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Vintage Louis Vuitton Handbag

November 3, 2011

I have enjoyed Louis Vuitton bags for the last 23 years.  I have liked and owned other bags like Gucci and Liz Claiborne, but have always been drawn back to the look, style and allure of Louis Vuitton.

Best thing about thrift stores is you  can sometimes find designer bags.  Some in better condition than others and some authentic and fake.  Fortunately I visited a Goodwill store located at Venice and Western here in Los Angeles and lucked up on a vintage Louis Vuitton handbag.  I looked for all the tell-tell signs of its authenticity.  The bag was a little beaten up, the zippper was broken, but hey, if you know where to go, it can be fixed right up.

The vintage Louis Vuitton has leather canvas and the handles are sturdier than fake ones, and they don’t wear in the right places as such as  does the real/original LV bags.  And because I got it from a thrift store, I had to take a whole lot of care to determine if whether or not it’s fake.  So because I had another vintage LV bag at home as well as a fake one, I compared all three to determine their authenticity.  The vintage LV bag I already I purchased in 1988 — long before LV grew to sky high prices — back when they were set still affordable to purchase.  The fake bag I purchased online.  I did not use the bag for more than three months when one of the straps had broken.   I’ve had the back three years now and just took it to get the strap fixed.

Now the vintage bag I got in 1988 is still holding its color.  The handles in comparison to the bag I got from the thrift store are the same color and are worn in the same areas.

One of the things I did was checked inside of the bag.  The insides of both the vintages look the same and the coloring is the same even though my other vintage is 23 years old.

And because they are both made from one slab of canvas the monogram is upside down on both bags.  Now I also have a tube LV bag.  Haven’t taken the time to determine if the bag is authentic or not yet, but I plan on doing so really soon.

It does have a lock with LV engraved on it.  You can’t see it because it’s facing the other direction.  This bag did not come with the tags or anything else that would prove its authenticity, but it does have features that would spell out its originality unlike my fake bag that doesn’t.

Because this bag is old and worn from continued use, I have to take great care for it mostly because of the handles.  There are resources who can repair it but Louis Vuitton does have resources that are designed for repairing their own designer bags.  In this case I took this bag to where I get my shoes repaired to have the zipper fixed.  It was a minor thing so I wasn’t looking for anything spectacular, just the zipper getting repaired.

I think the over all bag can restored to it’s natural beauty, that’s if I wanted to spend the money to do so.  Even though the bag only cost me $19.99 from Goodwill, it cost me $10 to have the zipper fixed.  To have the straps completely repaired is going to run me close to $25 or $30 that’s if I take it back to my shoe repair guy.  It would cost a lot more if I took it to a Louis Vuitton facility.

I tend to look for online resources that help to identify authentic from fake so consumers aren’t’ spending a lot of money on designer hand bags thinking they are getting the real deal when in fact they are not.  One site, is a good resourceful site.  They provide 10 things to look for on a Louis Vuitton handbag.  But I’ve also learned that the best way to tell a fake from the real thing is go to the source.  Go to the retailer themselves and ask them if they wouldn’t mind looking it over for you.  They can either tell you yes or no, but either way, you’d feel good knowing if whether or not you’ve been dooped.  In my case I knew my other bag was fake…the one I purchased online, so yeah, I knew very well what I was getting into, even though I had someone tell me it was a very good fake.  I didn’t perpetrate when I walked into the Louis Vuitton store.  When I was asked, I had no problems spilling the beans.

In short, when buying designer purses and handbags, both new and old, be sure you know what to look for in determining its authenticity.  If unsure, go to the source — the retailer themselves.

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