Expensive Gift Or a Super Fake? Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Stresa GM Bag.
We received a lot of emails/phone calls everyday from people wanting to sell us something; website design, advertising space, SEO service, bags, web hosting, cups, doormats, you name it. We also receive genuine inquires for consignment private sales, which we welcome. However, recently we received a very interesting package. It contained a brand new, never used, Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Stresa GM Bag its owner offered for sale to us. At a rather high price I might add.
Normally private collectors would send us photos to get a quote before sending the bags over. This bag arrived without any photos sent prior. When the parcel was opened, we saw a gorgeous looking bag. Its leather still pale-new, untarnished. For a used bag this would always be a bad sign. LV leather only looks that pale not for long before it turns into a darker patina. But this is a brand new bag, so its all good. It was so new, in fact, it even had plastic wrapping around the handles.
Hm… plastic wrappers around the handles? Curiouser and curiouser …
The thing is, new bags from Louis Vuitton stores don’t come wrapped in plastic. It just looks tacky and cheap, and LV is all about style. Well, at least, we’ve never seen such plastic wrappers from any of the Louis Vuitton stores we’ve been to; in Australia, Europe, America or Japan. The owner said that the bag came from an LV store in Macau, and since none of us have purchased from that store before, we examined the bags thoroughly to verify its authenticity.
The bag looked very much like a real Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Stresa GM bag. Normally 99% of fakes can be spotted with just a glance, but this one was a real challenge. It has the right color of stitching, shape, measurements, right number of wall pockets positioned in the right spots of a Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Stresa GM bag. The date code is VI2150 meaning: made in 25th week of 2010. The copy of the receipt was dated on December 20th 2010 so it’s all making sense on paper.
It’s quite amazing how sophisticated some counterfeiters have become. We actually had fun spotting the minute differences between the real LV and this bag. We compared it to a large number of real Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Stresa GM bags we’ve seen and we want to share the details with you.
Louis Vuitton factories are very consistent with the font, stitching, logo, wording, heat stamps etc on their products of the same model, produced in the similar period of time, which helps a great deal in the authentication process.
- Wrong date code font: real LV Stresa bags’ date code font is slim and long as shown in the blow photos:
This bag’s date code doesn’t possess the correct font. The numbers and letters in the date code are too round compared to real ones and the last 2 numbers “5” and “0” are slightly out of alignment. See the wrong date code font of the bag received in below photo:
Fake: Font is rounder, number 0 looks shorter then the rest
- Wrong heat stamp: real LV Strasa bags’ heat stamps are pressed lightly on the leather. Letter strokes are thin.
This bag’s heat stamp is deeply pressed into the leather. Letter strokes are much thicker than the ones on original bags.
- Counterfeit zipper pull. Real Louis Vuitton Stresa logo pulls have the Louis Vuitton logo nicely engraved on the brass, using a special font with a well-rounded “O”.
Letters on the zipper pull of the bag received are smaller and in wrong font.
- The bag has incorrect number of stitches on the side leather tab with brass rivet. Louis Vuitton always have the same number of stitches on the bags of the same model, manufactured in the same period of time. Real Louis Vuitton Stresa GM bags have 9 even stitches on each side of the brass rivet on the side leather tab.
The bag received has only 8 stitches on the each side of the brass rivet, which appear uneven as shown below:
Sadly there are so many “close to real” fakes out there. We don’t accept any item that we can’t guarantee its authenticity. So we had to bring the bad news to the sender that the gift they bought is actually a fake. A very smart fake but nevertheless, not the real deal. In the mean time, watch out buyers. If you see a similar Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Stresa GM bag for sale somewhere, stay away. It might be this bag’s sister from Macau.
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