How to tell if a designer handbag is fake or the real deal

Vintage designer handbags from fashion houses Bvlgari, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes (the fabulous Birkin bag), Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent are hot property. 

Our reputation for curating genuine and gorgeous vintage jewellery and designer handbags is very important to us – so here is a ‘how to’ guide on investing in your next vintage find. 

Prada bag

How can you tell if a designer handbag is genuine?

It’s important to protect yourself against fakes when you’re buying vintage. 

You can educate yourself, know your stuff, buy from a reputable dealer and be very careful. Even then, counterfeiters are very skilful, and you may still be stuck with a very good fake.  

Here we’ll show you how to keep your eye out for tell-tale copy-cat signs AND we’ll show you our very clever 99.1% effective solution to weeding out fakes.

Chanel bag

Assessing by looking

Authentic bags have high quality leather, clasps, zippers and an accurate logo. They will usually have an authenticity tag and often, a serial number. 

Look closely at the stitching to make sure it’s quality, straight and even. Pro tip - check the stitching on the inside of the bag as well as externally. 

Zippers should be solid, heavy quality, and the zip motion should be very smooth.

Louis Vuitton zippers

Most designers will have an authenticity tag inside the bag with the brand and serial number. If this is not there, you may have a fake on your hands. 

Compare your vintage find to the designer’s website, looking for subtle differences in size, shapes and the location of clasps, stitching and the size of the logos.

Finally, the weight of a genuine designer handbag from one of the fashion house greats tells you a great deal about its value. Genuine and high-quality materials are not light, they have a satisfying weight about them. If your vintage find is as light as a feather it’s a pretty safe bet to walk away. 

Luxury handbag copycats are very good at what they do. Even when applying all of the best human eye investigations a person can still be fooled. 

Louis Vuitton bag

How to make SURE your designer bag is genuine

Our reputation for curating a matchless collection of rare and genuine vintage finds is very important to us. To eliminate the risk of selling you a very good fake, we have partnered with technology company Entrupy

Entrupy is a brand authenticating program blowing fakes out of the water. 

Entrupy has spent years developing artificial intelligence that essentially has created a genuine designer handbag fingerprint that can’t be duplicated. They have spent years building a repository of millions of microscopic surface images of genuine designer accessories, recording and collating detailed and unique surface data. 

We scan our vintage designer handbags through Entrupy’s authenticity system, and they bring back a 99.1% accurate assessment of authenticity.

The really good news is that very tiny 0.9% variance won’t leave you holding a fake bag. The 0.9% will genuinely work against a genuine bag, marking it as a fake. A fake bag being issued a genuine certificate through Entrupy is unheard of. 

All sales of vintage designer handbags through Imperial Jewellery come with a certificate of authenticity from Entrupy tucked inside them, assuring you that you are investing in a genuine vintage find.

Prada bag

View our Collection of Designer Handbags here.



Have a bag that you'd like to determine is real? Make an appointment to have us certify your item. You can find all of the information here