Wednesday, August 29, 2012 • 12:12 PM •
How To Spot A Fake Longchamp “Le Pliage” tote: The Super Guide
Literally, there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t see at least 5 people carry a Longchamp ‘Le Pliage’ handbag. They are absolutely everywhere! Though, whether the bags are authentic or not is another question. I also have nothing better to do while strolling around downtown that I made a game out of it: the “Longchamp Pliage Authentication” game.
Here’s a super detailed guide to train you to spot a fake Longchamp in a matter of seconds and from a few feet away! It gets tricky because there are so many different types of these fake totes out there with multiple modifications, and the design has become even more sophisticated throughout the years. I know there are already numerous guides on how to tell when a Longchamp Pliage bag is fake, but I haven’t found one yet that I’m satisfied with, probably because most have little to no pictures connected to their descriptions.
Also, if you really don’t think my guide has helped you in any way, or you just aren’t sure of something. Feel free to drop me an email at email@example.com with pictures and I would gladly help you authenticate a Longchamp Pliage for you.
Please note: Purseforum’s Longchamp Authentication thread is not reliable. I’ve seen Authentic Pliage bags labeled Fake when it wasn’t, and Fake bags that were labeled Authentic. It honestly hurts to see those bad judgements being called (mostly by the same person), so I decided to make this guide.
Authentic: Has a diamond pattern, caused by relatively straight diagonal lines.
Fake: Can have a lightly-indented fish-scale texture, round or uneven pebble-like texture, or smooth.
Authentic: Has a really rich tan/cognac color, with a red/orange undertone. If you look closely, the leather has a subtle uneven color finishing with lighter and darker area. (It’s a bit difficult to capture this in pictures sometimes. You need a close-up shot like below.) The front snap button should read “LONGCHAMP” and “1948” with a jockey logo at the center.
Fake: Can be one solid color. Even if it isn’t solid-colored, it does not have any light or dark patches like below.
BACKSIDE OF LEATHER FLAP
Authentic: The jockey logo should be indented in. Color is a beige (turns tan after prolonged use) and it has really short hairs to the point that it looks smooth. Note: For medium and larger totes, the indent is less apparent. You can still feel the indent though! The snap should read “ORIGINAL PRYM 6/4B”. As of 2013, the snap on the backside of these new bags have “LONGCHAMP” written twice.
Fake: There is no trace of a jockey logo; it is completely flat. Can be a light pinkish/dusty rose or a brown and looks like it has “no hairs” or “too hairy”. The snap reads differently then mentioned above.
AUTHENTIC. Photo Credit: PurseForum
AUTHENTIC. Photo Credit: PurseForum
FAKE. Photo Credit: Mrs. Martinez
- Front: The Longchamp Jockey logo is perfectly centered. The jockey and horse’s head are pointing to the left. The older models have a hot-stamped line underneath the logo, but the newer models do not have this line.
AUTHENTIC OLD MODEL. Photo Credit: PurseForum
- Back: The hot-stamped words should be spelled like below. Take note of the line breaks. In blue, the name of the size/model changes accordingly:
“CABAS”: Rectangular Tote model (No Zipper)
“SAC À DOS”: Backpack Model
“SHOPPING”: Long Handles, Small and Medium Totes
TYPE “S”: Short handles, Small Tote
TYPE “M”: Short handles, Medium Tote
TYPE “L”: Short handles, Large. Travel Luggage
TYPE “XL”: Short handles, Extra Large. Travel Luggage
LE PLIAGE “SHOPPING” – MODÈLE DÉPOSÉ
LE PLIAGE TYPE “M” – MODÈLE DÉPOSÉ
Check for the hyphen ( – ). Check that the first accent mark on the E is pointing down to the right. The second and third accent marks on the E are pointing up to the right.
Older versions read:
LES PLIAGES LONGCHAMP – TYPE “S”
MODÈLE DÉPOSÉ – MADE IN FRANCE
LE PLIAGE LONGCHAMP – TYPE “L”
MODÈLE DÉPOSÉ – MADE IN FRANCE
MODÈLE DÉPOSÉ – MADE IN FRANCE
Perhaps the Longchamp Pliage was only made in France back in the day, but now Longchamp has outsourced the manufacturing to Tunisia and China as well.
AUTHENTIC OLD MODEL 1. Photo Credit: PurseForum
AUTHENTIC OLD MODEL 2. Photo Credit: Fuldashop
AUTHENTIC OLD MODEL 3. Photo Credit: PurseForum
- Front: The Longchamp jockey logo is not always perfectly centered. The logo can be inversed (where the horse and jockey’s head are pointed to the right instead of left).
- Back: The words are not spelled correctly or the lack of accent marks on the E’s are indications of a fake bag.
Authentic: The handles are pretty flat. The Diamond pattern should also be visible. The handle’s side edge is painted black/dark brown. You could actually see the division of the folded leather straps, indicated by the dashed (——) lines below. The handles are basically thick leather folded in two, with nothing in between – this is confirmed by a Longchamp representative. If the tote is new, the handles are rather stiff, but with prolonged use, it becomes “soft”.
Fake: The straps are round; almost cylindrical, because the synthetic “leather” is wrapped around a thick rope for reinforcement and shape. If the fake straps did not include a rope, the thin synthetic material would be too flimsy to form an arch shape when hanging the bag, not to mention that the straps would not be able to handle much weight, and rip! Furthermore, the strap’s side edge has binding or poor finishing. The binding is usually the same color as the strap or in some cases, mimics the black edge of the real deal. Just remember, Binding on straps = Fake.
Authentic: Front of the flap has beige stitching. Backside of the flap has brown stitching. There is double stitching on corners and edges where there would most likely be strain.
