5572634_s
0

Replica Designer Handbags

Thursday, 5 February 2009 | Tags: , ,

It's not always easy to wear cutting-edge style on a budget, and for most of us, designer products are way out of our price range. But thanks to the booming designer knock-off business, it's a little easier these days. (NOTE: We're not talking fakes here. We mean designer-inspired fashions.) We did some comparisons of real vs. replica handbags to see how they measured up.

Replica Buying Tips

The quality of the material goes a long way to making it look real.

  • Look for a leather outer. Avoid vinyl.

  • Leather should feel soft and supple, and have some flexibility. It should feel sturdy, but not thick.

  • For patterned material, make sure it flows seamlessly without any breaks. If it is broken up by a seam, make sure it matches well on each side.

  • The lining material should feel soft but of a substantial weight. Avoid synthetic liner (e.g. polyester or acetate), which is the sign of a cheap bag. (It also tends to rip easily, especially if it’s thin.)

  • Always check that zippers glide smoothly and that they’re stitched in the full length of the zipper.

  • Hardware items like buckles, snaps, and buttons should feel substantial, solid, and heavy. Make sure they operate smoothly. Avoid anything plastic.

Observe the craftsmanship. Even though it’s a replica, it should still look as though it is well-made.

  • Seams should be straight and lie flat.

  • Stitching should be even and secure. Look for small, tight stitches that match the material. (Unless, of course, the stitching is part of the design detail.)

Real vs. Replica

We brought some real and replica handbags to handbag designer Tannis Hegan and asked her for her expert opinion on our replicas.

 

Balenciaga vs. Aldo

       REAL    REPLICA
Brand      
  • Aldo
Style    
  • “Giant Part Time”
 
Price (CAD)    
  •  $1935
 
  •  $45
Materials    
  • Soft, vintage-crafted lambskin
  • “Giant” palladium-plated metal hardware and studs
  • Fine textile lining
 
  • Vinyl outer
  • Synthetic lining
Origin    
  •  Made in Italy
 
  •  Made in China
Comments    
  • Everything has been paid attention

  • You can see the hand-stitching, which is a sign of quality

 
  • Typically a there will be a run of 100,000 on a bag like this, and they try to do it as cheaply as possible.

  • Vinyl outer, nickel hardware, and acetate lining. Bottom of the barrel.

 

 

Valentino vs. High Fashion

       REAL    REPLICA
Brand      
  • High Fashion
Style    
  • “Petale Hobo”
 
  • “Rose Bag”
Price (CAD)    
  •  $2595
 
  •  $135
Materials    
  • Lambskin nappa leather (nappa is known for being supple and flexible)
  • Gold-toned metal hardware
  • Black satin lining
 
  • Unknown outer (we think PVC)
  • Silver-toned metal hardware
  • Unknown lining (a satin-like synthetic)
Origin    
  •  Made in Italy
 
  • Unknown
Comments    
  • You can’t find anything wrong with a Valentino bag

  • The rose has all been hand-stitched. It looks random, but it’s very controlled.

 
  • They copied the rose, but it has a stiff quality that makes it look like an 80’s grad dress.

 

Miu Miu vs. Guess by Marciano

       REAL    REPLICA
Brand      
Style    
  • “Matelasse Small Tote”
 
  • “Boa Satchel”
Price (CAD)    
  •  $1350
 
  •  $280
Materials    
  • Soft lambskin with vertical ruching detail
  • Silver-toned metal hardware
  • Black satin lining
 
  • “Rich-feel” vinyl outer with horizontal ruching detail
  • Silver-toned metal hardware
  • Jacquard lining with embroidered leopard print
Origin    
  •  Made in Italy
 
  •  Made in China
Comments    
  • So much craftsmanship has gone into this bag.

  • For the ruching, they pull the leather to one side, stitch down, and then pull another area and stitch down. A lot of very careful detailing.

  • The lining is heavy and feels luxurious.

 
  • The vinyl appears to be of a decent quality.

  • This bag has actually been finished well, with some attention to detail.

  • It’s not just a direct copy. It has been designed by a designer.

 

OUR TOP PICK 

When it comes to replicas, you want to avoid vinyl as a general rule, but the Guess by Marciano “Boa Satchel” bag won out on quality overall. It also isn’t an exact replica. It has some similarities in the design, some hip detailing, but it has its own identity as well, which is great.

As our expert, Tannis Hegan, pointed out, you don’t want someone saying: “Oh, that’s a Valentino knock-off.” We think a designer-inspired bag with its own identity is the way to go.

 

top of page | | back to posts |
  • Subscribe to the A&K Newsletter