How to authenticate your vintage Louis Vuitton bag.

This is a brief but concise guide on deciphering whether your louis vuitton bag is authentic or fake. We've split the guide into 4 sections to make getting your hands on that louis a breeze. 

1. The monogram print.

Okay, your vintage bag doesn't have to have a monogram print but a lot of bags will. The LV monogram print is iconic which makes it heavily replicated. Familiarise yourself with the LV monogram. The L and the V interlock with the V slightly above the L. The only elements that should exist on a monogram bag are the ones pictured below. Any stars, crosses, £ signs etc are a big red flag. 

Bags like the Keepall and Speedy are produced with one piece of leather wrapping around the body of the bag. On one side the print is the right way up on the opposite side it is upside down. 

Something a little bit more controversial, most can't agree on the 'cut off' and 'seams' conversation surrounding the monogram print. But we do agree that the monogram print is designed thoughtfully. Typically, where a seam runs through an element, the print is continued in order, completing the element. Another thing to point out, the LV logo being chopped in half is usually avoided as best as possible, its more likely to be one of the fleurs that meets a seam. However, this does happen for some bags and is unavoidable. If this is the case, continue reading the guide to familiarise yourself with LV bags.



2. The date code.

Another extremely important aspect to any louis vuitton bag... the date code. Date codes became standard practice in the 1980's. If your LV is older than this then it won't have a date code. In addition, if your bag is very vintage it's possible that the date code has worn away. 

The date code formation has changed over the years but it's pretty easy to decipher. 

Bags in the 1980s have 3/4 numbers and might look like this 814. The first two numbers represent the year (1981) and the last number represents the month (april).

Late 1980 datecodes are formed 3/4 numbers followed by 2 letters. Example, 8811AO. Again the first two numbers are the year, the next two numbers are the month. The last two refer to the factory the bag was produced. This bag would be produced in november 1988 in AO factory (Which is in france). 

1990-2006 datecodes have a 2 letter and 4 number formation. The two letters are the factory. The first and third number is the month and the second and fourth is the year. (Counterfeits had become increasingly more common a new datecode was requried). 

From 2006 onwards this is where things are getting a bit more interesting for the date code. Date codes are now formed with 2 letters (the factory) and 4 numbers which now refer to the week and year. The first and third refer to the week (rather than the month) and the second and fourth refer to the year. 

You might think, okay... my bag has a datecode so what does that mean for its authenticity? Counterfeit often get a few things wrong when it comes to date codes. Firstly, ensure the month actually exists some read that they are produced in the 13 month of the year. Secondly, ensure that the year is not before date codes were introduced or so far into the future. Thirdly, ensure that the date code matches the age of the bag. If the bag is vintage then the date code should not read may of 2023. When it comes to the factory element of the code, it should match the 'made in' part of the LV tag. For example, if the date code says AO (a factory in France) and the tag says made in Spain then there is an issue. If any of these issues flag up then question your bags authenticity.


3. The inside stamp.

We have the inside scoop. We've made a list of what to look for when it comes to the stamp. 

Lets start from the beginning. 

  • A 'R' in a circle above the V in Lous vuitton. Slightly off centre.
  • LOUIS VUITTON should be in capitals. 
  • The L should have a short horizontal foot. 
  • The O should be bigger than the L. 
  • The O's are very round. 
  • The TT's in vuitton very nearly touch, from far they look as though they are touching. 
  • The lettering is crisp and clear.
  • The correct font and serif.
  • PARIS in capital letters under LOUIS VUITTON.
  • The 'made in' will be lowercase and underneath PARIS.
  • The country the bag was produced in will have a capital letter.
  • On a large proportion of the bags the heat stamp will be printed onto a rectangular tag stitched onto the lining of the bag, the stitch formation is typically 9 across the top and bottom edges and 6 stitches vertically down the sides. 


4. The details.

This might seem self explanatory but you want to make sure the style of bag your looking into actually exists and has been designed by louis vuitton. Adding to that, you need to make sure the bag your eyeing up matches bags of the same style. Example, if you're looking a pochette you want to ensure that the shape, lining, tags, inside pockets, hardware coincides with pochettes that you know are authentic. Looking up a picture from a reputable sight will help you decipher. 

Although each style of bag is different there are some fine details to look out for. 

  • LV does not provide authenticity cards.
  • LV does not use factory zips like LAMPO or YKK.
  • The zipper should be branded with a logo. (LV OR brand name)
  • Zips post 1991 should be golden brass.
  • Mustard yellow thread not bright yellow. 
  • The speedy has not stitches on the base of the bag
  • You should expect the leather on a vintage bag to look darker.


This completes the guide on how to authenticate your Louis Vuitton bag. It should give you a good understanding of what to look out for with your vintage find. If you have an queries or want us to help you authenticate your item, drop us an email. Buying vintage and second-hand is the future of fashion and TRHOVE wants to help faciliate that. 






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