How To Authenticate Balenciaga’s Classic City Bag
If you haven’t heard, Balenciaga is officially the world’s number one hottest brand according to the Lyst Index for Q3. It comes as no surprise considering recent events: its “hacking lab” designs with Gucci, its debut on The Simpsons, the unforgettable Fortnite collaboration – and perhaps now we have Kim Kardashian West to thank for raising the Spanish brand to new jaw-dropping levels. After all, her looks from this year’s MetGala and her recent SNL hosting debut are exquisite.
It’s safe to say that as of late Balenciaga is gracing us with its presence wherever we go. And in many ways, it’s quite true. From the big screen to the bustling streets, sporting a mix of minimalism with athleisure is what makes Balenciaga one of the most appealing high in-demand streetwear brands today.
With that being said, our authentication team is on high alert for Balenciaga items, as the more in-demand a brand is, the more likely to be highly counterfeited. But authentication at FASHIONPHILE is the core of our business. Our most up-to-date scientific approach to assessing the integrity of ultra-luxury items allows us to catch the fakes before they ever enter our building.
As we acknowledge the overwhelming demand for Balenciaga right now, we thought we’d pass along some of our authentication wisdom and share what we know about how to authenticate the Classic City bag from Balenciaga – a beloved staple in the eyes of all ultra-luxury connoisseurs.
Balenciaga was founded in 1919 by Cristobal Balenciaga and is known for revolutionizing women’s fashion with its incorporation of unique shapes and lines in its designs and silhouettes. From the popular Hourglass bag to the timeless Classic City bag, Balenciaga surely does not disappoint – and holds great resale value, may I add.
Currently, the house may have erased their social media but, as you know, the brand is far from missing in action. Thanks to Demna Gvasalia (Balenciaga’s current Creative Director), the world of Balenciaga now continues to revolutionize and redefine the meaning of modern-day couture.
The Most Popular Balenciaga Bag
This time around, let’s take a trip down memory lane. With more 2000s styles re-emerging, what better time to rave about the Nicholas Ghesquiere-era of designs? By that, we mean the Classic City bag of course. The once underestimated design turned It-bag of the early 2000s is surely making a sweet comeback.
It was first introduced as a prototype for the runway, and then gifted to the models afterward – Kate Moss being one of them. Her influence played a big role and the handbag style jumped in popularity almost instantly, proving this “motorcycle bag” was the edgy, rule-breaking everyday bag that women never knew they needed.
Since then, many size and style variations were created of the distinguished Classic bag. Aside from the original, other variations include: most recently the Neo Classic Mini and the Neo Classic Nano, as well older staples such as the Town, First, Work, and Velo to name a few. Since last year, have you noticed that the soft-bodied Classic City bag is slowly being phased out, and has been replaced by the more structured Neo Classic?
Authenticating Balenciaga Hardware
There are several areas that our team pays close attention to from date codes, to hardware color to the thickness of the resin glazing. But when it comes to the Classic City bag from Balenciaga, hardware plays a pivotal part in the authentication process. Some of the areas with the most tell-tale signs of an item’s authenticity fall under hardware, which includes the buckles, rivets, studs, zippers, and clasp closures.
In this example, the buckles from the front on the authentic and on the counterfeit versions are nearly identical. But an area often overlooked by even the most meticulous counterfeiters is the underside of the buckles. In many authentic City bags, you will find a horizontal post underneath. Although there are exceptions to particular sizes, this is an important feature to examine.
Balenciaga Rivets & Studs
The studs are key features and arguably what makes the Classic City bag so iconic. Balenciaga uses only the highest quality finishes for their hardware, and their studs are of a specific shape. Counterfeit versions often make them too tall and narrow. Placement of these studs are also skillfully applied on a leather tab and our authentication team looks at these proportions very carefully.
The rivets on Balenciaga Classic City bags are also very important to review as they have a specific shape and finish to them. The cut-outs are very unique to the brand. You might as well look at them as if they were tiny players of the arcade game PAC MAN. Counterfeit versions often make these cut-outs squared off and that is incorrect.
The small rings that serve as links to the leather zipper pull should be of the finest quality and never have open gaps. On the underside of the zipper, you may notice either Lampo zippers or Balenciaga branded zippers. Many counterfeit versions use fake Lampo zippers, so it’s important to be aware of the overall finish, color, and shapes of the zipper body.
Balenciaga Clasp Closures
When authenticating this style, our brand experts examine the clasp and the area around the ends of the clasp. In this example, note the differences in the proportions of the area of leather where the leather is folded and stitched. On counterfeit versions, you will also often see that the metal surrounding the opening of the clasp is longer and the ring itself is not evenly round. Additionally, the pin oftentimes is too tall and sticks out. These are all tell-tale signs of unmatched quality that do not align with Balenciaga’s design standards.