Bags of the French fashion house Hermes can be rightfully considered the most recognizable. These famous and luxurious bags are carried by celebrities and heroines of television series.
One of the most famous and iconic bags by Hermes is the Hermes Birkin bag. It is manufactured exclusively by hand, usually on order. As a rule, only 5-6 pieces per month are produced, so there is always a queue of eager customers waiting to get their exclusive luxury. Hermès bags are a real work of art with up to 3 thousand seams made by hand. Therefore, it takes from 15 to 30+ hours of work of a whole studio to create only one bag.
With that in mind, you may think that it should be hard to fake a Hermes bag. The reality is that there are many counterfeits on the market and they are getting better and better each year. Want to know how to tell a fake bag from a genuine one? We have prepared an Hermes Birkin real vs. fake comparison for you!
The first thing you need to pay attention to is the quality of the leather. Hermès uses only the highest quality leather and materials in general. There’s nothing like the smell and the feel of an authentic Hermès bag. Moreover, when standing, the bag shouldn't slouch or bulge too much even if it is a pre-loved piece. You can see how significant the shape loss is in the fake one by looking at the pictures above.
We already mentioned that the materials that Hermes uses to make their bags are of excellent quality. So, it is absolutely impossible for them to be that rubbed and torn as on this fake even if the bag is well-used. You can see how it should look like after many years of use in the right-hand picture. An authentic Hermes Birkin ages gracefully.
You can also see a black cord showing on the fake one which would never happen to an original bag. It obviously shows poor quality.
Hermes uses only precious metals for their hardware - usually palladium or plated gold. It means that the hardware on Hermes bags will not fade or tarnish. You can notice slight tarnishing on the fake in the pictures above. Besides, it is not as shiny as the authentic.
The hardware on Hermes bags looks and feels heavy. So if you have a bag in front of you and the hardware is light and cheap, it is a sure sign that the bag is fake.
In this picture, you can clearly see once again how scratched the fake hardware is while on the real one there are only hairline scratches.
There is another red flag here and it is the difference in the fonts. The font on the fake is much thicker. Moreover, the small left-angled dash typical for the French language above the letter E is a lot bigger on the replica.
Have a closer look at the lock. If the bag is genuine, the lock and the keys are smooth with no burrs and blemishes. On fakes, the hardware is usually made of basic metal with gold or silver coating. And again, the font is different. The engraving should be as neat and clear as in the left picture.
Comparing the two clochettes in the pictures, it becomes clear that they slightly differ in shape and size. Bear in mind that in genuine Hermes bags the keys are attached directly to the leather band, Hermes doesn't use key rings. Moreover, the clochette itself should be made of one piece of leather folded at the top. If it is not the case, you are looking at the fake.
Let's examine the stitching. Since all Hermes bags are handmade and hand-stitched, the seams on the bag should be just perfect. Though the number of stitches on both fake and authentic bags here is the same, you can clearly see how sloppy the stitching looks on the fake. Besides, with few exceptions, the thread is usually the same colour as the leather.
A genuine zipper on Birkin should have the name “Hermès” engraved on the metal puller. There is also one peculiarity regarding Hermes zipper pullers that can help you spot a fake. The puller should never hang down at a 90 degrees angle, it must be aligned with the zipper at all times.
Here there is no zipper puller at all. First, it definitely shows poor quality as it is impossible for a genuine Birkin zipper puller to just fall off, no matter how old the bag is. Second, it seems like the broken part wasn't aligned with the zip line. So, probably it was broken on purpose so that the buyer doesn’t spot a fake.
7. Heat Stamp
Another easy way to spot a fake Birkin is by looking at the heat stamp. All Hermes bags have heat stamps either in gold or silver depending on the model and colour. The heat stamp features the Hermes logo and the phrase "Made in France" in uppercase using the original font. All the words should be centered and evenly lined up.
On the fake, the font is too thin and the embossing is too deep. On the authentic, it is nice and elegant.
8. Blind Stamp
Apart from heat stamps Hermes bags also have a blind stamp which is a great tool when authenticating a bag. It is a code featuring a letter, often in a shape, indicating when the bag was manufactured. The fashion house started dating the bags in 1945 using alphabetical order. If there is just a letter with no shape, the bag was produced between 1956 (A) and 1970 (Z). If the letter is in a circle, it means that you are looking at a piece manufactured between 1971 (A) and 1996 (Z). If the letter is surrounded by a square, the purse was made between 1971 (A) and 2014 (R). Starting from 2015 Hermes has been putting blind stamps on the inside of the bag and not on the backside of the strap. Additional numbers next to the blind stamp indicate the section at the atelier where the artisan who crafted the bag works.
On the fake Birkin bag here the square is too big and the embossing is too deep while on the authentic Birkin it is crisp and neat. And, of course, the sloppy stitching in the right picture definitely gives away the fake.
Read More on How to Verify Preowned Luxury
Want more real or fake comparisons? Check out these:
How to Tell If a Louis Vuitton Pallas MM Is Real or Fake (Comparison)
How to Tell if a Chanel Bag is Real or Fake: Authenticating a Chanel Mini Square
How To Tell if a Louis Vuitton Graffiti Speedy is Real or Fake?
Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM: This Fake vs Real Comparison Will Blow Your Mind
What To Do Next?
If you need to authenticate a Louis Vuitton item, please order one of the three types of authentication:
Verbal Authentication $10
- good when you need a certificate for any reason,
Certificate of Authenticity $25
- good when you need a certificate for any reason, either to sell the bag with the peace of mind or to return a fake bag to the seller if you purchased a fake
- includes a permanent certificate on lvbagaholic.com
Certificate of Authenticity with a thorough explanation $50
- good when you need a certificate and you need to know why the bag is authentic/not authentic for any reason, either to sell the bag with the peace of mind or return a fake bag to the seller if you purchased a fake.
- includes a permanent certificate on lvbagaholic.com
- includes an explanation of why the item is fake (detailed pictures and comparisons with an authentic bag, more than 10 pics included)
PLEASE CHOOSE ONE OF THE OPTIONS BELOW
I agree except #2. I’ve seen authentic Birkins and Kellys with really bad abuse on the piping base and lower section corners. Some, because they never sent their bags to be conditioned, had leather pulling off. Others because of daily use and type of leather used. Some are very durable others aren’t.