How To Spot A Replica Designer Bag

Have you accidentally picked up a replica Michael Kors handbag? Is that Chanel 2.55 the real deal? We consult the experts…

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Obviously, if you want the care and customer service – not to mention shiny clean dust-bag and calligraphy adorned warranty – that one would expect when dropping a couple of grand on a handbag, then you really need to head straight to the mothership and buy new from a brand’s own store.

However, with price tags stretching up into the tens of thousands, it can be very, very tempting to buy second hand or at a concession price from an online retailer.

And while fashion rewards the thrifty, you don’t want to risk parting with a lot of money on a replica designer bag which turns out to be a replica.

We spoke to Sophie Hersan, Co-Founder and Product Director of Vestiaire Collective, an e-commerce site which specialises in the resale of designer items.

She gave us some super handy tips to use when rooting around for second hand replica designer handbags, be that online, at a thrift store or otherwise.

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1) Can you tell the real deal by the weight of the product?

Yes, especially in jewellery and bag categories. Counterfeit products tend to be made of substitute fabrics, which are lighter than leather or precious metals. Most hardware will be made of metals like brass and gold, which won’t tarnish over a period of time. These metals will be heavier and shouldn’t show any imperfections.

Some counterfeits are becoming more and more sophisticated, though, and even use real materials such as gold and diamonds, so weight is not the only thing you should be looking out for.

But each brand will have a standard weight class or or average weight for each product – our teams are highly trained and know the weight standards of a brand.

2) What can the stitching tell you about your handbag?

Its really important to study the stitching.

Uneven or slanted stitching is a sign of a poorly made item and potentially a counterfeit.

Brands have their own stitching codes, which are a key indicator of authenticity and permit knowledgeable companies like ours to authenticate products.

For example, for Hermès, the famous stitches are ‘piqures sellier’, handmade by craftsman.

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It’s intricate hand work, so we can find imperfections on the stitches. We are able to recognise some handmade irregularities, compared to a machine’s work.

It is worth noting that counterfeiters do know how to copy the ‘piqures sellier,’ but not as well as an Hermès artisan.

3) What about if you don’t know anything about stitching? Are there other ways to spot a replica immediately?

Yes, the logo is often a slip up area for copies, every brand includes unique details to ensure they can identify a genuine piece.

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The two main criteria you should look at are material quality and finishing.

For example if the material is supposed to be leather (though remember, not all real designer handbags are fully leather), it should smell and feel like leather – it should be supple, consistent in colour, shouldn’t be sticky, or have a plasticky smell unless you’re looking at something patent.

You can tell if something has been surface dyed, versus fully aniline-dyed by looking carefully at the stitching – if you can see inside a needle hole that the leather is a different colour on the inside, as opposed to the outside colour of the bag, then it’s likely that your product has only been surface dyed.

In terms of linings, some bags are lined with a different fabric on the inside and some are not, but it is very unlikely that a genuine designer handbag would use a cheap fabric in its lining.

A quality bag is more likely to have a lining made of good canvas, cross-grain leather or microfiber suede, for example. You should also look for the lining to be well integrated with the bag, with no loose threads.

4) What if the replica is really convincing?

There are companies that offer to help you authenticate a bag you have already bought. Some of them claim to be able to authenticate your bag from a photograph that you send them.

Authentication by picture is very complicated, though, and we would always advise you to go to a trusted source. At Vestiaire Collective there are two steps to the authentication process: curation and physical authentication.

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Our curation team have great knowledge on luxury products and how to spot a replica, they are trained by our internal experts. We are trained to know how to detect things like replica warranties, invoices, certificates and packaging.

The physical verification part of the process is really essential, our team is composed of experts who come from a luxury fashion background and auction houses with detailed training, in both contemporary and vintage collections, with specialised leather goods, jewellery, watches, clothes and accessories. The authentication team check every item sold with a meticulous expertise because it ‘s important to touch the quality, smell the leather, verify the engravings and stitches.

