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A Very Quick Guide to Authentication - Le Look LLC - Authentic Pre-Loved Luxury and Vintage Fashion

A Very Quick Guide to Authentication

It is REALLY important to me that you know you are getting the real deal from Le Look; so much so, that all items I sell are not only verified authentic, but some items have been authenticated up to 4 (!!!) separate times before ever hitting the site.

Counterfeit designer items are a huge problem for many reasons. With advances in technology has come the rise of "super fakes"; I learn as much as I can about the latest tricks counterfeiters have up their sleeves and when in doubt, a third party authentication service like LegitGrails can help. HOWEVER not all counterfeits are created equal; in many cases, taking a few extra seconds to examine items with a more critical eye eliminates a lot of bad actors claiming to be authentic. 

Whether you shop with me or elsewhere, here are a few things I look for when sourcing items:

Is it a style that was ever produced by the designer? 

The Chanel style pictured below was never something Chanel themselves released; therefore, it is impossible this bag is authentic. Another offender I see often is the Louis Vuitton Neverfull in materials and patterns that Louis Vuitton never created. Dead. Giveaway.


Does the date or serial code align with the format of an authentic bag?

A date code doesn’t guarantee the authenticity of a bag but it can be a tell if the code isn't legitimate. A quick Google search is a good way to see if the item you're looking at shares a code with authentic items. For Louis Vuitton bags, I like to use this handy Datecode Calculator. Simply enter the item's code and it will generate the date and location of the bag's production. A great example - the date code pictured below (MI 8905) is not a valid Louis Vuitton date code, making this bag fake.



Is the deal just a little too good to be true? Unfortunately it usually is.

Any reputable seller (ahem, me) will sell authentic items at a price that reflects the demand, availability, and condition of the item. A Chanel classic flap in excellent condition for $300 is going to be too good to be true more times than not. (But if you have somehow managed this kind of deal, you’re truly the luckiest and I’d genuinely love to hear about it). The smokin good $287 deal below is not authentic, but they have included all of the Chanel accoutrements in the picture to try to pass it off as such.



Does this look like a high quality piece worthy of the "luxury" name?

This really can be as simple as asking yourself if, based on the overall appearance, does it look like a luxury item? Does this look like something worth its retail price? Before I even get into specifics, I present to you a "Dior Book Tote" and "Louis Vuitton On the Go" with no explanation as to what makes them fake... 

... Yikes.

A few big things to look at: 


Is it constructed in a way that the logos and patterns line up appropriately? (Louis Vuitton will never cut off an “LV” at its knees) Is the stitching straight? Generally does it look like it’s made of plastic? 

Pictured below: This replica Chanel has a few obvious differences from the real thing. First, an authentic quilted Chanel bags have up to 11 stitches per quilt panel side; this one appears to have around 8 stitches. Second, the quilts on the flap will align with the quilts on the body to create the illusion of one quilt along the bottom of the flap; you can see here there are several places where the quilts are misaligned. And… it looks like it’s made of plastic. 


Does the bag have all of the hardware the authentic bag has? Does it look like the hardware of the authentic bag? Genuine luxury hardware has a weight and finish to it that clearly looks and feels of quality. Additionally, most hardware on authentic bags will have engravings, logos, etc. For instance, all of the hardware on Fendi bags is branded in some way; even the backside of the zipper heads have the iconic FF.

Pictured below: Whoever produced this bag (obviously not Gucci) wasn't even bothered enough to ensure the "Gucci" hardware was on straight.

Pictured below: Among other things, the YSL monogram on the authentic Icare tote is much larger than the copycat shown here.

Any packaging, dust bag, or receipts included 

Is there something just kind of “off”?

Pictured below: A really egregious, DIY, and definitely "off" interpretation of Louis Vuitton paperwork and dust bag.


Do you have any other immediate "tells" when it comes to authenticating a bag? 


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