Ultimate Guide on How to Tell if a Gucci Bag is Real (or Fake)? – Case Study: Comparing a Real vs. Fake Gucci (Gucci Dionysus Bag)

Real vs Fake Gucci Dionysus Bag - Ultimate Guide on How to Tell if a Gucci Bag is Real or Fake - Bagaholic 101





(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!)

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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

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After the Gucci Soho Disco bag, this section of BAGAHOLIC 101’s “Ultimate Gucci Guide” presents the most popular offering from Alessandro Michele since he took the helm at Gucci.

The Gucci Dionysus bag with its tiger head closure references the myth of the Greek god Dionysus when he transformed himself into a tiger to carry a young nymph across the river, which then became the Tigris river.

Gucci Fall Winter 2015 Ad Campaign Featuring the Gucci Dionysus Bag

Gucci Fall/Winter 2015 Ad Campaign Featuring Gucci Dionysus shoulder handbag

Carried by the fashion-savvy, the Gucci Dionysus launched a thousand knock-offs. With this guide, we will be applying the lessons from our ‘Ultimate Gucci Guide’ series for tips to differentiate between a fake and authentic Gucci Dionysus bag.

Monogram Pattern

Fakes are getting better with their bags. As you can see from the monogram canvas below, they are learning how to line up their GG patterns.

(All photos can be clicked to zoom for more details)

Monogram Canvas Straight Alignment - Real vs Fake Gucci Dionysus Bag - Bagaholic 101

Monogram Canvas Straight Alignment

However, if you look closely upon this Gucci Dionysus medium bag, a few details are amiss. If you run an imaginary line from one end of the flap to another, you will see the cut-off GG on both ends. There’s also 11 set of GG from end to end.

Number of GG on Monogram Canvas

Number of GG on Monogram Canvas

For the fake bag, you can see that it is lopsided. This is one thing you should look closely when buying bags on Ebay. However, admittedly, some fakes do get this right like what I mentioned in other parts of this guide.

Alignment of GG at the bottom of the Monogram Canvas

Alignment of GG at the bottom of the Monogram Canvas

Chain Handle





From the chain handle, it gets easier to distinguish a real and fake Gucci Dionysus bag. Unlike a Chanel bag that is usually intertwined with leather, the chain handle of a Gucci Dionysus will most like dig on your shoulders.

Nevertheless, you will notice that this fake has the links of the chain wrong.

Chain Handle Link Details

Chain Handle Link Details

Chain Handle Link Details

Compact vs Narrow Chain Handle Link Details

There are also some fakes, like the one below, which almost gets the correct type of chain links. However, upon close inspection, you will see the difference in sheen and finish, as the the real Gucci Dionysus’s chain handle will be evenly polished as compared to the finish of the fake one. It even has some “bubbling” of the metal, as if it was not properly cast and cooled off.

Chain Handle Finish

Chain Handle Finish

Dionysus Hardware

As mentioned in the first paragraph, the tiger becomes a recurring motif for Michele. The Gucci bangle below was enlarged and reworked as the distinguishing hardware of the Gucci Dionysus bag.

Vintage Tiger Head Gucci bangle from the 1970s, inspiration of the Gucci Dionysus hardware

Vintage tiger head Gucci bangle from the 1970s, inspiration of the Gucci Dionysus hardware

Going back to the present-day Dionysus hardware, the untrained eye will not see subtle differences. The details on the real Dionysus tiger head hardware are more sharp.




Focus your attention on the top of the head, especially the the 10 “circles” indention on the metal.

Double Tiger Head Hardware

Tiger Head Hardware Detail

Another Comparison of the Tiger Head Hardware Detail

Another Comparison of the Tiger Head Hardware Detail

Aside from the tiger head, you should also pay attention to the details of the diamond on the top of the curved hardware.

Difference of the Diamond Detail of the Tiger Head Hardware

Difference of the Diamond Detail of the Tiger Head Hardware

Another Comparison of the Diamond Detail of the Tiger Head Hardware

Another Comparison of the Diamond Detail of the Tiger Head Hardware

Leather Tag and Serial Number

If you have reached this part from the ‘Ultimate Guide Series’, you know by now that contemporary Gucci bags are using rectangular leather tags with two rows of serial numbers.