Fake: Front and backside of the flap usually have super white stitching.
Authentic: Matches the dimensions of the Longchamp Pliage.
Fake: Handles are too short and size of the bags are smaller or larger than what it should be.
|Type “Shopping”, Small
||Type “Shopping”, Small
|Type “Shopping”, Medium
||Type “Shopping”, Medium
IMPORTANT NOTE: Regarding Type “Shopping”, Medium, Longchamp had an earlier version where the tote was larger and had a wider pocket, like below
Dimensions: 13″ x 13″ x 7 1/2″ with a 10 1/2″ handle drop.
Old Medium Shopper is larger than the new version. Stitching of the pocket passes the handles.
New version has pocket stitching between the handles.
The Leather Corners
Special note on Type “L” and Type “XL”: You’ll notice that there is a hole on one side on the leather corners (The side where the zipper pull will close up the bag). Even though some people use Type “L” and Type “XL” as an everyday handbag, they are known as luggage bags. The hole is there to lock your luggage, over the zipper pull and hole.
Photo Credit: Purseforum
Authentic: The nylon is rather matte and barely reflects light.
Fake: Can reflect light quite a bit. If it’s too shiny, it’s a no go. Colors that have never been used in Le Pliage Longchamp designs, obviously. Consult the “PLIAGE COLOR CODE TABLE” below.
Authentic: The color of the stitching is more or less the same color as the nylon.
Fake: White Stitching on Nylon (except in the case of having the White or Paper colored Pliage Longchamp bags).
The Zipper & Zipper Pull:
- Is marked with a “YKK” and “T” on both sides of the zipper, and a “45”
- The round zipper pull reads “LONGCHAMP” on top of the jockey logo and “1948” below, on both sides.
- After prolonged use, the “gold” on the pull wears off and thus becomes lighter. Not sure about the Nickel and Bronze tags.
- For the Short-handled totes in Medium, Large, and Extra Large (i.e: Type “M”, Type “L”, and Type “XL”), the zipper pulls are not gold, but are pewter in color (“gunmetal”?)
- Older versions use a different font for 1948, so if this is the case, rely on other details instead.
- Older versions of the round zipper tag can read “LONGCHAMP” on top of the horse and rider logo while below the logo, “PARIS” is written on one side and “FRANCE” is written on the other side of the round tag. The super old Longchamp Pliage bag with the zipper pull engraving PARIS/FRANCE instead of 1948 ARE NOT YKK ZIPPERS.
- Does not have a “YKK” and “T” on both sides of the zipper, and a “45”. (Unless the zipper pull has the PARIS/FRANCE engraved like below)
- Zipper tag possibly reads “LONCCHAMP”. The font for “1948” could be off.
- After prolonged use, the round “gold” pull has traces of copper-colored discoloration. Not sure about the fake Nickel and Bronze tags.
AUTHENTIC OLD MODEL. “G” on “LONGCHAMP” is evident. “YKK” and “T” are present on zipper.
Photo Credit: PurseForum
AUTHENTIC OLD MODEL. SIDE A. Photo Credit: LowYat
AUTHENTIC OLD MODEL. No “YKK”, “T”, and “45″ marked on the zipper pull.
AUTHENTIC. Photo Credit: LeahDeLeon
- Light or Vibrant colored bags have a white or beige lining, while dark colored bags have a black lining. Refer to the “PLIAGE COLOR CODE TABLE” Table.
- The pocket is the exact same material and color as the exterior nylon.
- The lining has a smooth rubbery texture.
- The lining color is different from the official lining color of the particular model or the lining is the same color as the nylon. Refer to the “PLIAGE COLOR CODE TABLE” Table for the official lining color.
- The white, beige, or black lining is not rubbery smooth.
- White Interior: The stitching is white in the areas where the fabric is white. The stitching elsewhere on the nylon (the zipper or pocket area) is more or less the same color as the nylon.
- Black Interior: The stitching is black in the areas where the fabric is black. You might see a few specs of the beige stitching caused from the stitching of the other side (exterior), but that’s fine as long the main stich is black. The stitching elsewhere on the nylon (the zipper or pocket area) is more or less the same color as the nylon.
Fake: The stitching is super white on the colored nylon (the color of your bag).
Authentic: Both snaps (interior pocket and at the bottom of the bag) are reinforced with a transparent disc around the snaps.
Fake: Snaps have no reinforcement.
- Le Pliage Longchamp bags should indicate that it was either MADE IN FRANCE, MADE IN TUNISIA, or MADE IN CHINA.
- White Translucent tag with the correct manufacturing locations and style number.
Style Numbers are comprised of a 4-Digit Model Number, followed by 089 (The code for the Le Pliage line), followed by a 3-Digit Color Code (###). Refer to the “PLIAGE COLOR CODE TABLE”
Small Long Handle Tote, “SHOPPING”: 2605089###
Medium Long Handle Tote, “SHOPPING”: 1899089###
———-The old version of Medium Long Handle Tote, “SHOPPING”: 2724089###
Small Short Handle Tote, TYPE “S”: 1621089###
Medium Short handle Tote, TYPE “M”: 1623089###
Large Short handle Tote, TYPE “L”: 1624089###
Extra-Large Short handle Tote, TYPE “XL”: 1625089###
Rectangular Tote model (No Zipper), “CABAS”: 2704089###
Backpack Model, “SAC À DOS”: 1699089###
- Wrong manufacturing locations or incorrect style number.
PLIAGE COLOR CODE TABLE
My table of Pliage Color Codes is not complete unfortunately, but I’d say the most common colors you can buy today are there. Help me out please!
Any official names/season of a color I’m unsure of are marked with a question mark.