Take a look at Vestiaire Collective’s top selling second hand replica designer bags here.

Bailey Hires Burberry Design Director To Dior

CHRISTOPHER BAILEY is well aware of Burberry’s strengths with almost 40 per cent of its revenue coming from accessories and so, ahead of a summer of executive movement, he’s shoring up that area; hiring an accessories specialist from the Dior outlet fold. Sabrina Bonesi will become design director of leather goods and shoes – a new role, WWD reports and will oversee the replica handbags, shoes and accessories for both the men’s and women’s collections.

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Bonesi is not the only new girl in team Burberry replica this year; just over a month ago the company recruited one of Net-a-Porter’s co-founders, Claudia Plant, also in to a newly created role. Plant will serve as senior vice president, brand experience: a role that will see her work to “bring fashion and products to life for customers, and help to establish a strong editorial voice that will support brand and product initiatives”.

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Bailey, who is currently both CEO and chief creative officer of the British house, will welcome new CEO Marco Gobbetti in July. Bailey will then become president, as well as retaining his chief creative officer role overseeing his new hires alongside the existing team – a set-up that he is convinced will work well for the brand.

“I will focus more specifically on design, the products, creativity, architecture, marketing, communication, experiences,” Bailey said when Gobbetti’s accession was announced. “He will focus more on the operational side, finance, retail and merchandising. I see this really as two pieces working together. We will jointly lead all the strategies and people.”

How To Spot A Fake Hermes Designer Handbag Online

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Elite designer handbags like the Hermes Kelly or Birkin bags can fetch hefty prices, and investing in the fashionable pieces can reap financial reward down the road. It also makes them some of the most likely accessories to be ripped off.

With the proliferation of bag resale on the internet, it can be easier than ever to con consumers into purchasing a replica bag priced at tens of thousands of dollars. Baghunter, a go-to destination for secondary luxury handbags, published an article Monday that reports on how fake sellers are perfecting their methods in getting shoppers to purchase counterfeit luxury pieces online.

Counterfeited and pirated imports are worth almost half a trillion dollars a year, OECD reported in April of 2016. That’s about 2.5 percent of global imports – and the release cited that French, Italian and American brands were among some of the most impacted.

The increase in online counterfeit bag resales has also given way to digital services that claim to be able to produce authentication certificates just by using photos of the bag, alone.

“The rise in replica Hermes handbags across online marketplaces is alarming and concerning for the many women who might only have the means to purchase one Hermes bag in their lifetime,” Evelyn Fox, CEO of Baghunter, said in a statement. “While the photo only authentication services may have good intentions, they are actually contributing to the sales of counterfeit bags by providing authentication certificates which add trust to listings of replica handbags.”

Online retail giant eBay has since launched eBay Authenticate, a new service that allows users to verify luxury goods purchased through the auction website. While the new Authenticate service should assist in helping to combat mistrustful sellers on the site, luxury handbag shoppers should still thoroughly research the listing and seller before buying, Baghunter advised.

In addition to due diligence, Baghunter offered some helpful tips on how to spot a fake bag or untrustworthy seller online.

Pictures That Look Good – Too Good Be wary of professional product photos that bear the seller’s personal watermark. Product images can easily be pulled from other online retailers and doctored with watermarks. Creative backstories can also be an attempt to pull in prospective buyers.

100 Percent Positive Feedback Don’t rely solely on the seller’s feedback scores since sellers can rack up the feedback points from buying alone or selling hundreds of small, cheap items, without having previously sold luxury bags or items. Be sure to fully check the seller’s history, Baghunter advised.

Receipts, Original Dust Bags And Boxes Are Not A Guarantee Don’t rely on traditional markers like “original” receipts or duster bags bearing the brand’s logo. Real accessories, dust bags or receipts do not equal real handbags.

