Thursday, July 12, 2012

Faking It

Faking it. As women, we are all guilty of faking it once in awhile. There are a lot of acceptable things women commonly fake - such as orgasms and waistlines. All this is ok - it's ok to fake something once in awhile. There is one thing, however, that is never acceptable to fake and this is handbags. I could go on for days about how to spot a fake Gucci, Balenciaga, even Coach (could you imagine!!) but this post is going to focus on what I collect most and that is Louis Vuitton. Here is a random picture I just came across when I was 19.

Here is my favorite LV belt! This was in NYC with fashion illustrator, Jim Howard.

Here is another random - my trusty Speedy bag in Chicago. I don't buy the roll along luggage because I would rather buy purses - the luggage gets trashed so quickly and it's uber expensive.

I travel with it all the time. Yep, I am that bitch in the airport. Loves it. This is a picture from my epic Jail party last July before the festivities began.

I have been collecting Louis Vuitton since I was 16. I really enjoy it. Before I was 16, I couldn't afford Louis Vuitton. I remember one time I was in London around age 13, I saw a ton of fake Louis Vuittons on the side of the street and for a second I considered it. I didn't know better. Thank Goodness my Mother snapped me out of my bit of foolish child fantasy and instructed me that if you can't have the real thing, be patient. Everything worth having is worth waiting for. I remember when I bought these shoes in Paris. Such great memories!

Well I never tire of wanting and then getting a real Louis Vuitton anything. I just like it. They are my little buddies. If I have an empty seat on a plane, I even buckle them in. Here is my Manhattan bag.

 One thing I also never tire of if shooting cutting stares at fake bags. Sometimes I even audibly point them out. I think it's wrong to carry a fake and just like wearing Crocs, you look f*cking stupid and you aren't fooling anyone. I think it's the biggest fashion mistake you can make. If you can't have the real thing, there are a TON of super cute bags out there and if you wait for a sale or go to an outlet, you can get something decent. The maddening thing is that most fakes are expensive - around $100 and for that, you could get half of a Coach. When I was in Italy, there were tons of super fashionable handmade leather bags for an amazing price point. TJ Maxx sometimes has super cute stuff on sale. Cole Haan also makes decent bags. Target even has cute tote bags - there is really no excuse. Just don't buy fake leather.

Anyway, whether you are a LV wearer or not, pointing out fakes is fun so join me in my crusade! First - just use common sense. These are expensive bags–they should look expensive. Cheap-looking leather (or pleather) that isn’t soft and well-worn, frayed seams and discolored linings all add up to a fake bag. It gives me full body willies when I see some creepy chick with picked off nail polish running around with one of these. I wish I could make a citizens arrest and deport the back back to China like we do with illegal aliens.

Here are some tips for spotting "Louis Vuitton".

First, just because it says LV, doesn't mean it's real. I see so many out there that aren't even styles that LV ever made. GAG!

Watch the stitching:  This is the biggest. Louis Vuitton is very careful with it's stitching.  Stitching should be very even and regular.  The same number of stitches will be found in similar locations on similar bags... for example the leather tab that the handle attaches onto on any size monogram Speedy bag will always have 5 regular, even stitches across the top, like this:

When you DO buy Louis Vuitton from a boutique... it will come with tags- but they are NEVER attached to the bag.  Other designer labels like Chloe, Marc Jacobs, Coach will do this- but at Louis Vuitton- tags are usually tucked into a pocket or included in an envelope that comes with your receipt.  This little white plastic LV circle tag.... with an attached tag?  This was NEVER made by Louis Vuitton.  If you see it attached, it isn't real.

This weird yellow card was NEVER used by Louis Vuitton...if you see one included in an auction you are looking at, it is not authentic.
Check the imprint on the inside of the bag. The “O” in a real Louis Vuitton will be an exact circle. The O on a fake Louis Vuitton may be closer to an oval.

 If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Real Louis Vuitton bags retain their value and often go up in value as they get older. Louis Vuitton does not wholesale their bags, nor do they have outlet stores. If you see a Louis Vuitton bag for substantially less than it cost new, it is most likely fake. Maybe a good knock-off doesn’t matter to you - but I think designer handbags should be the real deal. Like an authentic work of art.

So, ladies, you can sleep at night faking a home cooked meal, pretending to enjoy a certain sport, or talking yourself into marrying someone twice your age "for love"...but for the love of fashion, do not buy or wear a fake bag or go to one of those fake bag parties. If you get close to caving because you think nobody can tell, call me and I will talk you off your ledge.


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