In The Bag

Don’t Be Fooled: Dissecting Fake Chanel

Danielle Gumina
Handbag aficionado: Award-winning handbag designer, content lover, and trend spotter.

We can take jokes lightly, but never counterfeit bags. 

 

At FASHIONPHILE authentication is a science. For as long as the demand for ultra-luxury handbags exists, there will inevitably be fakes making their way sneakily around the corner. Lucky for you (and us), our extensive brand knowledge and high-end authentication technology makes it possible to catch these counterfeits quickly – oftentimes, even before they ever enter our building. 

To no surprise, these inferior lookalikes attempt to mimic the meticulous designs of some of the most beloved fashion houses such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton, and it’s honestly cringeworthy. But no matter what the counterfeit market tries to copy these days, they always get something wrong. That’s why we’re here to set the record straight. 

Because of our strong efforts to maintain the integrity of the brands we carry, we’re passing along some valuable authentication knowledge for you to retain. Part of becoming an expert at quickly identifying counterfeit bags is dissecting the fakes. This authenticity lesson will walk you through an example of an authentic vs. fake Chanel Classic Double Flap – you’re welcome.  

Construction

Before diving in, it’s important to take note of the overall construction of the item, especially for brands like Chanel because every step is done intentionally. No stitch, quilt, or embellishment is ever overlooked. In fact, these elements are highly mastered. Overall, we make sure that important design elements such as font styles, reinforcement stitches, padding, and construction on the strap are correct. If you’re curious about what goes into the process of making a Chanel handbag, this video from Chanel does a flawless job of showing that.

Authentic (pictured below)

Fake (pictured above)

Designer ID

Aside from observing overall construction, checking the designer ID is an important step in the authentication process as it reveals important production information. Chanel assigns a serial number to every bag, and this is unique to the item. Think of it as the equivalent to a SSN. With that said, no other item can have the same code. From notating the serial number, the age of the bag can be determined by identifying the number of digits present and then referencing the first few numbers which represent the series. We check each digit’s format to ensure it is consistent with Chanel standards.

It’s important to note, we do not base our determination just on serial stickers alone. Although rare, sometimes we get bags without serial stickers but they’re still authentic. For that reason, we always practice the ‘overall’ method when gauging the authenticity of an item. Counterfeit Chanel bags may lack a serial sticker all together, or have one with incorrect placement of the stripes, gold CCs, or overall markings. 

Authentic (pictured below)

Fake (pictured above)

Textile 

Chanel only uses the most luxurious textiles, such as lambskin, to construct their handbags and accessories. Throughout the seasons, Chanel implements various leather techniques. That’s why sometimes the caviar leather from one season might feel or look different from another one.

Overall, the materials used should feel supple and buttery. Although luxurious, leathers will typically wear over time; however, you should never spot significant peeling or melting, or caviar leather that feels thin to the touch. That is a telltale sign of inferior materials in the equation, possibly even faux leather. Simultaneously, you may even detect a chemical odor which is also a serious red flag. 

Authentic (pictured below)

Fake (pictured above)

Hardware

Aside from poor textiles, counterfeit handbags will often use cheap metals to mimic high-end hardware. We inspect the color and shape of all hardware. Additionally, we check for tarnishing, chipping, streaking, any ripple effects, or a rough finish, as well as incorrect engravings and screws that are inconsistent with Chanel standards. 

It’s also worth noting Chanel hallmark stamps, which are small symbols stamped onto the CC turn-lock hardware seen on Chanel Classic Flaps. These indicate hardware is plated with an alloy containing real 24K gold. These were first introduced in 1985 and discontinued in Cruise 2008.

Authentic (pictured below)

Fake (pictured above)

Interior Foil Stamp

No matter how hard the counterfeiters try, the foil stamp at the interior can never deceive us. Look out for a green-ish gold metallic hue, unevenly spaced letterings, and incorrect font style. When comparing the counterfeit example with the authentic version below, the letters are too thin and the “C” is too tall which is incorrect for Chanel.

Overall, when authenticating a luxury item, it’s important to note the nuances. When dealing with a combination of questionable features, it’s likely that the item is inauthentic.  

Authentic (pictured below)

Fake (pictured above)

As always, with our 100% authenticity guarantee, you never have to question what you’re buying. Shop our collection of pre-loved Chanel handbags and accessories at FASHIONPHILE.com

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