Five years ago, I used to claim that authenticating Louis Vuitton was a no brainer. There were tons of articles on the internet for self-education, from date code to factory code, from vachetta leather to double stitching closure, it seemed that Louis Vuitton's suppostedly secretive manufacturing process had been taken inside out.
At some point in 2016, I felt the need to take my own words back.
I realized the latest counterfeits from China were so deceiving even to a pair of well-trained eyes. Angled stitching, almost perfectly engraved hardware and enhanced plating, refined foil stamps and counterfeiters did their due diligence and checked off all the prior mistakes mentioned in popular authentication guides. They even went so far and produced a type of vegetable tanned leather that does change color over time, the No.1 tell-tale between genuine Louis Vuitton vachetta leather and knock-offs.
I also realized human inspection based authentication will soon turn obsolete. Eventually luxury goods will equip themselves with a unique identification system enabled by new technology. It is already a work in progress. But before the entire authentication field going through a sea change, I still want to call out some latest super replicas, so we can all get a bit more prepared in this uphill battle.
While it's still noticably fake, the brass snap closure is nicely done so is the foil stamp.
The clockwise engraving detail is a very recent edit to a previous oversight and while the heat stamp on the "vachetta" leather is far from perfect, note the double stitching to both edges of the leather strap and well intended filetage are attempt at perfection.
Two different versions of counterfeit limited edition interior tabs. Note the font types are inconsistent but to a layperson, it can be difficult to distinguish.
The overall details of the counterfeit Neverfull have been pretty close to its genuine version.
Counterfeiters' social media updates on their latest manufacturing upgrade. Clockwise from top left - comparing heat stamps on fake and real luggage badges; "seamless closure" to a Neverfull leather trim; "double stitching" highlighted in the interior tab; A live broadcast of dissecting a 2017 Petit Noe bucket bag.
The Asian market sees a polarized yet consistent obsession with luxury goods. On one hand, the ultra rich are snapping up the very rare Birkins and Kellys, pushing the latest Himalaya Birkin to a whopping $379,261 record sale; on the other hand, the mass population are indulging themselves blindly with the convenient access to ultra fakes with no sense of embarrassment.