How To Tell If Your Vintage Designer Bag Is Actually A Fake

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
When you score an incredible vintage designer bag, you've got full bragging rights. After all, the other chumps out there paid full retail, and you got it for a fraction of that...but those aforementioned bragging rights only apply if your vintage designer bag isn't a fake.

You can gain some sense of security by making sure you're shopping at trustworthy secondhand retailers. And it's important to arm yourself with a detail-oriented eye for spotting real vs. fake. Before you drop your hard-earned cash on a long-awaited investment piece, you need to be sure you're getting what you pay for. Plus, buying a fake has more of a domino effect than you might realize — its impact goes beyond the fashion industry, with links to everything from child labor and sex trafficking to organized crime. It's not that those of us with smaller budgets shouldn't own designer bags, but contributing to mass-produced counterfeits (not to be confused with inspired-by "knockoffs") is bad news on a global scale beyond just commerce — not to mention illegal.

So with the help of our friends at Vestiaire Collective, we've outlined seven fail-proof ways to tell if a vintage bag is real. Keep these in your back pocket and you're sure to find a vintage gem that's all your own — because there's nothing better than when someone asks you where your bag is from and you can proudly say, "It's vintage, and guess how much I paid for it!"

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