As a brand Gucci is on fire right now. They are the hottest brand of the moment, and everything from their bags to their shoes are selling like hotcakes. Consequently this means that there are a lot of fake Gucci products out there, some which dubious sellers are trying to pass off as the real deal. These are some tips to help you authenticate a Gucci bag and avoid getting ripped off (or on the other hand if you have a fake these tips will help you understand how good of a replica Gucci bag you have on your hands):
Gucci Authenticity – Key Things To Pay Attention To!
There are certain reoccurring reasons that people state prevent them from buying replica bags. Some authentic purists often even get offended when they hear other people may mix in a fake or two into their collection, and they begin to spurn a list of criticisms, three key ones which include:
The bags are made by factory workers in poor conditions in China (or another developing country).
The original brands make it with the care and love of a true artisan – that is why they deserve to be paid thousands of dollars for their art.
The bags support terrorists, gangs, and every other despicable organization out there.
Now don’t get me wrong. There are good reasons not to buy replicas of certain bags. For example there are certain bags I like to buy authentic because the embroidery or handwork is not something that I have seen eloquently created in the replica market. Or when a certain bag by a certain designer that I love is so fringe or non-popular that I know a replica manufacturer cannot get perfectly right (hence why I recommend sticking with many popular models when it comes to shopping for replica bags).
Some of my friends get duplicate fake bags of their real ones, simply because they don’t want to worry about their thousand dollar investment getting dirty or deteriorating quickly. So I definitely understand that there are situations where it is better to buy authentic, while there are other situations where it is better to buy fake.
However the key point I am trying to make here is that this air of snobbery and those oft mentioned criticism I listed above are not justified, especially after the damning New Yorker article which was released recently, which makes explicit the fact that all of our favorite designers, whether it be Gucci, Prada, or even Chanel, outsource their work to Chinese factories that are located in Europe. The article even states that many of these brands outsourced their work directly to Asia at certain points, before they realized they could not do that and simultaneously label their products “Made in Italy”.
I find the article very ironic because very so often on this blog I notice that in the comments certain individuals pop up and use luxury or designer goods as a tool to attack others, try to elevate themselves, and essentially use it as a mechanism to deem themselves superior. Examples include:
This prominent niche of people who I call orthodox authentic shoppers like to think they have a certain air of moral superiority when it comes to buying strictly authentic bags. And this is what is wrong. These are the biggest shockers I read in the article (you can read the original by clicking here):
1.Workers employed to make bags for top brands (e.g. Gucci) work in very poor conditions.
Based on the price tag people tend to naturally assume that the bags are made by artisans who are paid well and who treated like humans. This is wrong. The article highlights how many workers work in poor conditions where they are yelled at to meet quotas, work long hours, and sometimes are not even paid for their work (which has lead to protests against certain factories). Read this snippet from the article:
One of the employees who protested later told me that he had been paid only twelve hundred euros a month, with no benefits, to work in a freezing-cold room. He remembered working on products for companies including Ferragamo, Prada, and Dior. The crew chief, he said, “would scream at us to work faster, to get more pieces done.” (The employees were officially paid a higher salary, to comply with the law, but, according to a union representative, managers required them to withdraw their “extra” wages and give that money to the owner.)
2. Most designer products are made by Chinese workers in a town called Prato, Italy.
Factories import workers from China as well as other developing countries to work in factories in Prato which have deals with top brands to make their goods.
3. If 2 steps of the manufacturing process take place in Italy then a product can be labelled “Made in Italy”
This allows designer brands to outsource the remaining steps to countries with cheap labour in order to maximize their profits. In the ‘90s brands would make their goods from start to finish in China or Eastern European countries (where labour costs are lower than Europe) and lie to their consumers labelling their products “Made in Italy”. They stopped when they were caught.
4. It costs Gucci about $75 USD per bag.
Read this snippet to see how much it costs per average Gucci bag produced:
Arturo took me through the economics of doing work for luxury-fashion brands. He was paid a set fee for an order, no matter how long it took to complete. He generally lost money on the first bags he finished, but his workers got much faster with repetition, and the later iterations were profitable. When he was fulfilling Gucci contracts, he said, the company paid him an average of nineteen euros an hour. He showed me a bag that featured the company’s insignia fabric, with its interlocking “G”s, and said, “This fabric would cost fifteen euros a metre. But they make millions and millions of metres, so they don’t pay fifteen. Maybe ten. The leather here costs maybe fifteen to twenty euros. It’s two euros for the zipper, plus the money they pay us—that’s the cost. And they put it on the market at between ten and fifteen times that cost.”
In 2014, an Italian artisan spoke to the investigative television journalist Sabrina Giannini. Gucci had given him a big contract, he said, but the pay was so low—twenty-four euros a bag—that he had subcontracted the work to a Chinese mill, where employees worked fourteen-hour days and were paid half what he made. When the bags made it to stores, they were priced at between eight hundred and two thousand dollars.
The Bottom Line
I could go on and on and on about how this article debunks a lot of myths about authentic bags being made, but that’s unnecessary.
The prime take away from this all is that there are wrong reasons not to buy replicas, and right ones. The ones discussed in this article are the wrong reasons not to buy replicas.
