As with any luxury item, high-end handbags have inspired an entire industry of knockoffs. Naturally, collectors are wary of being sold an inauthentic bag—nobody wants to pay full price for a fake. The Italian fashion house Fendi, founded in 1925, has attracted a loyal following for its beautiful bags, as well as inspiring countless counterfeits. So how do you tell a real Fendi bag from an imitation? Here are some guidelines on what to look for.
Luxury handbags are expensive for a reason—superior quality. Inspect the bag for the following:
Materials: All of the materials should be high quality, whether the bag is made of leather or fabric. Fendi bags are typically made of fine calfskin, lambskin, snakeskin, silk, velvet, or other high-end materials. Artificial leather or cheap materials are a dead giveaway that the bag is not real. For jacquard canvas bags bearing the “FF” logo, the Fs should never touch.
Manufacturing: Any seams should be smooth and even, whether inside the bag or out. Stitching likewise should be smooth, with even spacing on the stitches and no loose or missing threads. The thread color should match the main bag color exactly.
Hardware: Zippers and bag hardware should feel substantial—a true Fendi bag will never have a plastic zipper. Engraving details should have smooth, not jagged edges. If you are looking at a specific bag, such as Baguette or Spy Bag, it is worth familiarizing yourself on the specific spots you can expect to see an engraved name or details to ensure that the handbag you’re examining meets the proper criteria.
Depending on when it was manufactured, a Fendi bag may include a serial number or hologram tag. (Note that vintage Fendi bags will not have this information—that doesn’t mean they’re fake!)
Serial number: Fendi added serial numbers to bags made after the 1980s. This 15 to 17 digit number can usually be found on a leather tag sewn into an interior side seam. The middle part of this number is the art code for the bag, which should match the information on the authentication card (if this is available).
Hologram: The newest Fendi bags include a hologram on a fabric tag inside the bag for further authentication. The tag itself should be firmly sewn into the bag and the hologram should be detailed, with a pronounced holographic effect. If this tag is flimsy, easily removed, or looks cheap, that’s a sign the bag is a knockoff.
Luxury handbags are a pleasure to own, and tend to either hold or increase their value over time. Taking a little time to ensure that you are getting the real deal is worth it.