Louis Vuitton monogram canvas backpacks typically start at $1,400. Most people are unable to afford such luxuries; they try to find them at a discounted rate. Internet retailers and auctions--as well as street vendors--offer Louis Vuitton-style backpacks at deep discounts. Unfortunately, these sellers are often selling phony or knock-off bags. Consumers must educate themselves on what constitutes a genuine Louis Vuitton backpack in order to spot a fake.
Look at the stitching. The stitching should be top-stitched in a single, unbroken line. Double stitching and over-stitching are signs of fakes. Examine the bottom of the bag and hidden areas like the pockets to make sure the stitching is consistent.
Feel the materials. Genuine Louis Vuitton backpacks are made from a cotton-coated canvas material. Their straps are made of genuine cowhide, and their hardware is polished brass. If the item is made of a rough canvas, or any other material, then it is not a genuine bag.
Check out the hardware, zippers and straps. Hardware is always a polished brass. Zippers should be in working order. The straps should be made of genuine cowhide, not plastic. The straps should be of even length. Also Louis Vuitton never ships its bags with its straps wrapped in plastic as often knockoffs do. If after a few weeks of handling your backpack, your straps don't get a little darker from oxidation then they are not genuine cowhide.
Look inside the bag at the lining. Genuine Louis Vuitton does not contain a lining inside their monogram backpacks. The inside is suede.
Look for misspellings. Sometimes fakes will contain misspellings of the brand name.
Look at the labels. The label will be straight, and not stitched on. Also look here to spot misspellings of the brand name.
Check out the monogram. The Louis Vuitton monogram is the most visible aspect of the bag. The monogram should not contain the letters “LV” that run diagonally across the bag. They should go from left to right and be perfectly symmetrical. One side of the bag will have the letters “LV” upside down since Louis Vuitton uses one piece of leather to make the entire backpack. You will also never see the “LV” cut off in the stitching, behind hardware, or in creases. Every “LV” will be properly displayed on a genuine bag.
Pay attention to the dust cover. All luxury bags come with a dust cover. Louis Vuitton dust covers are made of flannel or soft cotton. They also hide their stitching by placing it on the inside. Fakes often have their stitching visible on the outside of the dust cover.
Look for date stamps, authentication cards and receipts. Louis Vuitton bags all contain date stamps or codes inside. They also come with authentication cards or receipts that display the customer's name and address. Fakes will often have their codes on stickers on the box rather then stamped on the item.
Check out the price. Louis Vuitton monogram backpacks start at $1,400.00. If the price is too low, it is probably a fake.
Look for the manufacturer's country of origin. Louis Vuitton only manufactures its bags in France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the United States.
Visit the Louis Vuitton website. Compare the item you wish to purchase with the same item on Louis Vuitton's site. Make sure all the details are the same.
Purchase from authorized retailers. Louis Vuitton does not have any authorized street vendors.
Si Kingston has been an online content contributor since 2004, with work appearing on websites such as MadeMan. She is a professional screenwriter and young-adult novelist and was awarded the Marion-Hood Boesworth Award for Young Fiction in 2008. Kingston holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.