How do I know my piece is authentic?
A question we get ALL the time- “How do I know that this is real?” As we move into a fashion era that is proudly more fixated on conscious buying, it can be really helpful to know what to look for to make sure that your sought after piece is “real” designer vintage
Research the store first
It is EXTREMELY rare to come across an actual vintage designer item that is mispriced or unusually inexpensive. This is the first red flag that unfortunately gets looked over when the idea of the label itself takes over and the reality of quality and authenticity slip faintly away. There are signs to notice even when walking up to a shop that claims to be authentic. Because selling fake designer items is ILLEGAL, the shop will tend to have dimmed lights, curtains and just a general feeling of dodgy construing from the door- it’s not a unique merchandising tactic, it’s sketchy and it’s probably time to leave.
Legitimate vintage luxe retailers have to have an actual second-hand dealership license and have years of experience in seeking out actual and unquestionably “real” items. There really is no grey area when it comes to a real vintage Gucci belt and a fake one- it either is or it isn’t. Authentic store owners know the importance of their customers wanting legitimate designer items, so they will be really honest and knowledged on where it comes from.
Research the item itself
A quick google search on indicating the authenticity of a classic designer piece will take you to a liberal amount of articles, forums, YouTube videos, etc. A quilted Chanel bag at face value can have all the iconic features including the patched leather pattern, crossed emblem at the opening and chain/leather mixed strap. Even with all that, an expert can tell you how to look at little things like the actual print, the button and even where the label is located- identifying these things is extremely valuable when ensuring you’re avoiding a fake designer item.
Learn how to read the label
If you want to get really technical with your knowledge on designer labels, many pieces (bags, especially) will have an embedded sticker hidden on the item with a code. While finding that code in the first place is fairly indicative of a legitimate designer purchase, knowing what the numbers stand for can further validate where and when the piece is from- mastering this would make you a true expert!
It’s important to have pride in the things we buy. Knowing where something comes from, where it’s made and when is so important when it comes to any piece- designer items are of course no exception especially given the large price points! Accidentally buying into the fake designer market not only exploits customers but also promotes a disregard for the amazing time and talent that it takes to go into these artful pieces. If you suspect that a vender is selling fakes it is a good idea to consider reporting them to authorities as it was said before, selling fakes is illegal!