It pays to review the anatomy of the Gucci logo (as discussed here) to know how distinct the Gucci font is on all the markings. Nevertheless, as I love a fake parade, let us proceed with a couple of fake Gucci tags and serial numbers we are all familiar with.

Even with those very good replica Dionysus bags on the outside get at least one of the leather tags and serial numbers below:

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 493348 362688

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 493348 362688

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 400235 136028

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 400235 136028

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 400235 136028

Another Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 400235 136028

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 403343 0202

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 403343 0202




Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 432694 110998

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 432694 110998

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 400249 6589

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 400249 6589

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 403348 1368

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 403348 1368

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 421970 1965

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 421970 1965

What about the next one? Well, this is tricky. Have a closer look.

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 400249 9527

Fake Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 400249 9527

For the untrained eye, yes, it might pass as an authentic Gucci bag. But what I have been always telling readers, it helps to get an ensemble of decisions — stemming from several elements of the bag.

The good fake above came with these fake inclusions, with the Controllato card misspelled  as Comtrollato.

Gucci Comtrollato Instead of Controllato

Gucci Comtrollato Instead of Controllato

But this card can always be lost, and/or discarded, right?

But another giveaway is the zipper. If you remember the post on Gucci zippers, particularly on the D-metal head, you will have more evidence that this is not an authentic Gucci Dionysus bag.

Difference in D-Metal Head of the Zippers - Real vs Fake Gucci Dionysus Bag - Bagaholic 101

Difference in D-Metal Head of the Zippers

The following leather tags are from authentic Gucci Dionysus bags. These bags came from several materials (suede, coated canvas, leather, etc.), thus making it difficult to discern on some especially the suede ones.




But if you have already familiarized yourself with the contemporary Gucci tags that Gucci is using, then you will gain more confidence in authenticating your next Gucci Dionysus purchase.

Real Authentic Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 421970 204991

Real Authentic Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 421970 520981

Real Authentic Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 421970 520981

Real Authentic Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 400235 520981

Real Authentic Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 400235 520981

Real Authentic Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 400249 001998

Real Authentic Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 400249 001998

Real Authentic Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 403348 200047

Real Authentic Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 403348 200047

Real Authentic Gucci Dionysus Leather Tag and Serial Number 448075 204991

A lot of Gucci styles are as popular as the Dionysus these days (such as the Padlock and the Marmont). More guides for Alessandro Michele’s bags will be available soon.

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12 Comments

  1. My grandmother just passed away and she had 2 Gucci bags. I am trying to figure out if they are real or fake. I have taken pictures. I was wondering if you could help me.

    • Hi Shira, first of all, I am sorry to hear of your family’s loss. My sincere condolences.

      As for the Gucci bags, you may upload the photos on Imgur or Tinypic and post the link on the comments.

    • Hi Shira! These are beautiful vintage Gucci bags! The vintage Gucci Bamboo Top Handle and the Gucci Web Stripe with Diamante lining are both authentic!

  2. Hi, I shopping for the gucci dionysus small taupe bag. Was wondering if i can send pictures of bags from 2 sellers to authenticate before i proceed with purchase foryour help with authentication. Thanks in advance for all your help.

    • Hi Sandra! Please upload photos on Imgur or Tinypic and paste the links here for me to check. Cheers!

  3. I have a large vintage suitcase that I would like to get authenticated. I have read your website which is fantastic but mine doesn’t seem to fall into it the serial number is one straight line. Does that rule it out from being an authentic Gucci? The bag is nice heavy I cannot imagine someone filling it up and carrying it. If it is authentic I would would like to sell it. Any help would be appreciated

  4. Hi Bagaholic ! I came across your blog while I was trying to figure out if my second hand purchased Gucci Dionysus suede bag is authentic or not. People were claiming the bag is fake because the logos on the tag is very blurry? Compare to the authentic tags. And I do agree since it does differ from my other authentic Gucci purse I own. But other than the tag, all the other details that’s were mentioned ( zipper head, hardware, chain) are all identical to the authentic one on your post. Can you please take a look into the photos ? Oh and I also called the Gucci store the seller claims to purchase the bag. And the store confirmed the customers name phone number and purchased model.

    Thank you so so much in advance !

    https://imgur.com/a/U8NRRCQ

    • Hi Stephanie! In my opinion, this Gucci Dionysus in Supreme Canvas with serial number “403348 525040” is authentic.

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