Fashion Law, Fashion Law Feature

Is your Chanel real?

How to tell if your designer purse is real

Be a fashion crime fighter by fighting fakes. Keep reading for some tips on spotting Chanel fakes.
Authentic Chanel accessories
For reference, these items are authentic, purchased directly at Chanel boutiques or Neiman Marcus.
 
Buying a fake is unfashionable and far from a harmless crime. Contributing to counterfeits may promote child labor, terrorism, unsafe work conditions, hazardous materials, drug crimes, human trafficking, and higher pricing on legitimate goods.  

How to spot a fake handbag

Chanel counterfeits commonly have:
  • Unbelievably good prices
  • Uneven seams
  • Misplaced logos
  • Crooked closures
  • Inferior materials
  • Counterfeits of vintage bags usually get the overlapping of the CC logo wrong
    • The top of the right C must overlap the top of the left and the bottom of the left must overlap the bottom of the right part of the C
  • Uneven stitching
Blue Chanel GST PurseBlue Chanel GST PurseBlue Chanel GST Purse
  Click on the images for detailed views
Blue Chanel GST Purse  Blue Chanel GST Purse Blue Chanel GST Purse

These photos are of Authentic Chanel purses

Black Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap BagBlack Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap BagBlack Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap Bag

Vintage bags may be easier for counterfeiters to fake. They may rely on your belief that the bag has weathered through time as an excuse for misaligned quilted patterns. Or blame flaking and removable brand marks on age.

Black Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap BagBlack Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap BagBlack Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap Bag
Black Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap Bag       Black Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap Bag       Black Lambskin GHW Chanel Flap Bag

 

Best ways to tell if a Chanel is real:
  • Make sure it is a style Chanel actually made
  • Logos and quilting always line up
    • Pockets on the outside of a bag do not break up the alignment of the quilted pattern on a real Chanel handbag
  • Look for authenticity card embossed with serial number 
    • Before the 1990s, these serial numbers were 7 digits on a white sticker with the Chanel logo printed in gold across the background
    • From the 1990s to the present, the serial numbers have been 8 digits on a white sticker beneath two gold Chanel CC logos
    • Check for logo holograms
  • Serial number on authenticity card should match the serial number in the handbag (usually in the pocket or lower left corner of handbag)
  • The Chanel name or logo should be on zipper pulls and hardware
    • One side of a zipper pull has the CC logo and the other side has the Chanel name
  • Inside stamps are matched to the color of the handbag’s hardware
  • Flathead screws are used
  • The space between the sewn interlocking Cs should be identical to the width of one of the Cs
  • Any hangtags are white and have code for style number, name, color and bar code
    Red Caviar PHW Chanel Flap Bag    Red Caviar PHW Chanel Flap Bag    Red Caviar PHW Chanel Flap Bag    Red Caviar PHW Chanel Flap Bag
Red Caviar PHW Chanel Flap BagRed Caviar PHW Chanel Flap BagRed Caviar PHW Chanel Flap Bag
 
While the “designer” purse in Chinatown with matching wallet and belt bought for a total of $200 may seem like a great deal, I can assure you someone else negotiated a cheaper price and your “deal” has much greater consequences than a fashion crime. 

Please comment with any additional tips.


Keep in mind that not all counterfeits are created equal. Some Chanel counterfeits are actually made of leather with even patterns and some people sell real dust bags and shopping bags, etc. So you need to exercise caution when shopping and receiving a designer item. 

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