(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
You have already reach the 7th post of the ‘Ultimate Gucci Guide’ on buying Gucci purses on Ebay. I hoped you learned a lot with my Gucci hardware tips. By now you might already feel comfortable looking at bags online. In this section, I will be discussing Gucci zippers.
I will be dividing this post into several parts, each with the aim of familiarizing you with the hallmarks of a real Gucci bag.
A Little Fake Parade
Here we are with another fake parade, though not as long as this. Let’s start with a fake zipper pull.
The photo below is bad fake. Judging by the photo alone, the metal looks and the font is flimsy. It is nothing like an authentic Gucci metal zipper pull.
That’s easy. Now, let me challenge you with a difficult one (though you might have already seen this in our serial number guide). Look at this Gucci zipper pull:
This zipper pull is similar to what you can find in a lot of contemporary Gucci bags. This is what I call a plain, unmarked leather zipper pull. It looks quite decent, but the giveaway was the leather tag and the serial number.
As I have been saying over and over again, you don’t have to focus on one detail. It is best if you look at several things before arriving at a conclusion on authenticity. Anyway, zipper pulls like this are much easier to copy.
Next is the zipper head. The photo below shows a fake zipper head and D metal pull (where the leather pull attaches), and it is fake. As you will see further down below, not all Gucci bags have a marking (either GUCCI, YKK or LAMPO, etc) but this plain one doesn’t cut it.
Last but not the least, look at the two GUCCI marked zippers. One of them was a bad fake, while the other is a slightly better fake.
Now that you have seen these fake Gucci zippers, let us look at different details of an authentic Gucci bag zipper.
As mentioned above, this type of leather zipper pull is easier for Gucci replica makers to imitate. They manage to copy even the correct slanted stitching.
For the sake of discussion, let me first draw your attention to the the following (as this is important in subsequent sections).
There are two types of hardware where the leather pull attaches:
a) the thin D-metal without a screw
b) the thick D-metal with a screw
Also, there are two types of plain zipper pulls:
a) a standard plain leather
b) a wide plain leather
Now, you can have a combination of these four things, such as the examples below:
Not so confusing, right?
Gucci-Marked Leather Pull
You have learned those four combinations above, however, in the examples of Gucci-marked leather pulls below, they fall under the thin D-metal without a screw. (I could not find a Gucci-marked zipper pull with a thick D-metal and screw). As mentioned in another post, the embossing can become shallow due to several factors.
Here are examples of authentic Gucci-marked leather pulls:
Interestingly, you should note that the examples above are for contemporary Gucci bags with a contemporary leather tag. These Gucci-marked leather pulls below do not have a D-metal, rather a round one. These are from a 90s Gucci bag.
If you recall this post on round leather tags, I first mentioned these medallion zipper pulls. The interlocking GG is attached to a chain, which is then attached to a circular ring attached to the zipper head.
Here are a couple of authentic zipper pulls with interlocking GG medallion:
The first photo of this post is the ugly and fake metal zipper pull. Below is an example of an authentic metal zipper pull. Look how exquisite the engraving on the polished silver metal. Bonus that the stitching on the nylon canvas is captured excellently here as well.
In a lot of Gucci hobo bags, it is familiar to see this G metal zipper on the large compartment. This has GUCCI engraved near the hole attached to the zipper head. Also, this style of hobo bag usually has a diamante lining inside.
Below is an example of an authentic interlocking GG zipper pull.
We have focused previously on vintage monogram canvas, as well as the serial number for a Gucci Accessory Collection (GAC). Below is a close-up of the gold Gucci knight crest zipper pull. This is detachable from the zipper head and usually sold separately on Ebay.
This Gucci knight crest had a revival in the Gucci Babouska collection from Fall 2008/2009.
Look at this variation of the Gucci knight crest. It is in a square-ish gold-tone hardware, and if you look closely, attached in a YKK zipper head.
The gold-tone interlocking GG zipper pull below can also be found in some vintage Gucci Accessory collection bags. You can also see that the hardware is attached to a YKK zipper as well.
Don’t be surprised if you see that your Gucci bag has a LAMPO zipper. Gucci used and has been using different types of zippers, and LAMPO had been one of them. The shown here are from an authentic Gucci hobo bag and a Gucci bowling bag.
You have seen that Gucci Accessory Collection bags used YKK zippers. Actually, a lot of contemporary Gucci bags also use this type of zipper. It has the YKK etched on both sides of the zipper head.
Remember the thick D-metal I had first mentioned above? Here is a close up of its screw, specifically a Phillips screw with a (-) sign. The other end should be blank like the one above, and the zipper pull after the photo below.
Here is also an example of a YKK zipper in vintage Gucci bags. Notice that it rests parallel to the direction of the zipper. However, I have seen vintage bags with this zipper pull a bit loose thus the head looking a bit limp.
Other Zipper Information
Have you ever seen this zipper pull before? This is an authentic zipper pull made from Lucite. It has GUCCI etched on it. The zipper below is from an authentic satin bag with bamboo handles described in Part 3 of the serial number post (i.e. the one without the registered trademark).
In contrast to the hideous GUCCI engraving on the zippers above this post, this one is beautifully done with the correct anatomy of a Gucci logo.
But do not be surprised that some Gucci bags zippers do not have anything written underneath. For instance, look at these authentic zippers (silver and black) that are blank. However…
… if you look closely, the zipper actually is marked with “5CN”.
With these Gucci zipper information, I bet you will be more empowered browsing for authentic Gucci bags on Ebay. Next in this ‘Ultimate Gucci Guide’ series, I will be discussing about the Gucci lining.
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