(ETA: It has come to my attention that the ‘Chicago Tribune‘ has mentioned Bagaholic 101 in their article ‘Is that handbag real, or fake? Here’s how to prove your designer bag is the real thing‘. Thank you very much, Ms. Ellen Warren for the feature and recognizing this Ultimate Gucci Guide!)
material | vintage serial number | rounded tag serial number | rectangular tag serial number | exterior | hardware | zipper | lining | seams | vintage gucci and gucci accessory collection | gucci outlet | gucci plus | case study 1: gucci abbey bag | case study 2 : gucci soho bag | case study 3 : gucci dionysus bag
After reading Gucci’s bloody history through “Gucci Plus“, you have now reached my favorite part. This is where we can have a closer look at a real vs. fake Gucci purse.
Every now and then, we see a purse from the Gucci Abbey collection appear on Ebay. It is recognizable with its D-ring hardware attached on the leather. It came as a hobo, a tote bag, a messenger and even a wallet. In this section, I will be comparing a real vs. fake Gucci Abbey Messenger Crossbody bag.
Below is a side-by-side photo of a real and fake Gucci Abbey Messenger Crossbody bag. At first glance, it seems like both of them look alike. Well, they do look alike, but as we discuss further, we see the details give out the fake one.
We have already seen this photo below from another post (Gucci material). We have already discussed how you will notice the alternating weave of fabric (the minuscule rectangles) are more defined in the real Gucci monogram canvas. The fake one, however, has a less-defined weave.
Pay close attention as well at the serifs (tails) of the G. The real one has a longer serif inside, while a shorter serif outside. This is not the case with the fake Gucci monogram canvas.
The hardware below is what makes the Gucci Abbey collection. This D-ring is found in all Gucci Abbey bags. If you look closely at the authentic D-ring, the GUCCI is clear and follows the anatomy of a GUCCI font logo. The fake one has little to no variation in the width of the letters’ strokes.
The D-ring also hangs loosely on the leather tab, as opposed to the snug fit of the real one. If you check out the first side-by-side photo above, the real one even had the D-ring upright when the photo was taken.
Pay close attention to the placement and size of the two leather patches. In the real Gucci Abbey bag, there’s a narrower space at the bottom of the upper patch. Meanwhile, the space at the fake one looks about 1/3 of the lower patch.
Aside from the D-ring hardware in the middle, we also see this at both bottom sides of a Gucci messenger bag. Similar to the one described above, the engraving on the hardware must be clear and defined on an authentic bag.
There is also a stud hardware at the leather and it should be positioned at the center. If you look at the fake one, the stud is off-center.
The D-ring should also fit snugly on an authentic one, like there is a slight resistance to the hardware when you move it. The fake one has the D-ring hanging limply.
At the side of the bag, you can see the Gucci cursive script embossed in gold lettering. If you pay close attention to the details, the stroke where the letter ‘u’ starts should be thin. The fake one has the same wide starting stroke as the rest of the letter.
Aside from the cursive Gucci, the edging on the fake was not neatly done, almost too sloppy in parts. The biggest disappointment of all is the stitching. It was crooked and not clean on the fake one, as opposed to the consistent stitches of the real one.
A consistent theme in these tips for telling real Gucci bags is the Gucci logo font. While we have already discussed that not all authentic Gucci zippers have GUCCI engraved underneath it, it helps in authenticating our bag if we have this detail.
As you can see below, the real one has a nice, slightly matte-finish hardware, where the GUCCI font logo details are correct to a T. While the fake one has the cheap shiny quality to it, with an inconsistent GUCCI font.
If you pay close attention to the teeth of the zipper, the real one has a heavier quality to it. The fake one’s zipper has thin, widely-spaced teeth.
At the end of this particular zipper, the zipper stopper has GUCCI engraved on the hardware as well. This is not present in the fake, shiny Gucci zipper to the right.
And most of all, my favorite detail is the leather tag and the serial number. It will be good to revert to this post on contemporary Gucci leather tags for details.
The front on both leather tags has the registered trademark symbol ®, GUCCI, and made in italy. Both of them actually look quite good on first look. However…
… the details of the serial number of the fake Gucci Abbey are off. This is why it is very important to be familiar with the correct way Gucci embosses their serial number.
Also, when buying Gucci purses on Ebay, don’t be contented with just a photo of the leather tag’s front. ALWAYS ask for a clear and close-up photo of the serial number, specifically instructing the seller with a macro shot (using the flower icon) and no flash under daylight. This will reduce glare and will make the details stand out more.
In the next post, we will be having a close look at a more recent and popular Gucci bag: the Gucci Soho Leather Disco bag.
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