Shopping for Balenciaga women’s bags? From purple leather to floral prints and everything in between, the exclusive patterns of these bags are the centrepiece of any bag collection. Balenciaga leather is light and durable, a combination that adds more to its allure. But when you are looking for a Balenciaga bag, it is always important to keep the irreplaceable hallmarks of the brand in mind, so that you don’t fall for a fake.
When spotting a fake Balenciaga or trying to authenticate if one is real, always keep the leather in mind. Fakes cannot replicate the same thinness with low-quality leather so there will be fundamental differences that are easily spotted after a bit of informed observation.
1. Leather Quality
One of the most defining features of a Balenciaga bag is that they are made of high-quality weight and thin, all this while maintaining the durability expected from a luxury brand. The distressed leather used adds character to the bag, with various folds, lines and wrinkles. Fake bags do not have the same quality leather, and the texture is stiff and a cheap shiny look will help you easily distinguish a pretender from the real deal. In counterfeit Balenciaga bags, the leather has a cracked appearance and the wrinkles and details may appear forced.
The leather of original Balenciaga bags would collapse when it is not stuffed. Cheap leather would maintain a rigid shape even when empty. This blue lambskin tote is a great example of an authenticated Balenciaga with complete hardware. Notice the matching studs and silver hardware of this green leather Balenciaga. Bronze toned hardware and the signature motifs on the zippers are just some highlights of this irresistible lilac classic.
2. The Tassels
The tassels of an original Balenciaga bag are fixed to all the zippers and are crafted from the same leather of the body. In a fake, the really soft texture of an original tassel is usually replaced by a coarser, lower quality feel. Also, observe the way they hang. In an original, the tassels will hang quite loose, hung to the soft leather which doesn’t have a resisting shape. Fakes, on the other hand, would still retain a still and rigid shape.
3. Hardware Differences
A Balenciaga original motorcycle bag will sport flawlessly fixed hardware, no gaps at the zipper ends, and a metal that compliments the distressed leather in its tone. Cheap knock-offs will not use the best of materials and the hardware usually has a silvery, bright sheen to it. The original hardware will have different tones across areas of the bag, a very original and vintage look and changing light would change these tones too. Cheaper metal in the fakes does not exhibit these quintessential Balenciaga qualities.
Zippers are a crucial element to authenticating a Balenciaga. An authentic Balenciaga bag features only Lampo zippers. If you see something else, then the bag is not original. You also need to ensure that the Lampo trademark appears in a particular way, italics with a line underneath and a TM in the right corner on top. The Lampo should be embossed and not engraved onto the zipper. Remember though, that it is possible for a Balenciaga fake to have original Lampo zippers, so this should not be the only test of authentication.
A Balenciaga strap will be crafted out of a single piece, with the most precise holes for the hardware that attaches it to the bag. If the leather is folded over the bag’s hardware, then it is not an authentic Balenciaga. Make sure that the apertures are at the ends of the strap leather, which of course, should have the same recognizable texture.
5. Bag Handles
Balenciaga bag handles have a woven look to them that would remind you of a rope. The raw leather look is also another important feature of the strap, termed “sueded leather” by the company. Usually, fake Balenciaga bags would sport protected or coated leather, so that is one dead giveaway.
Keep an image of an authenticated Balenciaga piece handy when you want to check the hardware differences. Whether you are looking at Balenciaga hobos or Balenciaga totes, identify the specific model and note the intricacies of the hardware. The metal rings that connect the strap to the body of the bag are a good area to investigate. The hardware of a Balenciaga is designed specifically to blend with the shape of the bag, and the connectors are more rounded and wide compared to narrow pieces usually found in fakes.
6. Tags and More
Keep a reference list of the model numbers of Balenciaga bags, quite easily available. The tags are in leather and some models have tags with silver plates. The numbers on the back of the tag and the front plate should match. If you are picking up a new Balenciaga, then the mirror should come tied around the handle of the bag, hanging. The only extras that come in plastic are extra tassels.
Close to a century ago, Cristobal Balenciaga gifted the world a fashion house that believes in individuality and uncompromised luxury. Inspired by motorcycles, Balenciaga Women’s handbags come in many iconic designs. A spacious affair with the trademark finishing defines Balenciaga women hobos and a discerning fashionista would own Balenciaga clutches for those elite occasions. Coco Chanel once shared her description of Cristobal Balenciaga – “a couturier in the truest sense of the word. The others are simply fashion designers.” When you own a Balenciaga, you possess part of a design philosophy that speaks of timeless charm and the most superior quality. Find a trusted retailer and add a new or pre-owned Balenciaga to your collection.