These days you’ll see plenty of people carrying designer bags as they walk down Grafton Street, but how do you know if a bag is real or fake?
Paddy Coughlan, who trades at the Designer Exchange at 35 Exchequer Street, spoke to Dublin Live about the fake handbag industry and offered some tips on how to spot the real deal, using the Louis Vuitton Quick Bag classic as an example.
He told Dublin Live: “The most important question our customers should be asking is if the bag is real. We have acquired professional knowledge to be able to carry out the authentication. Depending on the brand, we go through different points to authenticate it.
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Showing us a beautiful Louis Vuitton bag, Paddy pointed out a few things to look out for.
“The exterior is made from one piece of canvas. This means the logos on the front are the correct way round, but if you flip it to the back you will see they are upside down. That’s because it’s a single sheet of canvas, there’s no separation on the base, so it’s just something to look for.”
Paddy also counts stitches and measures zippers to verify authenticity.
The Louis Vuitton brand stamp is also something to watch out for. Paddy makes sure the distance between the letters is equal.
“There will also be a date code inside these bags that tells us the month or year the bag was made.”
Paddy says customers can have peace of mind knowing that every item purchased from their store is the real deal.
“Whether it’s hardware, serial numbers, stamping, logo printing, etc. We also have a technology-based authentication system.
“Once it goes through the system which is revolutionary, it gives us and the buyer a financially backed Certificate of Authenticity so they know it’s guaranteed authentic and we won’t leave anything behind. pass through the net.”
As an expert in luxury handbags, Paddy says he is “totally against the fake industry”.
He said: “It hurts brands, jobs in the industry and you don’t get quality or guarantees. In my opinion, you shouldn’t.
“No matter the value, people say luxury fashion is expensive fashion, but we have items here from €50 up to our recent €30,000 Hermes Birkin bag.
“We have a full range from Michael Kors, DKNY, Marc Jacobs to your classic Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton. We have sunglasses and accessories.
“We get a lot of young customers who are thrilled to get a Michael Kors bag like any other woman would get a Chanel bag. That’s the beauty of business.
“We make handbag dreams come true, no matter how expensive or cheap it is, every sale we make is important to us.
“It’s a real mystery in this business, you never know what’s going to happen or who’s going to come in. The ladies come with special requests and the joy is in making their dream come true and finding the item for them.
“If you could bottle and sell their joy, I would be a very rich man.”
Paddy previously worked with GameStop and dealt in the tech and gaming business, but now he spends his days with glamorous staff, customers and paraphernalia.
Its boutique in the city center is Ireland’s premier venue for the resale of luxury fashion. Customers can bring in designer bags and accessories and exchange them for a new item.
“I think when it comes to handbags, there are a lot of great stores there. We are not advocates of fast fashion, we are advocates of sustainable fashion,” Paddy continued.
“By coming to us, people unlock the change that is already in their wardrobe.
“We’re not asking them to spend money, we’re asking them to bring in the things they already have that they may not be in love with anymore or may want to change to something new. .
“It’s the perfect way to be part of the sustainable dynamic that currently prevails in society and to get involved in the circular economy.”
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