The Fakers

Maybe there is something wrong with me, but I do not get wanting a fake anything let alone a handbag. Am I a snob? I don’t think so, but I don’t think I need to skimp on quality or authenticity for the sake of saving a few pounds. The most obvious fake bag in the world has to be the signature print Luis Vuitton range.


In 2004 fake Luis Vuitton bags accounted for 18% of all counterfeit merchandise seized in the European Union.

Personally I think this is coming down, why? Because even though every girl still lusts after the gold on brown LV, even if you owned an original everyone is going to think it is a fake.



In Italy, and other European countries it is illegal to PURCHASE fake bags from a vendor. You will be fined 1000 euros if caught


Now, there are some great articles on how to spot a fake Luis, and eBay have several of these HOW TO guides that are well worth reading. They key points are:

  • Did LV ever make that shape bag in that print? A lot of styles were not made, like a Multicolour backpack. NO SUCH THING! You can check this out online quite easily. Google it.
  • Does it come with luggage tags? Most don’t or didn’t and are going to be fakes. The counterfeiters add lots of these supposed add-ons and freebies like dust bags and tags to make it look real. You get blinded by the volume.
  • The interior of the bag. Again like the style, check it against if they actually made it with a white interior, or a gold interior.
  • Stitching. Along with the metalwork, which I shall come to next, the key is the stitching. Look at the quality, look at the colour of the thread. Again this should be a giveaway.
  • The metalwork. And this is key for a lot of fake bags. The screws on LV’s have 6 pointed star threads, not the common 4. Also, look at the type of metal used in the handle loops, or on the name tags. What colour is the metal. Is it brass? Is it cheap stainless?

Read about this in detail here at the Urbanette Magazine, in their wonderful article on the issue.

But, all this aside, I know many people who want a FAKE LUIS. In NY again friends visited from upstate. Where did they want to go? Did they want to see the Guggenheim, or Ground Zero, or the Statue of Liberty, or Times Square? No, they wanted to know where they could get cheap fake Luis Vuittons from African salesmen. So I took them down by the Ellis Island Ferry downtown and they had a field day. NOTE: They could have gone to Chinatown and Canal Street, but nowadays the locals are shy of the law. Instead of a blanket laid out laden with fake goodies, you will be approached by a girl or a guy with a ring binder full of laminated photographs of their wares. Once picking out the items and agreeing on a price you will go to a lock up, the Aladdin’s den of fake.


So I am seeing more and more fake Mulberry bags, in particular the hobo shoulder bag in London. This article was an interesting read. And it describes in detail the finer points in spotting a real versus a fake Mulberry. Again it comes down to the minutia that the counterfeiters cannot be bothered to copy; the metalwork (is the name stamped and recessed or raised), colour of the metalwork, quality of the metalwork), bag numbers, stitching, thread and lining colour and quality.

If it's popular people will want it, if they can't afford the original, there is a market for a copy

If it’s popular people will want it, if they can’t afford the original, there is a market for a copy

Moving Swiftly On

I guess my point is, that I have noticed of late, and maybe this is part of the downturn in the world’s finances, but even the fakers are moving more downmarket. The fake Luis V’s are still going to be there in abundance, and I am seeing more and more fake Chanel chain bags appearing on the streets of Europe, with London being no exception, but I am also seeing what I would class as AFFORDABLE brands being counterfeited. Is this the state of the world, that when buying a fake bag you can’t even afford the fake Luis so you get a fake Mulberry? Or even a fake Longchamp? A genuine Longchamp Pliage tote will only cost you £50. A  fake Michael Kors? What is next? A fake Oliver Bonas? A fake M&S?

£50 in Selfridges, or a Fiver down the market

£50 in Selfridges, or a Fiver down the market


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