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How to spot a fake handbag: Céline



When Céline first launched the Luggage Tote in 2010, there wasn’t much of a fanfare. As designer handbags go, it was reasonably priced and readily available. But Phoebe Philo’s simple design quickly began appearing on the arms of A-list actresses and society darlings.

Spotting an opportunity, the fashion house doubled its variety of colours and materials (and doubled its price) and it exploded in popularity. Owning a Céline Luggage Tote is now a status symbol for the glossy posse. With many discontinued variations, making a second-hand purchase can be a bit daunting. We asked our go-to authenticity expert Catherine Travers, from pre-loved designer retailer InSeller, for her top tips on how to spot a fake Céline Luggage Tote.

“Céline” and “Paris” should be heat stamped on the front of the bag, between the two handles. The text should be crisp and easy to read. “Paris” will always be located below “Céline” in smaller text. On the interior on the zipper pocket, “Céline Paris” as well as “Made in Italy” should be embossed on the leather. Counterfeits can be recognised by text that is blurry or faint.

Céline use hardware with an antique-like finish. A dead giveaway for a fake is super shiny hardware. The fashion house also use unbranded zippers, unlike other high-end names like Gucci or Balenciaga. The zipper will be blank, however the size will be mentioned on the end (in a Mini Luggage, this will be the number 8).

Céline stitches should always be straight and taut, reflecting the quality craftsmanship of the fashion house. The leather should be smooth and supple, not plastic. On authentic Celine bags, smooth leather styles will have a matching smooth leather interior. Pebbled leather bags will have micro-suede interiors.

Leather tab and serial number
All Céline bags from the reign of Phoebe Philo have a serial number located on a leather tab inside the bag. On Mini Luggage Totes this tab will be inside the interior pocket. The serial is written in capital letters with dashes between in this format: one letter, two letters, followed by a four digit number. Corners of the tab should be snipped at a perfect 90-degree angle and the edges of the tab should never be curved.

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