Gucci is a name that is synonymous with luxury, handbags, and chic style. But, while we all know and love this great brand, this comes at a cost.
With an ever-expanding industry of fake bags, it’s becoming harder and hard to secure an authentic Gucci bag, especially from second-hand retailers.
In this guide, we’ll be going over Gucci’s history, most popular styles, and how to spot a fake Gucci bag.
A Quick History Lesson
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Gucci was founded in Florence, Italy by Guccio Gucci in 1921. Having taken note of the tastes of wealthy clients during his employment at the Savoy Hotel, he first opened his shop as a seller of imported leather luggage.
Due to the imposition of a trade embargo on Italy, leather became scarce and Gucci had to introduce other materials such as raffia, wicker, wood, linen, and jute. During this time, Gucci’s signature motif and tanning technique were born and became a trademark of the brand.
Since then, the brand has gone on to be a household name and one of the most recognizable brands in the world with its sophisticated, androgynous “geek-chic” style.
Most Popular Gucci Handbags
The bags in particular are favorites of celebrities, influencers, and fashionistas everywhere.
Because of this, these will also be the bags you see faked most often, so keep a close eye out for these styles in particular.
8 Hacks How to Spot a Fake Gucci Bag
Now let’s get on to exactly how to spot a fake Gucci bag.
1. Serial Number
More often than not, the serial number is going to be the quickest way to spot a fake Gucci bag. Almost every real Gucci handbag had a leather tag located along the interior stitching of the bag. This serial number tag holds the famous “Gucci” logo but is also your key for identifying a replica vs. the real deal.
If you flip this leather tab upwards, it should be stamped with the bag’s serial number. Newer Gucci bags will have two rows of numbers, while pre-90s bags may only have one.
But no matter what era your bag is from, it should only be numbers. No letters. One of the biggest red flags for spotting a fake Gucci handbag is spotting letters on the tag.
While these numbers’ meaning is unclear, this is one detail that few replica bags include. You can also try inputting these numbers into Google to see if your particular model comes up, but don’t feel discouraged if no results appear.
Also, don’t worry if the stamping seems ill-defined or faint even on new Gucci bags; some materials are harder to get a clean stamp on than others.
2. Leather Quality
While the serial number is often an instant callout to whether a bag is real or not, the quality of the leather is also an important thing to pay attention to. Often, designer bags are made with high-quality leather and it’s often easy to distinguish between real genuine leather and fake PU leather.
First thing, real leather will have an imperfect appearance more often than not. This includes an irregular grain and (on vintage Gucci bags) a patina. It should be supple and buttery to the touch and have a natural and pleasant musky smell.
On the other hand, PU will often be overly smooth and plastic-like in its appearance, due to its machine-made origins. The smell can be one of the best indicators as fake leather often has a chemical smell, especially if the bag is new. It also may be either too stiff or too flimsy.
This is where you really want to know the style of bag you have on your hands and do some research. If you can’t get a feel for one in real life, check on the internet for pictures and reviews of your bag. Is the leather supposed to be more structured or softer? Was this bag ever made in this particular color? Getting these answers can often point you in the right direction.
Another hallmark of designer leather goods is their impeccable stitching. Many brands even have an exact stitch count for each part of their bags! Since many Gucci bags (such as the Marmont and Soho collection) are defined by their stitching, this can be the best way to spot a fake.
On authentic Gucci handbags, the stitching will be very even, consistent, and free of any loose or broken threads. Patterns like the signature Marmont chevron are spaced in a certain way and should always look the same across all bags.
Certain stitch patterns, such as Gucci’s “GG” logo that can be found on Soho bags, are very difficult for even the best replica manufacturers to achieve. Look up photos of these patterns and compare them to your own to see if it’s a perfect match or if there’s any uneven stitching on the bag.
4. Logo Quality
The “GG” emblem is likely one of the most iconic elements of Gucci bags. It’s instantly recognizable and offers a great gold contrast to their bags. Thankfully, this trademark symbol is another detail that replica Gucci bags often get wrong!
The two Gs should be uppercase letters, come to a fine point at the top, have a slightly thicker middle, and be overlapping. This double g logo usually features a hard-to-replicate soft gold finish and medium gold tone. Beware of styles where the logo is too thin, too shiny, or an overly warm gold tone.
When it comes to Gucci’s signature monogram, the logo and design should be consistent throughout the entirety of the bag. If you notice any irregularities, incorrectly sized Gs, or Gs that aren’t capital letters the bag is likely a fake.
Hardware is often one of those detail that replica creators don’t bother as much with. This means it’s the perfect opportunity to check the finer details of your own bag and confirm its authenticity!
First, the hardware on your real Gucci bag should be high-quality hardware. Authentic Gucci products have hardware that’s sturdy and heavy. All zippers, locks, and other metal hardware should be perfectly placed and stamped with the proper logos and fonts. They shouldn’t be rusty or chipped either.
Most replica bags are made from cheap and lightweight hardware. Details such as zippers may be missing logos or have incorrect spacing and fonts. Be sure to take note of everything from the placing of the hardware to the shape of the zipper pulls. These small issues often point to a fake item.
One of the most exciting things about receiving a new Gucci bag is unboxing it! The packaging is high-quality, beautiful, and so much fun to unbox. But replica bag dealers very rarely pay much mind to the packaging of their bags, making it a dead giveaway.
All authentic Gucci bags will always come with a dust bag in either dark brown, light brown, white, or black. It will include the Gucci logo or monogram and feel silky smooth to the touch. If bought new, they should also include specific information cards with a QR code and the correct details and fonts.
The packaging is one of the least important aspects to creators of replica bags. After all, they’re likely banking on you not paying much attention to the bag’s packaging. Because of this, their dust bags usually have an incorrect font, color, and material. Be cautious though – many sellers will use authentic dust bags to further trick their buyers.
7. Controllato Card
Controllato cards (meaning “checked cards”) are included with every genuine Gucci handbag. This information card ensures that the bag has been verified after manufacturing.
Unfortunately, these cards are rather easy to replicate, so pay close attention to the logo, spacing, and centering of the text on each card. There should be three lines of text in total and each number should have a single space between them
8. Interior Tag
As we mentioned previously, the back of the interior tag holds the bag’s serial number, but the front of the tag can be just as much of an indicator for a fake bag.
With authentic bags, this label is created with a heat stamp with the brand’s trademark, logo, and “made in Italy”. Just like with the serial numbers, this stamping won’t always be 100% perfect and can be quite shallow depending on the material.
Fake bags usually have issues with the font and spacing of these stamps and they may even be missing entirely. Familiarize yourself with the Gucci logo and compare it to the tag inside your bag to spot any differences in size, font, and spacing.
One thing you should keep in mind when it comes to authenticating any designer bag is that there can be slight discrepancies in any bag. While they’re rare, these bags are often handmade and subject to errors here and there. An off-center stitch isn’t always a dead-ringer for a fake bag!
Additionally, a bag that looks flawless on the outside may not necessarily be an authentic bag! Gone are the days where replica bags were just low-quality, obvious knock-offs. There is a huge market for replica bags online and they get better and better at passing off their products as the real deal every day.
Some can even look 100% identical to the authentic version. So be sure to never rely on appearance alone before shelling out hundreds and thousands on a luxury brand designer goods.