If you’re interested in fashion but you can’t afford the luxury brands, buy clothing and accessories from a cool brand you like and can afford. Supporting counterfeiters is a lot worse than wearing H&M! 

All images courtesy of
Nino by Men Trend


  1. i need to share this post with everyone i know. i hate it when i get fake merchandise as presents!! nothing is as amazing as the real deal.

    alicia // river city chic

  2. very informative post. well done!

  3. ah someone who cares and gets it!
    quality and craftsmanship isn't cheap; it's a dying expertise.
    those who truly respect it will always splurge on the real deal; plus it last longer than any fake.
    great post guys!
    x EllynSheyr

  4. Amazing post! I really like it ;)
    Thanks for your message in IFB!

  5. Great tips- you definitely have to be careful nowadays, as the counterfeits are getting better and more realistic. I typically buy just from reputable retailers or an actual flagship of the designer- better safe than sorry! :)


  6. WOW what an amazing informative post! I loved it!



  7. This was quite informative. Thank you so much for sharing, I will definitly be tweeting this!!


  8. Great post! It was just yesterday when me and my friend were having fun with comparing my LV bags with some fake (type of bag that even doesn´t exist) :D It smelled so synthetic, had horrible details.. But you know what? That fake monogram canvas looked so real at the first sight :o/ awfull.. I HATE FAKES!!!

    just JE NE SAIS QUOI
    Independent Fashion Bloggers

  9. gave post! goed gedaan en we zijn het helemal met je eens ;) als je geen echte kan betalen, koop ook geen neppe, maar gewoon een goede look-a-like :)


  10. THANK YOU, guys, for stopping by my blog! I am happy you enjoyed my post about Vaccarello :)

    Looking forward to your new posts, have a great weekend!!

    just JE NE SAIS QUOI
    Independent Fashion Bloggers

  11. Great post, very inspiring also!
    Would like to invite you to my blog and, if you like it, maybe we can follow each other?;)

  12. thanks for this post, very interesting! No, of course I don't hate you because of the real fox fur! :)

  13. dit is zo'n awesome post ;D digg the honesty ! xo

  14. Haha canal street, you are so right! We always had to pass CS because our hotel was located at Tribeca! Didn’t feel safe for some reason, always pulled my camera and bag a lot closer! I think that you can never find a LV on sale! The only sale they have is for their own staff. They do not have a stock either, everything at the end of the season that didn’t sell, will be destroyed (sad, so so sad). Fabulous article, people should be aware of the fact that counterfeits are damaging the economy and I have to pay for it!!!

  15. wow thanks for sharing very useful info.

  16. This is a cool and useful post!
    And we totally agree with you!
    Leonardo & Alessandro


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