“Real ladies don’t like fake”
We’ve listed some ways to help authenticate a genuine Hermes bag.
Unfortunately, the fake Hermes bag market has been a massive problem for the brand as so many want to own a slice of fashion’s perfection. Despite an admirable “Real ladies don’t like fake” ad campaign counterfeits have also cost France dearly. It’s been reported that it has cost France between 30,000 to 40,000 jobs and €6 billion a year not mention their links to organised crime and drugs. However, with more education, there is hope for those looking to for genuine Hermes creations and at Bags of Luxury, we will always be here to help.
With a limited traditional hand-made supply and growing demand for the brand, Hermes has famously needed to be selective with its sales – which can leave many disappointed. For those who can’t wait, a trusted Hermes reseller is the best option for a genuine piece that can be bought regardless of previous experience with the brand. The one outright way to ensure the bag is genuine is to be lucky enough to buy straight from a Hermes showroom. However, as mentioned, not everyone gets this opportunity or at least doesn’t need to sit on a waiting list! We’d advise against buying from any site without a reliable address or buying on sites such as eBay.
To kick it off, here are a few basics tips to tell if a Hermès bag is real or fake.
We’ll start with the packaging. Just remember, don’t throw it away. Especially if you’d like to gift it or resell later to cash in on your investment! The Hermes signature orange has been with us since the 2nd World War and there are said to 188 sizes.
- Is there an authenticity card inside? Unless it’s an exotic skin product then it’s a fake, Hermes never put authenticity cards inside. An exotic skin Hermes will come with a CITES certificate though so look for that.
- Check for any blurring on the logo, it should have fine detail and that it’s the correct design. It should have a double circle surrounding the image of the man and horse. Also, look out for a double line under the horse and the brown drawstring to this bag must be made from 100% cotton.
World Class Leather
Naturally, Hermès only ever use the finest leather taken from its specially sourced suppliers around the world. There should be no doubt about its quality. A Hermes craftsman often takes 2 – 4 days to make one bag by hand.
- Does it have rigidity and hold its shape well? Check the type of leather behaves the way you were expecting. Clemence leather will be softer than other types, so do check.
- Are the feet evenly spaced apart?
- Are there areas where it bulges?
- Does the bag look as good on the inside as it does out? The majority of bags are finished in chèvre leather inside.
All Hermes handbags are hand stitched by expert artisans, fake Hermes won’t have the same quality or look machine stitched.
- Ensure any zippers inside lie perfectly horizontally against the zip line.
- Are the stiches not perfectly even? Yes? Good. All bags are made by hand by a skilled expert, you should always ensure that the bag looks like it has been handstitched. That means not all stiches will be perfectly even.
- While precise care has been taken in the curation of the bag, not all stitches will be perfectly even and there is a slight slant to the stitches, but check they go in the same direction. If the stitching is flatter and perfectly even, then that shows it’s been made with a machine and it’s a fake.
Your hardware should look sharp and have the correct weight to it.
- Are the engravings quite deep? This will be difficult to gauge without comparing to a real Hermes, but the engraving ‘HERMÈS-PARIS’ should be fine and delicate.
- Is the ‘e’ accented as ‘è’.
- Does the hardware feel cold when out of sunlight? Fakes often use plastics and Hermes bags will only use top quality gold or palladium – never silver as silver can tarnish.
- Does the toggle have a smooth action? It should turn smoothly. Fakes often get this wrong and have a rough feel to the movement.
Pay close attention to the markings. Depending on the year the bag has been be made, there are some subtle differences with a couple of recent changes to these in 2016.
- Is the Hermes stamp in the right place, clear and the same colour as the hardware? You should find the stamp under the flap close to the stitching “Hermès Paris Made in France”.
- Look on the back of the right closure strap. You’re looking for the blind stamp which is a code to identify the year and the craftsman who made the bag. However, recently in 2016 there have been some changes. The year stamp moved from T to X and the letters are now found inside the bag towards the back left and no longer have a shape around the year stamp.
- Just note, any vintage Hermès before 1970 does not feature any shape or year stamp at all. Between 1997 to 2015 they should be surrounded by a square. If the bag was made between 1971 to 1996 then the letters were encased by a circle.
Last but not least is the clochette. A beautiful signature aspect of the bag and should not be overlooked.
- Have you been given two keys?
- Was it made with two pieces of leather? No? Good! A Hermes bag will never use two pieces of leather while the and keys should be tall and wide with a good weight to them.
- There should be a groove where the key goes into the lock and have a fine engraving of Hermès
We wish you the best of luck whatever you decide. However, you can rest assured we are a registered company and that Bags of Luxury always makes thorough checks on every Hermes bag and source from long standing trusted contacts in the industry.
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