I’ve searched everywhere for the best authentication guides for Balenciaga and the two most informative are from Lollipuff and The RealReal. I’ve included a couple of other links at the bottom that have good information but if you’re on the go, the below will help you determine whether that Balenciaga is real or fake!
How to Authenticate Balenciaga Bags
With all coveted designers, nasty fakes will follow. Learn some easy Balenciaga authentication tips in this guide that compares an authentic classic city motorcycle bag to a replica.
Here is an authentic brown Balenciaga classic city moto bag and a counterfeit Balenciaga classic city bag. The bag number 115748 is depicted on the main label of both bags; 115748 is the style number for the classic city.
So, right off the bat, we know that the black bag is fake, because the main label has the bag number for the “classic city,” but the bag itself looks more like “the first.”
Speaking of the main label, let’s take a look at the most obvious and easy authentication tip for this bag.
The font is not nearly as crisp on the replica black bag. Balenciaga stamping is always very crisp and clean.
Also, notice the top stitching that runs across the top of the leather frame on the authentic brown bag; the stitching is black. When the label is right below the zippered inside pocket, the stitching is usually black no matter the color of the moto bag. The counterfeit also has black stitching which is correct. It’s still worth mentioning, because this a common and easy authentication tip.
Turning the main label over, you’ll find the full bag number or the remaining part number.
On the genuine brown bag, the numbers 115748 are reiterated on the back and followed with additional numbers. All is as expected.
But, on the fake black bag, it shows 128523 which is the style number of the Balenciaga twiggy bag! So, the replica black bag looks like the first, has the bag number of the classic city on the front, and the bag number of the twiggy on the back. It’s a complete mess! LOL
As if all the errors already displayed aren’t enough, let’s take a look at the back of the zipper.
Balenciaga has used a few types of zippers; one of them is Lampo zippers. But, the fake black bag uses a Lampo zipper that Balenciaga NEVER used on their moto bags.
The metal rivet at the base of the handles is a common inspection point for Balenciaga lovers in the resale market, because Balenciaga has only used a few types of rivets on their bags.
Some older Balenciaga bags used rivets without any notches, so the rivet on the counterfeit black bag is actually not a sign of necessarily being fake.
For older bags, there ought to be knot at the ends of the handles. For newer bags, there may not be a knot. Looking at the fake on the right, it sports an older style rivet, but has NO knot; this gives away that it is a fake.
Fakes come in different grades. This was just one example. Many counterfeits are much more convincing, and some are worse. Authentication is complex and specific to not only the brand, but the time of production, style of bag, leather type, etc, and many features of the bag need to be observed. If you are shopping resale outside of Lollipuff, please keep this in mind.
And, as always, please check out what’s available at Lollipuff, the only auction site that pre-screens each and every listing to ensure that no fakes ever end up on our site!
For another article relating to Balenciaga bags, find out how to determine the year of a Balenciaga bag. If designer authentication is fascinating, find a ton of designer authentication guides, quizzes and more here!
If you need to verify a Balenciaga bag, you may also be interested in our authenticity service.
Guide to Date Balenciaga Bags
Not only is the number(s) inside a designer bag one small part of proper authentication, it also oftentimes reveals the time of manufacture or the season of the bag. Here’s a guide to tell how old a Balenciaga handbag is just by looking at the tag.
Oftentimes, there is a letter on the stamping of a Balenciaga bag that will date the season and year of the handbag.
On metal tags (Balenciaga tags that have a metal plate), the letter following the first sequence of numbers will reveal the season and year of the bag. For Balenciaga bags with metal plates that are older than Fall / Winter 2003, this letter will be missing.
In the example above, this would be the letter L. Using the lookup below, we see that this bag is from Spring Summer 2012.
On leather tags (Balenciaga tags without a metal plate), some bags will not have this letter no matter what year or season they belong to, making it more difficult to date the bag. However, if the leather tag has this letter that allows dating, it will be located somewhere on the backside of the tag.
