The now iconic Louis Vuitton ‘Pochette’ first gained it’s popularity in the late 90’s, slung on the forearms of supermodels and celebrities alike. Its fame is largely with thanks to its entry level price, making it more accessible than a Keepall or Alma. There have been many variations of the Pochette, most recently the Multi Pochette that features three in one (a large Pochette, a small Pochette and a coin purse). The relatively affordable price of the original Pochette, coupled with the simple yet iconic design and ideal size for holding the small necessities has made this bag notoriously difficult to obtain in store in recent years; but don’t panic. We regularly source this particular style at IRVRSBL and thought we should share a little insight on how to authenticate one.
Monogram and Leather
When it comes to the iconic monogram pattern, there should typically be nothing covering any part of the monogram on the bag, nor should it be cut off at any point. Bear in mind however, that with some smaller pieces (like the Pochette), there can be exceptions to this rule.
The monogram should always be perfectly symmetrical and aligned.
The V will come up higher than the top of the L and the left leg of the V will be thicker than the right, just as the vertical line in the L will be thicker than the horizontal one.
One of the best ways to tell a Louis Vuitton’s authenticity is by the Vachetta leather used on the handle and tags. Vachetta is untreated, European calf hide that will oxidise over time and if scratched, can be easily buffed out. Counterfeit bags are often made of inferior leather that will easily scratch and remain the same colour for a long time as they do not oxidise. The handles of a brand new Louis Vuitton are almost white in colour before the turn into a beautiful golden brown.
Note: the classic Louis Vuitton monogram pochette bag is actually made of coated canvas rather than leather, only the handle is made of leather.
The heat stamp lettering has many things to look out for, including the O’s, which should be circular, rather than looking like the number 0.
The L should feature one long vertical line, with the horizontal line being much shorter.
The T’s should be almost touching.
Most vintage Pochette’s were made in France however production now happens across a variety of countries including the US, Spain, Germany and Switzerland.
Typically, classic Pochettes do not have any branding on their interiors but they should have a date code (some models from before the 80’s might not). Louis Vuitton now make their bags in a variety of countries - they used to just make them in France. See below for all the country codes.
Made in the USA: FC, FH, FL, LA, OS, SD
Made in Spain: CA, GI, LO, LB, LM, LW
Made in Switzerland: DI, FA
Made in Germany: LP
Made in France: A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS, AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, DR, DU, CO, CT, ET, FL, LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SD, SF, SL, SN, SP, SR, TJ, TH, TR, TS, VI, VX
Counterfeits are often easy to identify by their poor quality hardware. Authentic Louis Vuitton hardware is made from a heavy brass metal.
Louis Vuitton use their own hardware, so the zips and clips should have ‘LV’ or ‘Louis Vuitton’ embossed on them. Please bear in mind, that with some much older pieces, Louis Vuitton would sometimes use TALON or ECLAIR zips.
The ring that attaches the handle to the side of the bag will always be a D shape, rather than a circle, and will attach directly to the monogrammed leather on a Pochette.