Fendi, which began in 1918 in Rome as a fur and leather shop, is credited with beginning the "it" bag craze with its introduction of the "Baguette" handbag in 1994. Its double "F" logo was created by then Fendi designer Karl Lagerfeld in 1965 and remains one of the most recognisable logos in the world. Fendi designs some of the most coveted and expensive handbags in the world, and a real Fendi bag carries a certain panache. Unfortunately, designer goods are knocked off as quickly as the real ones are produced. Many people try to pass off faux Fendis as the real thing. Spotting a counterfeit Fendi handbag means knowing know what to look for.
- Skill level:
Research the seller. Authentic Fendi bags will be sold at Fendi boutiques worldwide or at high-end stores such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman (see Resources). If you are planning to purchase Fendi goods from a nonreputable source, beware.
Pay attention to price. Fendi bags start at around £390 and can cost thousands of dollars. For example, the Fendi "Stripe Peekaboo" calf hair satchel retails for £2,990 at Nordstrom.com. Fendi only uses the best leathers, fabrics and hardware for their products, which is reflected in the price. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Feel the leather. Fake leather may feel crunchy, plastic-like or too uniform. When in doubt, give the bag a sniff. Real leather has an unmistakable smell that faux leather cannot duplicate.
Inspect the straps. The straps on an authentic Fendi bag should feel substantial and should stand up on their own due to their leather core. The stitching on the straps and where the straps connect to the bag should be even, strong and secure. Uneven or loose stitches are a sign of a fake Fendi.
Study the details. The thread should be in a matching or similar colour. Fendi is known for its subtle colour changes. Feel the bag's lining. A real Fendi bag will have a high-quality satin or a logo-jacquard lining.
Examine the hardware for the Fendi double "F" logo. An authentic Fendi bag will have engraved, not stamped, hardware. If the Fendi logo is stamped on the hardware, if the hardware looks cheap or if you can see flaking paint, it's most likely a counterfeit.
Scrutinise the authentication card. An authentic Fendi bag's card will have an embossed logo. If your Fendi authentication card has "FOG" in the serial number or is blurry or unreadable, beware. Yellow hang tangs on the bag also indicate a phoney Fendi.
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