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vintage louis vuitton french company stamps

Una guía de Bagaholic para sellos auténticos de Louis Vuitton

Have you come across a Louis Vuitton French Company or Saks Fifth Avenue  bag and you're not sure how to tell if this vintage Louis Vuitton bag is real?

Despite seemingly easy Louis Vuitton fonts, the French brand has used a variety of heat stamps. In this article, we'll review most of them to learn what vintage items looked like and how to tell if vintage Louis Vuitton is real.


What is Considered Vintage Louis Vuitton?

Before we proceed, let's define which Louis Vuitton handbags are considered vintage.

Vintage is a generic term for items from a previous era. Vintage literally means 'of age', and specific age requirements vary. For instance, antique dealers require an item to be at least 40 years old to fall into the 'vintage items' category.

Overall, we feel it makes sense to call a designer purse vintage if it's over 20 years old. On top of that, this timeframe suggests you may have inherited this item from one of your relatives.

That being said, all French Company items described in this article are considered vintage. If a Louis Vuitton item is from a French Company, it means it's over 30 years old (and mostly even over 40 years!).


History of The French Company

vintage louis vuitton french company bags

image courtesy ebay seller vintagesuntreasures

Louis Vuitton French Company bags are extremely rare and valuable, and if you are a collector of Louis Vuitton, we highly recommend investing in some of these pieces, as the values continually increase.

First Louis Vuitton factory, located just northeast of Paris, began operations in 1859, with only 20 staff. Because of the French brand’s rapid growth, Vuitton had to scale his business quickly. By 1900, Vuitton had just under 100 people working for him. By 1914, Vuitton had grown his Asnières workforce to 225 people.

Until 1970s, all Louis Vuitton factories were located in France. However, in the 1970 there was a surge in brand's popularity in the United States. Louis Vuitton managers quickly grasped that it's time to take advantage of this business opportunity and were looking for ways to develop the manufacturing cycle in the US.

With that goal in mind, in the 1970s Louis Vuitton developed a relationship with a US Luggage Maker, the French Company.

During a period from around 1976 through 1991, The French Company manufactured Louis Vuitton bags under a special license from Louis Vuitton. These looked a little different from what French bags looked like and had a special paper tag inside that may have looked like this:


the french company vintage lv

The greatest advantage was that The French Company bags were made and sold in the US and Louis Vuitton still could gain a lot from this partnership. Typically, they were sold in more exclusive department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue & Neiman Marcus, along with a few other luxury luggage boutiques such as Myers. Some pieces were even private labeled.


Louis Vuitton Saks Fifth Avenue Bags and Accessories

Interestingly, some of these vintage French company items were manufactured exclusively for Saks 5th Avenue. You can still find these items today on eBay or Poshmark, or in your grandma closet!

Generally, such items use Louis Vuitton canvas and have a special stamp 'Saks Fifth Avenue' inside. They won't show anything related to French Company though. In addition, they don't have any date codes or serial numbers.

 vintage louis vuitton stamps saks fifth avenue

Alternatively, Louis Vuitton Saks Fifth Avenue Bags have an embossing in gold script or a gold plate.

saks fifth avenue louis vuitton vintage plate



How to Tell if Vintage Louis Vuitton is Real?

Checking vintage items from any brand is a more complicated task than checking the newer handbags due to several reasons.

First, it's harder to find a vintage item and examine what real French Company handbags look like.

Second, in the past, these bags used a variety of fonts and stamps, which makes authentication even harder. if something is different from the benchmark, you can hardly find out whether it's due to the item being of age or because it's fake.

Aside from that, a lot of people ask: are there any fake vintage handbags at all?

Yes. And more than you can imagine. 

In general, there are several rules you need to know when trying to estimate whether a vintage handbag is real or fake.


1. Vintage Louis Vuitton bags don't look like modern bags

If you're accustomed to newer Louis Vuitton fonts and quality standards, vintage bags will seem to you a little off. Not because they're of lower quality but because they're different in pretty much everything.

In addition, keep in mind Louis Vuitton used to be a luggage maker, not a handbag maker. In the 1970s, there were not that many bags in production, and most of them looked more like luggage pieces.

In order to authenticate the styles, you also need to be aware of the fashion back then. Learn more about 1970s women's fashion.

Thus, if you see a cute clutch or a modern-looking handbag, it may be a counterfeit item.

2. The leather used to be darker

vintage vuitton leather

If you mostly have newer handbags in your collection, on thing you should know is that the vachetta was very different on bags from the French Company.

Note that the stitching doesn't have any yellow shade, unlike modern Louis Vuitton handbags.


3. The hardware used to be different

vintage louis vuitton hardware

If you're looking at a vintage Keepall or Speedy, which were basically the only handbags in production, they didn't look like modern handbags. For instance, on a zipper puller there used to be a bulky lock.

In addition, 70s bags would often have a kiss lock, which was all the rage at that time.

Some of the hardware brands that you can find on authentic vintage Louis Vuitton bags are Eclair and Taron. Read our Vintage Louis Vuitton Guide: Zippers to learn more and see a few examples of what it might look like.

kisslock louis vuitton vintage 

The French Company used other types of stitching and lining that is different from authentic Louis Vuitton inside lining.

4. There are no date codes or serial numbers

no date codes or serial numbers

Vintage Louis Vuitton bags manufactured by the French Company have no date codes or serial numbers. They barely have any stamps as these may fade due to aging. The inside paper tag may age too and in many cases these would fall off.



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If you need to authenticate a Louis Vuitton item, you can use our 25+years of experience with preloved luxury items and Louis Vuitton brand in particular.

Choose one of the three types of authentication:

Verbal Authentication $10

  • good when you need to know whether the bag is real or fake for yourself (e.g. when you are buying an item)

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

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
  • includes an explanation of why the item is fake (detailed pictures and comparisons with an authentic bag, more than 10 pics included)




  • Publicado por Malwina en

    Mam pytanie o podszewkę w torbach LV. Czy kiedykolwiek były stosowane zamszowe, skórzane podszewki w jakichkolwiek modelach. Mam LV Estrela z zamszową mocno zmechaconą podszewką, mam wątpliwości co do jej autentyczności. Proszę o odpowiedź.

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