In the example of the leather tag above, this would be the letter H. Using the reference list below, H corresponds to a Spring Summer 2014 bag.
E – Fall / Winter Collection 2015
F – Spring / Summer Collection 2015
G – F/W 2014
H – S/S 2014
I – F/W 2013
J – S/S 2013
K – F/W 2012
L – S/S 2012
M – F/W 2011
N – S/S 2011
O – F/W 2010
P – S/S 2010
Q – F/W 2009
R – S/S 2009
S – F/W 2008
T – S/S 2008
U – F/W 2007
V – S/S 2007
W – F/W 2006
Y – S/S 2006
Z – F/W 2005
A – S/S 2005
B – F/W 2004
C – S/S 2004
D – F/W 2003So, now with the reference seasons above, you can easily date the following bags. 🙂
This bag has the letter B which means it is a 2004 Fall / Winter season bag.
The letter H on this bag tells us that this bag is from Spring Summer 2014.
As stated previously, dating a bag is only one very small part of authentication. This last picture reflects a very common fake tag. Notice how it also has a date letter.
To shop worry-free, check out Lollipuff’s pre-authenticated Balenciaga bags. Great prices and no replicas ever!
Below is from The RealReal:
HOW TO AUTHENTICATE BALENCIAGA
While Balenciaga has its origins in the couture creations of Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga, the brand’s 77-year history has seen its move to Paris and transformation into a cutting-edge brand coveted by celebrities and street style stars in addition to the fashion eilte. In 1997, Nicolas Ghesquière took the helm and created the iconic leather goods we associate with the modern incarnation of Balenciaga. Most recently, for Fall/Winter 2013 American designer Alexander Wang debuted his first collection as Balenciaga’s Creative Director.
Along with tapping new visionaries to lead the brand, Balenciaga has updated the way it creates its handbags and leather goods, so we turned to Senior Director of Authentication & Brand Compliance, Graham Wetzbarger, to trace the evolution of the brand’s telltale signs of authenticity. Watch the video above and learn how to spot an authentic Balenciaga handbag by checking for these four things.
1. Interior Label
The interior label of a Balenciaga bag tells us about its authenticity and age. While some labels are metal nameplates, all others are leather. The style number listed on the front or back of the label is a simple way to identify the model of a Balenciaga handbag. In 2005, the underscore between “Balenciaga” and “Paris” was replaced with a period. Prior to 2008, the metal plates were made of sterling silver and stamped “925,” and currently they are made of nickel.
Unique hardware is what makes a Balenciaga bag so recognizable. Hardware should always be securely attached, and you want to inspect the backs of the handles looking for notches in the rivets. Zippers should be marked “Lampo,” the O-Rings on the pulls should be soldered closed, and the bales on the shoulder straps should be rounded, crimped and finished to a point. Spring/Summer 2013 was the last season Balenciaga featuresd rose gold hardware.
When examining construction, pay close attention to the pockets. Beginning in 2005, the front pocket was partially lined in leather. When unzipped, you will not see the black canvas which makes up the rest of the lining material.
Balenciaga bags feature characteristic distressed leather, which only gets better with age. Since the Fall/Winter 2007 season Balenciaga has used lambskin arena leather in place of goatskin chevre leather. Due to the scarcity of chevre, Balenciaga bags made with this leather are very desirable.
Now that you know how to tell an authentic Balenciaga handbag from a fake, you can shop with confidence. Graham and his team at The RealReal use this rigorous inspection process every day to authenticate our thousands of designer handbags from Balenciaga and more.
Spot Fake Handbags – Generic but in depth Balenciaga handbag authentication guide
Bag Bible – Visual Balenciaga authentication guide
Wondermika – How to authenticate Balenciaga with photos
Love Bags – Great text information for Balenciaga authentication
Style Tribute – Video and photo Balenciaga authentication