Another key takeaway is that as much one covets designer brands they are a business at the end of the day – i.e. a money making enterprise, and as a result we should not fetishize these brands to the point where we forget that they too can have disheartening manufacturing practices. There is a big percentage of “fugazee” when it comes to luxury goods.
What do you think of the story? Leave a comment below as I’d love to know!
The Goyard Saint Louis tote is by far the most popular Goyard bag and it comes in two sizes: PM and GM. This is a super popular bag yet I do not see it on the streets as much as I do Louis Vuitton Neverfulls due to the exclusivity of the brand: Goyard has only 29 boutiques around the world and they do not sell directly online, or even display their catalog online. This approach seems almost strange in our tech crazed world where we are used to getting what we want when we want, and usually what we want is available online.
Even with this tight approach to selling, Goyard St. Louis tote is a favorite amongst celebs and handbag lovers around the world. I think these are the bag’s strongest points: it is versatile, lightweight and extremely functional. You can use the Goyard fake St Louis tote as an everyday bag, as a shopping bag, as a traveling bag, as a diaper bag or even as a beach bag as these celebs show:
2017 is over (for better or worse), and the Lyst index indicates that Gucci was on fire as the second hottest brand of 2017, right behind Balenciaga. One of Gucci’s most popular handbags of the year was the Dionysus Supreme GG bag which I actually ended up snagging one (as a replica), in the same color combo Chiara Ferragni has (pictured below from her Instagram account):
In this review I will compare an authentic Gucci Dionysus bag to a replica Gucci bag. As you go through the guide, try to guess which is real, and which is fake. By the end of the article you’ll know whether you were right or wrong.
So in case you haven’t seen the Dionysus before, this is the bag pictured on the Gucci site, where it retails for $2,290 USD:
Many people are afraid to buy a fake Hermès Birkin bag, both knowingly or unknowingly. Considering these bags can run up to the $100s of thousands (especially if they are exotic leather editions) it makes sense to KNOW your Hermès before you embark upon the re-seller market to make sure you don’t get cheated by a seller. Even if you are looking for a fake it is important to know what key aspects of the bag are important to get a good knockoff vs. a piece of junk. In this article I will be comparing my replica Hermès Birkin (which I previously reviewed here) to an authentic Birkin in the same model. Please note that the replica being used to compare to the authentic bag is a super fake so the quality is very high – your average fake bag will not be as good! At the end of the article I will reveal which bag is fake! Put on your detective glasses and try to spot the fake to see if you know your Hermès authentication as well as you do!
Slouchiness is not necessarily a sign that your bag is either fake or real!
Before I begin to go through key things to pay attention to when looking at a fake vs. real Birkin, I would like to note that you do not need to pay attention to the slouchiness of the bags. This is not a sign that will indicate whether the bag you are examining is fake or real. The bags featured both are made with Togo leather however the difference is that one bag is brand new, thus the leather is still quite stiff and so the shape of the bag is also more stiff. However as your Togo leather Birkin ages the bag naturally becomes more slouchy and this is part of the look of the Togo leather that many Hermès fans love, while some others prefer to keep the shape of the bag stiff and opt for other leathers which are better at keeping the shape! Look below at a well aged authentic Birkin in Togo leather to see how the slouchiness tends to look. If your brand new Hermès bag’s shape is really out of whack however this is a sign that your bag is most likely fake since the bag should have a clean shape when it is new!
2. Take a look at the stamping of the Hermès logo.
An authentic bag’s stamp should be clean and uniform, however on fake bags the stamp usually looks unclean – a.k.a spotty and irregular. Take a look at the stamps on both bags, as pictured below, to see which looks better/worse.
3. Take a look at the stitching.
Hermès stitching should be done on a slant – not a straight line. If you see the stitching on your bag is done in a straight manner the bag is 100% fake. This is probably the easiest thing to look at to weed out a very bad fake. Keep in mind however that if the threading is slanted, this does not mean that is 100% real, since many replica manufacturers are aware of this and stitch their bags accordingly. As you can see both bags pictured in this article feature slanted stitching.
4. Take a look at the hardware.
The font of the Hermès stamp on the hardware should be thin and elegant. If you notice a boxy or thick font the bag is definitely fake! Additionally the letters should not be too far apart on the stamping.
5. Take a look at the inside strap of the bag!
The strap’s cutout should be done nice and cleanly, and the threading should continue to be clean. Additionally you should see some numbers engraved into the inside of the strap. These refer to the production run in which the bag was produced. If there are no numbers the bag you have is definitely a fake!
6. Take a look at the leather of the bag!
The leather on a Hermès bag should be rich and feel buttery smooth – especially if it is a Togo leather bag. You can use your basic instincts when judging the leather – it should be smooth to the touch and feel luxurious – these bags are pricey for a reason after all!
So do you think you’ve guessed it? Which bag did you think was real, and which did you think was fake? Well time for the grand reveal… the bag on the right is fake! The bag on the left is real. Did you guess right or were you confused? Well if you were confused don’t feel to bad since as I mentioned earlier the fake being compared to the original in this article is a superfake or counter quality replica which means it is the best of the best when it comes to knockoffs. It’s hard for authentication experts to judge it to be fake, let alone the average consumer! Leave a comment below letting me know how accurate your authentication skills were!