How to Tell a Fake Balenciaga City Bag

Written by melissa king
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Balenciaga's handbags, made in Italy from vintage lambskin, are often considered a designer fashion item. The Balenciaga City handbag, as of December 2010, is priced at £939 because of its luxurious appearance and quality components. Because of this high price, it is not uncommon to find fake Balenciaga City handbags for sale at online auctions and on city streets. If you are looking for a handbag to purchase, you can avoid buying a fake by examining the bag closely. Fake handbags have several signs that give them away, such as inferior leather and hardware.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Touch and look at the bag's exterior leather. The leather used in real City handbags is very soft and has a "distressed" appearance, as if it has been aged. Fake City bags attempt to replicate this appearance, which usually results in leather that looks more "cracked" than distressed. The leather on the fake bag is generally stiff, not soft, and can look shiny.

  2. 2

    Set the bag down on a table and attempt to stand it up straight. An empty Balenciaga City handbag, because of its soft, thin leather, typically collapses in on itself when set down. Fake bags usually do not have this trait and tend to retain their shape.

  3. 3

    Feel the tassels on the bag. Tassels on a real bag hang loosely and have a very smooth feel. The tassels on a fake bag are often stiff and rough.

  4. 4

    Look at the rings on the zippers. Fake handbags sometimes have rings with small gaps in them. Rings used in real bags are welded so there are no gaps. The rings on a fake bag are also made of soft metal that can be easily bent.

  5. 5

    Examine the bag's hardware, such as its zippers and buttons. The hardware on City bags is made of aged brass. In many fake bags, the hardware is too shiny and a silvery colour.

  6. 6

    Look at the bag's straps. On a real City bag, the straps are folded over at the top, then wrapped around to make a double layered strap. The top of the strap is rounded. Fake bag's straps are often square at the top, rather than rounded.

  7. 7

    View the zipper. Although this is not always an indicator of a fake bag, if the zipper has the "Lampo" logo printed in raised, italic letters, it is likely authentic. A fake zipper tends to have the "Lampo" logo engraved into the metal, written in different lettering.

  8. 8

    Examine the tags on the front and back of the purse. The numbers on both tags should match. On fakes, the numbers often do not match.

  9. 9

    Bring a picture of a real Balenciaga City handbag with you when you go shopping. Many fake bags cannot completely replicate the appearance of the real bag and the two have obvious differences when examined together.

Tips and warnings

  • Real Balenciaga bags do not have any of their components wrapped in plastic or bubble wrap, as fakes often do.

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