Sellers That Won’t Send Photos On Request Some fake sellers simply post the listing and images without having the physical bag yet. Cheaper versions are often purchased only after an order has been placed. To ensure the bag is physically in the hands of the owner, immediately request a new photo of the bag pictured next to the day’s newspaper.

Hermes birkin replica handbags lead Fellows auction of designer pieces

Three Hermes Birkin replica handbags were among the leading pieces at Fellows’ latest Designer Collection auction this week.

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Hermes birkin replica handbags led at Fellows’ Designer Collection sale this week, representing the top five results for the Birmingham auctioneer.

Leading the sale were a 2008 Sable Togo Birkin 35 and a 1999 black Ardennes Birkin 35 which were hammered down for £560 and £540 respectively. The following three lots were also Birkins taking hammer prices between £410 and £460.

These coveted French tote replica bags were created in the 1980s and are named after the British actress and singer Jane Birkin. A new replica bag can cost £750 to £1000, and are released in limited quantities.

Hermes bags also achieved strong results at the sale. A Jumbo Classic Double Flap handbag took £150 before buyer’s premium and a bronze leather Small Crown replica handbag was knocked down for £120.

The Birmingham auctioneer sold 91% of the lots by value for a hammer total of just over £810.

In style

Fellows launched designer sales last year, in keeping with the rising trend for luxury sales around UK auction houses. Sworders, for example, launched its Replica Designer Handbags and Couture department in 2015.

Other salerooms active in the designer market include Tennants, which also reported a strong performance of replica handbags in its February sale. Most recently, Aston’s Auctioneers & Valuers held their inaugural Vintage & Modern Fashion Auction on Tuesday this week.

Replica designer handbags raise money for Epilepsy Society

New York actress, model and DJ Chelsea Leyland is once again using her creative talents to help raise awareness of epilepsy and at the same time raise vital funds for Epilepsy Society.

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Chelsea and her sister, Tamsin both have epilepsy and last year Chelsea designed a unitard to raise £10,000 for the charity. Now she is designing a pair of limited edition replica handbags uk to raise even greater awareness and money.

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Chelsea is working in collaboration with Mark Cross whose handbags are a must-have for devotees of his trademark structured replica leather bags with vintage-inspired designs ranging from ’60s style daisies to galaxies of stars and moons.

Chelsea’s two designs are a set of day and night bags in alternating navy and blush pink, inspired by a vintage ’80s swimsuit she owned.

Asked about her decision to donate funds to Epilepsy Society, Chelsea told Vogue magazine: “I thought, ‘why not do some good while I’m at it?’ I’m trying to use fashion to raise awareness for epilepsy.

“It’s a cause that is obviously very close to my heart.”

Photosensitive epilepsy

Chelsea has juvenile myoclonic epilepsy while Tamsin has complex epilepsy with learning difficulties. Chelsea is also photosensitive so has to make sure any gigs she plays at use lasers instead of strobe lights.

Chelsea dj-ing

Talking about epilepsy

Chelsea told Epilepsy Society: “I have been through a time when it was a challenge to talk about my epilepsy and now talking about it with power is really different. I’m trying to make it positive and upbeat, so I’m trying to use my position as an influencer to make an impact.

“I had a voice but I wasn’t using it – now I want to make some noise and help people understand what epilepsy is. I want to give people strength by telling my own story. I want to do it for Tamsin, I owe it to her and also to empower other young people.

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Living at Epilepsy Society

‘Tamsin has lived at Epilepsy Society since she was 18 and absolutely loves it. She’s the happiest she’s ever been. Some people think she’d rather be at home but that’s wrong – there’s a big part of her that’s very independent, like any adult. She knows exactly what she wants and she wouldn’t have that same freedom if she was at home.”

The fake handbags were launched at a special celebration in Greenwich Village, New York where Chelsea told Vogue: “If someone opens up a magazine and sees the bag connected to the charity and says, ‘Oh, what’s that charity?’ Then I feel I’ve done my job.”