RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Louis Vuitton, Coach, Kate Spade and North Face are all premium designer brands that imitations try to knock off and pass as the real deal.
"Any item that retails for at least $100 brand-new in a store is likely to be knocked off,"explained Christian Tefel, owner of the Clothes Mentor. His staff, who pay cash for designer labels, are specially trained to weed out the fakes.
The number one thing he gets in his store that is not authentic is handbags. Coach is their best seller and spotting an authentic is pretty easy.
"If you drew a line right down the middle of the bag, you're going to see a mirror image of all their 'C's," he explained. For asymmetrical bags, look for consistent, parallel stitching."The threads literally just jump around."
The gold toned logo should be detailed, as well.
Louis Vuitton has created hundreds of bags, including the Speedy.. The most requested are the 25s, 30s and 35s, which refer to the length of the bottom of the bag from piping to piping. The real one measures 30 centimeters, while the fake is 31 centimeters across. Plus, a real Louis Vuitton zipper will open smoothly.
"It's not a clean zipper pull. It catches here and there," Christian said while struggling to get a fake open. Also, an "X" on the edge is another tell. It should be one continuous line. On the "Neverful", stitching gives the fake away.
"The leather meets where it wraps around the top of bag where it meets there are reinforcement stitches. On this bag there is double stitching but it's not at the end of the piece of leather," he said. The interior stripes should line up consistently.
Under this flap is the six-digit date stamp that begins with two letters. The fake only has one letter. Plus it's stitched in the wrong place. You'll need a straight edge to look for the fine details of the Kate Spade logo.
"The 'T' will line up with the 'N' and the 'A' will line up with the 'K' in New York." he said.
Two things stand out with a Tiffany box. The knockoff has a greenish tinge and the lettering is not centered. On the piece itself, the lettering is too close to the edge.
"The words run together. It doesn't say 'please return.' It says 'pleasereturn,'" he said.
And when we get some cool weather and you pull out your North Face jacket, look closely at the logo.