Louis Vuitton Monogram Logo: Authentic vs. Counterfeit PHOTO GUIDE
Below you will see photos of a (very bad) counterfeit Louis Vuitton bag side by side with an authentic Louis Vuitton bag, followed by an explanation of each photo. Don’t be fooled! So many buyers are fooled into thinking the bag they have purchased is authentic. Counterfeit bags are illegal and punishable by law. There are disreputable sellers who know what they are doing and honest sellers that just make a mistake because they didn’t know what to look for. Your best weapon to protect yourself is by educating yourself on what to look for.
Monogram Logo: The counterfeit purse is on top in this picture. The authentic Louis Vuitton is on the bottom. Notice the grain on the counterfeit purse is a rougher, smaller texture, and the authentic purse has a smoother texture with larger bumps. Also, the counterfeit bag has a color like peanut butter, while the authentic bag is more yellow-brown. The counterfeit bag is darker and the authentic bag has more of a milk chocolate color.
Inside Stamp: The counterfeit purse is on the left in this picture. The authentic Louis Vuitton is on the right. Notice the lining is different. Louis Vuitton does not make a suede lining like this. This lining felt crispy, and cheaply made. The authentic purse had a high-quality lining. The stamps in the leather are also very different. The counterfeit purse on left has taller, more squished together lettering while the authentic bag on the right has more rounded lettering. The stamp on the authentic bag is deeper, and easy to read when compared to the counterfeit bag. Note on the counterfeit bag that the “ON” in “VUITTON” and the “mad” in “made” are not stamped to the same depth as the other letters. Also note the color of the leather and stitching (color, thickness, and quality) between the two bags.
Strap/Handles: The counterfeit purse is clearly on the bottom in this picture. The authentic Louis Vuitton is on the top. Note that the authentic purse is finished with stitching, and has thicker leather. The strap on this counterfeit bag is cracked, showing the threads underneath (not leather). While both bags have a red finish to the edges, what is not apparent in this picture is the way the finish is applied. The authentic bag has a very even finish while the counterfeit bag has a very gloppy uneven finish.
Outside Stamp: The counterfeit purse is on the top in this picture. The authentic Louis Vuitton is on the bottom. As mentioned above, it is important to note the difference between the stamped letters. Again, the counterfeit purse on top has taller, more squished together lettering while the authentic bag on the bottom has more rounded lettering. The stamp on the authentic bag is deeper, and easy to read when compared to the counterfeit bag. Note on the counterfeit bag that the “L” on “LOUIS” and the “mad” on “made” are not stamped to the same depth as the other letters. You are able to see the red finish mentioned above on the edges of the counterfeit bag above. The finish spills over into the face of the leather, rather than staying just on the very edges. This gloppy look is evident throughout the bag.
Zipper Pulls: The counterfeit purse is on the top this picture. The authentic Louis Vuitton is on the bottom. Most designers use the finest materials for their handbags. Often, you will see either an “YKK” or a “Lampo” zipper. You will find this stamp at the bottom and also sometimes along the side or front of the zipper. In this picture you can see the difference between the quality, size, shape, and color of the zippers. The counterfeit bag’s zippers on top have a different shape from the authentic bag at bottom (in this case, this particular bag has two zippers), and you can see the finish on the authentic bag, although a model from the 90s, still has not tarnished. Meanwhile the counterfeit bag has a tarnished look.
Production Code: The production code stamp inside the counterfeit bag is on left. The production code* on an authentic LV bag is on the right. The code “M5 1980″ on the counterfeit bag is totally inaccurate. Louis Vuitton bags have a Letter+Letter+ ####. The two letters are the code for the factory in which the bag was manufactured and very specifically refer to a certain model and material. The four numbers follow a Month-Year-Month-Year format. In the case of the authentic bag on right, the bag was produced in the “SP” factory (France) and the date code (MYMY format) says it was produced in November 2001. Please note: Louis Vuitton does not use serial numbers. These are always called “Date Code” or “Production Code” and tell you when and where the bag was manufactured. *Authentic Production Codes follow the LL-MYMY format from approximately 1990-1999. Then the codes were switched to LL-WYWY (W=Week). But that’s a different (future) blog post!