Expert's Guide to Buying an Authentic Louis Vuitton Handbag

In collaboration with Stefania Filizola | 2nd July 2018

Sparkling champagnes, brilliant Bordeaux wines, macarons and the Palais de Versailles: like many of the finer things in life, Louis Vuitton also comes from France. An industry leader in fashion, luxury and lifestyle, it is one of the most coveted and desired brands for anyone to get their hands on. So much so in fact, that counterfeiters flood the market with fake interpretations of classic Louis Vuitton handbags, making it difficult to recognise the real deal. Follow these guidelines from the expert to discover what might come in handy when buying an authentic Louis Vuitton handbag.


1. No stamp tramps

The Louis Vuitton stamp on every handbag is extremely important for identifying the bag's authenticity; it is often a tell-tale sign as to whether the item is fake or not.  Firstly, the lettering should be clear, thin, crisp, and of course easily readable. The tail of the 'L' should be very short and the 'O's very round and appear bigger than the 'L's. The two 'T's in 'Vuitton' are always almost touching and the font is always in capital letters, except when it says made in France. If the spelling is wrong in any way, then better stay away!

 The two 'T's in Vuitton are always almost touching and the font is always in capital letters except when it says made in France

2. Zips and chains
A clear-cut difference between an authentic and a cleverly copied bag comes down to the nuts and bolts of it all...or in this case the zips and chains. Fakes will look like plastic and will be extremely low quality. The imprinting on the zips should be clear, crisp and precise and with no signs of rust.

 The imprinting on the zips should be clear, crisp and precise

3. Date of birth

Louis Vuitton bags that were produced before the 1980s did not come with a date code, but everything produced after does. Located on the piece of leather on the side of the bag or on the side near a seam, they should always be easy to find. Unless the bag is older and the date code has been rubbed down, it should always be there. Many counterfeiters leave this crucial aspect out of their copy. The date codes are combinations of numbers and letters, the former indicating the month and year of production and the latter indicating its place of production.

The date of the bag should be easy to find, unless the bag is made before the 1980s

Check online to find the factories where the Louis Vuitton handbags are produced to verify what’s on your potential new piece of arm candy. For example, if a bag was produced in December 2005 in France the date code could read VI1025. 'VI' represents the location of the factory in France, the first and third digits meaning December and the second and fourth digits representing 2005. Always verify what the current dating standards from Louis Vuitton are before making your purchase as the letter and number system changes. To see where your Louis Vuitton bag is made, here is an overview of the location codes of the Louis Vuitton Factories.

  • Land codes of the Louis Vuitton factories
  • Image Source: Couture USA. 

Looking for a stunning vintage Louis Vuitton handbag? Then check which remarkable Louis Vuitton handbags Stefania and her team have included in our Fashion Accessories auctions this week.

Discover more Louis Vuitton handbags


You might also like these articles:

Create your free account
At Catawiki, you’ll be surprised every week with the impressive selection of special objects we have on offer. Create your free account today and explore our weekly auctions curated by our team of experts.
Share this article
Close Created with Sketch.
Not registered yet?
By creating your free Catawiki account, you’ll be able to bid on any of our 75,000 special objects up for auction every week.
Register now