Entertainment Style We tell you how to spot a fashion fake
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We tell you how to spot a fashion fake

how to spot a fake handbag
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I’m not a fan of the fake.

A trip to a store tucked off a back street in Thailand or Hong Kong or Rome to buy a counterfeit designer bag is not my idea of shopping.

I don’t understand how people see a fake handbag as a “bargain”. I’ve heard people say of a fake Celine, or Vuitton or Saint Laurent, “it’s exactly the same as a genuine one, and it was only $600”.

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That’s a lot of money for something that is not real, that has no design integrity and no resale value. It literally loses all worth the minute you hand over the cash.

For although it is not illegal to buy a fake bag, it is illegal to sell one.

The luxury houses have been trying to stop the trade for decades, with varying degrees of success.

I have heard stories of luxury executives spotting someone carrying a fake designer bag on a plane a demanding they hand it over.

In another instance, a customer walked into a shop holding a fake bag of the same house, and the sales assistant came over, brandishing a pair of scissors and snipped off the straps.

Luxury companies have been trying to fight the production of fakes for years. Photo: Getty
Luxury companies have been trying to fight the production of fakes for years. Photo: Getty

There is no point in justifying the fake by claiming that, “apparently they come from the same factory”. They don’t.

The luxury giants are fanatical about policing that. In the extremely unlikely event they did come from the same factory, then you would be technically be buying stolen goods.

I know of one person whose penchant for buying fake watches at the Beijing markets had her detained at airport customs, where they confiscated the items while she missed her flight.

If you can’t afford the real thing, then why not just treat yourself to a fabulous woven basket, or a beaded evening bag, or an embroidered Indian tote bag, something authentic and personal and legitimate which is, in the end, much more stylish than something that is “almost” as good the genuine article.

The brand logo is often the giveaway on fake bags. Photo: Getty
The brand logo is often the giveaway on fake bags (this one is real). Photo: Getty

A man once mentioned to me that on a holiday in Hong Kong he had made a side trip, on the insistence of his wife, to a town in mainland China in order to buy fake Hermès Birkin bags.

“It was a horrible experience” he said.

I didn’t say anything but I was perplexed. He was a wealthy barrister. He could afford an Hermès Birkin.

Surely the lovely experience, the service, the integrity of the product, the wrapping, the ribbon, the box, is all part of the joy that luxury shopping delivers. Th

On real designer handbags, the logos rarely disappear into the seams. Photo: Getty
On real designer handbags like the one pictured, the logos rarely disappear into the seams. Photo: Getty

In the event you’re unsure about whether your handbag could be faux, here are the telltale signs to look for:

• If it is a fabric or leather that is covered in logos (such as the Louis Vuitton LV) you will find that in the genuine article, the logos never disappear into the sewn edges.

• Check the quality, colour and weight of the metal in the zips and hardware.

• An examination of the logo will nine times out of 10 tell you that it is a knock-off. Look for embossing that is not even, or a metal tag that sits slightly askew (Prada in particular).

• If it says Chanel and the price is too good to be true, then it is too good to be true.

For more from Kirstie Clements, click here.

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