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Kiss and say goodbye to fake bags

By FUNKE ADETUTU

The only way to be totally certain about the designer bag you buy is to purchase one from the real sellers. If in doubt about those who say they are official sellers, then contact the designer named house for verification, if you can. But in Nigeria, in most cases this is impossible. There are reputable outlets where genuine bags could be purchased. However, there certain features you need to check whenever you want to buy a Dolce & Gabbana hand bag, for instance. A D&G bag, as it is popularly called, comes with the contralto hologram card of authenticity and care instructions. You must seek a reliable and trusted supplier for any designer hand bag you want to purchase.

Anyone who has ever had a quality bag before will recognise how high end bags literally stand up on their own because the quality of leather is so good. The bag does not physically collapsing under its own weight, as many cheaper bags do. Dolce & Gabbana, for instance, uses high quality leather and construction; even the handles do not collapse.

There is no ugly end tab to the zip, which is sometimes visible on handbags of lesser quality. The inside is finished with exceptionally neat stitching. The inner zipper has a Dolce & Gabbana engraved surface and so does the lock. Obviously this is not full proof but look for spelling errors and smudgy font reproduction.

Also, look for evidence of quality features such as protective base feet.

The outer zip on D&G bags is well designed with a leather tab pull, also the design enables it to form and integral part of the lock closure neatly. The handles are well designed so they look just as good when the handle is down as when they are in holding position. Look out for shoddy workmanship the tell tale signs are fake, poor quality leather, you should expect the highest quality from a designer bag. Even a bag from a beauty purchase, such as an Estee Lauder will have a zipper slide pull with the Estee name.

On fakes, look out for clumsy overhanging zipper tape ends, crudely contrasting zip colours and an over abundance of tags to authenticate it. All are warning clues.

Watch out for fake logo on the inner fabrics. With logo fabrics, check for obvious misplacement of the letters incorporated into the seams. Well designed women's bags with logo fabrics never run the lettering into the seam lines. Design features such as LV lettering are never obliterated by for example, the image of a cherry. The whole design is carefully worked out so that fabric placement looks aesthetically pleasing. Observe how the cherries would intertwine in a controlled way with the lettering, which may be of 30 plus different colours, but certainly not as few as eight colours.

Likewise, always check the placement of the hardware and the distressing on bags. Many designer bags have vintage effect distressing and if the design is intentionally soft, the bag will slouch in a certain way. If the bag is more formal, it will probably stand up on its own without any inner stuffing support. The straps will be even in length and placement.

When the straps of a bag hang down, the design elements of the handles are as well crafted on the back as on the front. Look for good design elements. Some have their designer names engraved into the rings. On genuine bags, straps do not have kinks, zippers match the skin colour well and the designer run of bags may only truly come in a very small range of colours. Very smooth and over shiny highly processed leather is often a sign of a fake.

Poor uneven stitching is a give away on a bag that is supposed to be hand stitched by a craftsman. Bags of high quality made with natural tannin methods also often have a wonderful leather smell which softens down naturally with time.
Watch out for ridiculous price labels. Some people really do not care if a bag is a fake as long as it looks like the real bag. In fact the cost for them determines the quality and in most cases this view is wrong.

Stamps inside labels on real bags are usually deeply embedded. Remember that counterfeiters will make fakes of any popular desirable brand name designer. China is notorious for not enforcing trademark laws, so factories are inclined to reproduce whatever item they choose.

Hence be careful when you buy a designer handbag such as Dolce & Gabbana. The only guaranteed way to know your bag is authentic is to buy directly from designer stores or stores long established in selling designer ranges.