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Here at Smith and Lee Handmade, we take authentication very seriously. Each designer bag that we purchase comes from reputable websites, such as,, and Additionally, we authenticate each bag personally upon receipt to ensure that it’s legit.


Fake leather isn’t leather, and we guarantee that all our products are 100% real.


We check each recycled designer bag we receive for authenticity, and so can you. How can you tell if a designer bag you’ve purchased is actually real? Below are a few tips and tricks to check your bag for authenticity.


  1. If your bag is Louis Vuitton, check the main stamp to make sure:

  1. The tail/leg on the “L” is very short

  2. The “O” in “Louis” and “Vuitton” both should look very round and very big

  3. The “T’s” in “Vuitton” should look like they’re touching each other

  4. The lettering is thin and sharp (not blurry, not too fat, etc.)

  5. All letters should be aligned properly (no letter should be above or below another)

  1. The color of the straps should be uneven throughout due to the patina (color change). New Louis Vuitton bags have soft, light colored, leather handles that will eventually become darker and harder over time due to use and natural elements. The patina should be more noticeable around the top of the strap. The patina for each bag is as unique as its owner (it’s created from the oils on your hands and how often you use it), so an even patina is a sure sign of a fake.

  2. The hardware (ex: the zipper) should be well made, brass, have no discoloration, and have clear imprinting and lettering. All hardware should have the designer logo as well. Fakes usually have very cheap hardware.

  3. Make sure it’s a bag that the designer actually makes! Many fakes are bags that the designer has never sold, so do your homework and check that the bag you’re buying is a legitimate style, the right pattern, the right trim, the monograms are facing the right way, the lining color is correct, and the outside has the right colors. Check here for more information on the styles of bags Louis Vuitton makes.

  4. If it’s a real designer bag, the craftsmanship will not have any flaws or defects. Is the stitching already fraying? Are there too many or too few stiches for your particular style of bag? Does the monogram rub off easily? If so, it’s fake.

  5. The pattern should match at every seam – no misalignments make it out of the factory if it’s real.

  6. The “LV” logo should not be cut off anywhere or hidden underneath another part of the bag.

  7. Check the datecode (shows when and where the bag was created). See here for more information on datecodes and how to verify them.


If you have any questions, aren’t sure if a bag you bought is real, or want to sell a gently used designer bag/product, please feel free to send us an email at

Simple. Bespoke. Authentic.

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