"When that 'little black dress' is not enough ... SHANGRILA!"

ANSWER for our Louis Vuitton Challenge!


YES! You must work for Louis Vuitton to get the answer so FAST!
Your answer is RIGHT, you picked the REAL LV!
GREAT JOB! You got a SCORE of 100% ... What a PRO!




Click on vintage Louis Vuitton showroom to see our Steamer Trunk first purchased by Frederick W. Vanderbilt


Here are the clues that should have made it clear. We will mostly describe what the REAL pouchette has, not what the FAKE has, since there are thousands of different kinds of fakes, but only one real way that Vuitton makes pouchettes.

A - FAKE LV Pouchette

B - REAL LV Pouchette


CLUE ONE: The REAL "LV" monogram canvas is softer and has warmer color tones, the diagonal lines in the print are a little sharper, the points are a little more refined, especially note the back of the "L". What you can not see in this picture is that the center dot of the diamond pattern is smaller in the REAL monogram canvas. Touch is also VERY important! The surface of a REAL "LV" monogram canvas is both softer and has a unique grainy texture. And yes, there really is a Louis Vuitton "smell" that is unique.



A - FAKE LV Pouchette

B - REAL LV Pouchette


CLUE TWO: The interior of the REAL "LV" monogram canvas is mercerized cotton with a unique weave that Louis Vuitton has bee famous for since long before the "LV" monogram pattern was invented. Mercerized cotton has a polished look due to the round characteristics of the yarn, but it does not look synthetic, which is what this FAKE interior is made from. What you can not tell from this picture is the sound the REAL monogram canvas interior makes when rubbed against itself... remember those old-fashioned emery boards to polish fingernails... that's the sound of REAL Louis canvas. This particular FAKE sounds like sandpaper. Honestly, I had one customer identify the REAL pouchette only by sound. Look at the seam of the REAL pouchette. There is a special heavy-duty cotton wrap over the seam made with a different weave. The FAKE just uses the same material as the canvas interior. Lastly, look at the color of the thread. The REAL pouchette matches the color of the canvas more closely ... a unique chocolate brown.



A - REAL LV Pouchette

B - FAKE LV Pouchette


CLUE THREE: At first glance, the two pull tabs look the same, and indeed this is one of the best FAKE for metal hardware that I've seen. I must credit several of our customers for pointing out the differences... some you can see and some you can't. The "LV" on the REAL pouchette pull tab has the "V" resting on the "L", not floating above it. When I noticed this I quickly checked all my other pull tabs of this style and sure enough, every one by Vuitton has this feature. What you can't tell without touching and weighing the hardware is that the REAL hardware has greater density ... it just feels more substantial. Finally, what is not very clear in this picture is that the REAL "LV" is cast more sharply and has a flatter surface.



A - FAKE LV Pouchette

B - REAL LV Pouchette


CLUE FOUR: The infamous "DATE CODE"... even the seller of this FAKE still thinks the FAKE is REAL because it has a date code. As several Louis Vuitton collectors have pointed out, the presence or absence of a date code proves NOTHING about authenticity. It is an internal production code that the company uses, not a means to prove a purse is real or not. This being said, the FAKE date code here is embossed a little too well. Louis Vuitton usually makes the date code hard to read, perhaps on purpose. What you can't tell from the picture is that the leather tab is in different places. This may (or may not) be a clue) since Vuitton changes where date codes are placed from time to time. That being said, the REAL date code is in the same place as all my other pouchettes and the FAKE one is in a different place. Again, notice the seam and stitching differences!



A - REAL LV Pouchette

B - FAKE LV Pouchette


CLUE FIVE: The zipper and tab are a really good place to look to identify a REAL LV. The zipper should run smoothly, if not, it's probably a fake. We already showed you the clue about the hardware, and look at that beautiful REAL vachetta leather strap. Even though there is a water stain it is in fairly new condition, however it has already oxidized darker than the fake. Beware however, there are really good fakes now that replicate the oxidation of the famous Vuitton vachetta, so it is not the giveaway clue to authenticity that it once was.



A - REAL LV Pouchette

B - FAKE LV Pouchette


CLUE SIX: Can we have a CLOSEUP!! Look at the fine embossing and stitching on this REAL tab ... it just screams QUALITY! However, lets not get carried away with praising Vuitton, since I have older pouchettes that are even nicer, with a double stitch ending the thread. I don't want to even talk about how ugly the FAKE tab is, okay!



A - FAKE LV Pouchette

B - REAL LV Pouchette


CLUE SEVEN: These images gives good clues for two details, one is the hardware, which we've already mentioned as being higher quality on REAL pouchettes. The FAKE ring is just too big. By the way, many older pouchettes don't have rings. The second thing that is clear in this picture is the high quality of the REAL vachetta leather strap. By comparison, the FAKE is really fake looking and get a load of the painted red edge, yuck!!



A - REAL LV Pouchette

B - FAKE LV Pouchette


CLUE EIGHT: This is my all-time favorite tip for spotting a REAL LV pouchette! Every single Vuitton pouchette in any style has the diamond pattern in the center of the bottom... I would like to see a REAL one that fails to have this feature or a FAKE that gets it right. The key to this is parallel alignment with the overall pattern. Also note that the bottom of the REAL pouchette fits better and is not as bunchy.



A - FAKE LV Pouchette

B - REAL LV Pouchette


CLUE NINE: Finally, and probably most importantly in finding the REAL LV is fit and finish! All real Louis Vuitton pieces are well crafted. This does not mean that sometimes the company got sloppy, but it is a pretty good clue to look at seams and check for pattern alignment. Some cautions to this general rule should be stated: REAL LV's produced under special license by the French Company in the USA are not as fussy about this point. If you have a vintage piece made in the USA in the 1980's it may not have the same fit and finish as an LV made in France at the same time, but it is still a REAL Vuitton. Now in this particular type of pouchette, the florette is supposed to line up at the seam. The REAL one almost does, but the FAKE doesn't even try. I have older pouchettes where the seam is flawless. Watch out Louis Vuitton on your quality control or the FAKES may someday be as good as REAL ones!



A - REAL LV Pouchette

B - FAKE LV Pouchette


CLUE TEN: Finally, here is a bonus question about hardware and strap quality. The REAL Louis Vuitton strap also have better stitching and ends near the stitching with two holes. Also note that the hardware is smaller and more refined. Thanks for playing!


Now, I am sure this list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good set of guideline for finding REAL Louis Vuitton pouchettes! So how was I tricked by the seller of this FAKE? Simple, I fell for bad quality blurry photos and didn't notice the wrong pattern order on the bottom. See the sellers photos of the fake below and good luck finding your own real LV's! And if you want a NEW LV purse ALWAYS buy directly from Louis Vuitton or eLuxury.com!!

Fake LV from Ebay seller runawaybidFake LV from Ebay seller runawaybidFake LV from Ebay seller runawaybidFake LV from Ebay seller runawaybid

The LESSON is: Be VERY careful about bidding on a LV item on Ebay! You can even get burned if you know a lot about REAL Louis Vuitton bags.

Click HERE to let us know what you think of of Louis Vuitton quiz.

PS: WARNING, I just came across an incredibly accurate fake from China with what looks like perfect alignment and oxidized leather strap! It is possible that they are using a 'bait and switch' picture of a REAL pouchette. Here is the picture ... caveat emptor!