Chanel has been revolutionizing fashion for more than a century. From clothes to accessories, the House of Chanel makes the most luxurious pieces. Like most designer brands, Chanel deals with its own fair share of fake reproductions. In fact, it is one of the most replicated brands in the industry together with other major brands like Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Dior.
Typically, it’s easy to spot a fake Chanel bag. These manufacturers often overlook small details that give away its authenticity. While there is no single way to check if a bag is an original Chanel piece, there are some tell-tale signs that you should look out for before making a purchase.
So what are these dead giveaways? We’ve got the breakdown for you! Here are 10 ways you can distinguish an authentic Chanel bag from a fake.
1. Check the material
Chanel typically uses lambskin leather on their bags. This type of leather is very smooth to the touch. In fact, some say it is buttery soft and tends to scratch easier than other fabrics.
The House also uses caviar skin on some of their collections. Unlike lambskin leather, caviar skin leather has a grainy feel to it. This type of leather is more durable than lambskin and less likely to scratch and mark.
2. Look at the lock
Everyone knows the iconic Chanel logo. One look at the two interlocked C’s will bring the brand name immediately to your mind. However, the correct logo format is often overlooked by fake manufacturers so keep an eye out!
Authentic Chanel bags always have the right C overlapping the left C on top while the left C overlaps the bottom of the right C. Make sure that the bag that you’re buying has the right overlapping Cs or worse, doesn’t have O’s overlapping!
3. Count the stitches
Stitches are one of the biggest clues when distinguishing a fake Chanel bag from an authentic piece. Chanel uses a higher number of stitches to maintain its bags’ shape and structure.
Typically, Chanel bags have 11 stitches per inch or one side of the diamond shape. Unlike authentic pieces, replicas usually have 9 or fewer stitches per panel. The originals’ stitches are also tight, neat, and even throughout the whole bag.
4. Test the lining
What makes Chanel long-lasting and durable is its base. The lining of a genuine Chanel bag is perfectly flat and fitted on the bottom. There are no bumps or wrinkles and it is completely smooth to the touch. However, fakes usually have folds and bumps on the lining.
5. Check the inside logo
Like the font-lock of a Chanel bag, quilted logos can be easily overlooked, too! Take note of the overlapping of the C’s. The distance between the C’s is consistently 0.9 centimeters. The brand stamp’s width is always 3.3 centimeters and sits 1.5 centimeters below the quilted Chanel logo.
6. Observe the quilting
The House of Chanel’s bags is famous for their quilted patterns. This can be the biggest tell-tale sign of a fake Chanel bag.
Inspect closely the quilting of the bag. If there are flaps on the bag, check if the pattern lines up consistently with the flap down. Check the back, too! The stitching should maintain a consistent pattern—which is usually diamonds—and line up perfectly with the pocket. If it doesn’t then, then it’s not a genuine Chanel bag.
7. Inspect the serial number
Each Chanel bag has its own unique serial number. What for? To indicate the bag model and year of manufacture.
In authentic Chanel bags, you can find the serial number on the bottom of the lining on the left-hand corner. Naturally, these could get ruined over time if you do not take good care of it but don’t worry because you can always refer to the authenticity card as a reference.
8. Test the authenticity cards
When buying an original Chanel bag, make sure it comes with a dust bag, a serial number, and authenticity card. This serves as a guarantee of the authenticity of the bag.
First, check if the serial number on the authenticity card matches the serial number in the bag. Second, test if the card has the consistency of a credit card. Unlike its fake counterparts, authentic Chanel cards are sturdier. Third, Chanel authenticity cards have a gray circular symbol on the upper right-hand corner of the card that has a hologram-effect but the fake ones are usually flat grey. Finally, the text printed on the card is straight, legible, and aligned and the serial number is always embossed not flat.
9. Check the brand stamp
Chanel’s brand stamps typically sit 1.5 centimeters below the quilted logo. Make sure to check the font and quality of the stamp. Inauthentic Chanel bags usually have stamps that are thinner in font and is printed on the leather, not embossed like the original.
On some pieces, you will also find a “Made in France” stamp below the brand logo stamp. But don’t fret! If it doesn’t have a stamp, then it is made in Italy. However, if it says “Made in Paris” or Hong Kong or any other place, then it’s definitely a fake!
10. Observe the thread color
Chanel consistently uses color-matching materials on their bags. This means that the color of the thread seamlessly blends together with the color of the leather. Many replicas fail to perfectly match the color of the leather with the thread.
Chanel bags come at a hefty price but with good reason. It is meticulously made, stands the test of time, and always in fashion. You wouldn’t want to spend so much money on what turns out to be a fake! Don’t shy away from thoroughly inspecting a Chanel bag. Definitely don’t just take a seller’s word for it. Be smart and do your due diligence, you will thank yourself later!