One of the most important, yet challenging details to review when it comes to Louis Vuitton handbags are the zippers. There are many myths and misconceptions circulating today regarding the authenticity of these zippers. You might have heard, “Louis Vuitton hardware should never chip or fade”, “Louis Vuitton only uses brass hardware” or “Louis Vuitton zippers should always be marked ‘Louis Vuitton’ or ‘LV’). It is true that some Louis Vuitton handbags are made of brass hardware, but they’re usually much older styles (we’re talking prior to the 80’s), and most modern Louis Vuitton bags are made of a coated base metal.
The Ultimate Guide To Real Verus Fake Louis Vuitton Zippers
When it comes to the wear and tear of the hardware, it’s perfectly normal for both brass and other coated metals to experience wear after long periods of use. Chipping, tarnishing, and scratching can all happen over time, and the extent of the wear really depends on how the owner cares for the item or the type of heat or moisture the item is exposed to.
Louis Vuitton Zippers With Heavy Wear
Take a look at these authentic Louis Vuitton zippers that have experienced very heavy wear. As you can see, the gold-colored finishing can wear off, they can experience discoloration, tarnishing and chipping. But even with this extensive wear, we can tell that these zippers are authentic based on the quality, shape of the zippers, brand markings and correct finishing:
As a general rule, the hardware used on Louis Vuitton handbags should be visibly well-made. After all, Louis Vuitton prides itself on using high-quality materials. Any “LV” or “Louis Vuitton” markings should be clear, clear and centered.
Take these authentic zippers shown below for example, which you may recognize from popular Louis Vuitton bags, such as Speedy Bandoulière or the Alma. Notice how symmetrical each of these zippers are. Both sides of edges are parallel and carry an even rectangular shape, the corners are very slightly rounded and curve at the bottom. The inner rectangular cut-out should be even and clean. This zipper is relatively thin and should feel even in its width. The bottom part of this zipper should not feel too thick or round.
Depending on the style of the bag, the finishing can appear to be semi-matte, or glossy. Be sure the glossy finishing is clean and smooth without any streakiness or air bubbles. See this example of zipper in a glossier, reflective finishing:
Authentic Versus Inauthentic Zippers
These inauthentic zippers below on the other hand, do not hold the same level of quality as the authentic zippers. Notice the shape and the finishing of this zipper on the left below. When compared to the authentic version, the bottom of this inauthentic zipper is longer, and the bottom edges are just a bit too wide. Both of these zippers lack the clean and smooth finishing that Louis Vuitton zippers should have. Instead, we can spot a few air bubbles as well as streakiness throughout. Additionally, the “LV” markings are not consistent with this style of zipper and Louis Vuitton.
Below are more examples of inauthentic zippers. The finishing of these zippers are visibly streaky and appear to have a brushed appearance with air bubbles throughout:
Next is a side-by-side comparison of an authentic zipper versus an inauthentic zipper. Notice the differences in the upper part of the dip, the curvature toward the bottom, as well as the metal finishing:
Take a closer look at the finishing of these inauthentic zippers below. Notice the brushed appearance and air bubbles. Additionally, the “LV” logo is wider at the top when compared to the authentic zipper.
An important detail to note about Louis Vuitton zippers is that even those of the same style might look a little different. For instance, if a zipper is made from a different batch or from a completely different time period, it might look a little bit different from another zipper of the same style. It’s important to be able to identify whether or not that difference is concerning when it comes to the authenticity of the bag. Since hardware is just a portion of the authentication review, we’d need to perform an evaluation of the entire item in order to confidently confirm if it is authentic or not.
Other Brands of Zippers on Louis Vuitton Bags
In addition to the LV branded zippers, Louis Vuitton has also used other brands of zippers throughout the years. If you see a zipper that isn’t marked with “LV” or “Louis Vuitton”, this doesn’t necessarily mean the item is not authentic. For example, on older, vintage pieces, you might see ECLAIR or TALON zippers:
The Bottom Line
Zippers are an important aspect of the authenticity of a Louis Vuitton handbag, but the authenticity of an item shouldn’t be based just on the zippers alone. Be sure the zippers carry the quality and standards of Louis Vuitton, but also remember that there may be variances in zipper styles. The best way to know for sure is to have the item evaluated by an expert!