When verifying the authenticity of each of our vintage purses, clothing items, and accessories, there are many details to take into account. This encompasses the overall craftsmanship, including aspects such as stitching, material, symmetry, and hardware, as well as other additional markers such as a label, code, and stamp. Each house has their own respective standards, and at the end of the day dupes or forgeries simply cannot match neither the quality nor craftsmanship.
Physical Features of Quality Craftsmanship and Vintage Items
Each item, be it completley unique or a popular pattern, has highly specific characteristics which are considered when verifying the authenticity of a specific item. Here are some of the attributes we check for and specific examples from designer brands:
1. Unique Designer Logos
Logos have several identifying details, such as kind, size, alignment and quality of the logo whether its heat stamped, embossed, or stitched. For example the stamp on Louis Vuitton bags will not have a gap between the ‘L’ and ‘O’ and the ‘O’ should be circular rather than oval.
2. Exact Patterns
Different styles of bags from the same house may have different shapes and proportions dependent on materials, construction methods and more. However, they are easily identifiable to the trained eye and hard to fake. For Example, the two styles of Hermes Kelly bags, the Retourne and Sellier have distinctive lines and silhouettes due to their stitching.
3. Identifying Authentic Purses with Stitching
Each House has a specific number, placement, type and/or color of stitching corresponding to specific styles. For example, quilted diamond Chanel purses typically have 11 stitches per diamond side. Designer brands also have precise stitching, so if there is any kind of unevenness it's a good sign it's a fake.
4. Observing the Look and Feel of the Materials
High quality materials look and feel different to their cheaper counterparts. For example, there are many metal closure styles of Gucci bags such as the interlocking G’s, the Marmont GG overlapping style, and the horsebit closures on Jackie Hobo bags. The metal is weighty and not scratch prone as opposed to cheaply gilded plastic.
These are a few examples of the different categories that signify a vintage designer bag's authenticity. Each house and style specific attribute is meticulously taken into account.
Authentic Vintage Serial Numbers, Tags, and Stamps
Besides the overall quality of craftsmanship, luxury designer brands have specific markers of authenticity in the form of things such as cards or tags with numbers or codes. For Example in 1984 Chanel began using authenticity cards with corresponding stickers. Different periods of time have different lengths of codes. In 1984 to 1986 there was a 6 digit code; from 1986 to 2004 it was 7 digits; and from 2005 to the present authentic Chanel has an 8 digit code. This is one of many aspects considered when verifying the authenticity of a Chanel bag.
Another example are Gucci Bag serial number tags. While the tag may seem small, it presents a ton of details for verification. An authentic Gucci tag will have a precise heat stamp with 3 lines perfectly centered. The serial number on the back should have a specific typewriter-style font and should never have letters. Modern bags have around 10-13 digits while some older bags may have less. Even with this detail the year a bag claims to be from can be verified with identifiable markers specific to that year or time period the house produced it.
We Work With Luxury Authentication Specialists
All of our Vintage items come with a certificate of authenticity from Entrupy. This company specializes in objectively assessing the authenticity of an item using a combination of technology, such as artificial intelligence and microscopy, alongside extensive research and data. For decades they’ve collected data from the prominent retail and resale businesses they work with and perfected creating an item's unique “fingerprint” to verify authenticity. In addition, they pull from a large network of the best fakes from designer brands so that they can be easily spotted, ensuring counterfeit items don't slip through the cracks.
Their item “fingerprinting” method means that from the time an item is crafted, sold to a consumer, and one day resold the integrity of the supply chain is ensured. Thus, not only brands and resellers, but also you the consumer can be sure of the authenticity of your secondhand luxury purse, clothing or accessory.
We Own Our Entire Inventory Instead of Consigning
After we’ve gotten into the minutiae of the physical aspects, I want to note that Alla Moda fully owns our entire inventory as a vintage reseller. Consignment can sometimes lead to tricky situations because the person you are buying from likely does not have the item on hand, whereas I personally own my entire resale inventory. With all the goods in-house, I have the ability to personally verify each item’s authenticity and condition, and my customers can rest assured that I am directly relaying information and not playing a game of inventory telephone.
When you purchase vintage designer resale items from Alla Moda we work one on one with you with expertise garnered from years of hands on experience, and our passion for honesty and hard work.