How Can You Tell an Authentic YSL Bag from a Fake?

Yves Saint Laurent bags are chic and classically elegant. Whether you’re looking for a bag to use for a special occasion or an everyday bag with a simple but iconic logo, Yves Saint Laurent handbags have that versatile style that seamlessly blends with your OOTDs. While authentic Saint Laurent bags add that needed pop to your look, there are also counterfeit versions scattered in the market that mostly don’t live up to the style and sleekness of the original ones.

So how can you tell an authentic Yves Saint Laurent bag from a fake model when buying online? While counterfeit YSL bags are getting harder to spot these days, there are some small details in the craftsmanship that can indicate authenticity. Here’s what you should know if you’re eyeing a YSL bag and want to make sure that it’s the real deal.

How to Check If a YSL Bag Is Real

When browsing for Yves Saint Laurent bags online, you have to be aware of the key details of an authentic bag. In the past, you could easily tell a real Saint Laurent bag from a fake one based on obvious signs. Counterfeit manufacturers are developing more sophisticated ways to copy designer bags, but their mass-producing process cannot copy some of Yves Saint Laurent’s details and quality standards. Here are the reliable signs to look out for.  

1) Look for the YSL Serial Number

Look for the serial number tag inside the bag. This is a rectangular piece of leather with a color that matches the leather of the bag that’s sewn into the bag’s lining on the top of the tab. Some bags may have “Saint Laurent Paris” at the front. Look behind the tag, and you should see the serial number engraved in one row of digits. Fake bags have two rows.

Older Yves Saint Laurent bags should have a 12-digit serial number with two 6-digit numbers split in the middle by a dot. Newer models have 3 letters and 10 digits separated by a dot. The first 2 digits on the code indicate the production month, while the last 2 digits are the year. The Yves Saint Laurent bag must have a serial number, or else it’s fake.

Some authentic Yves Saint Laurent bags may have a “Made in Italy” either in all-lowercase or capital letters.

2) Check for Material Quality

Saint Laurent uses a number of high-quality materials such as lambskin or calfskin leathers, suede, and other textured genuine leather. Some counterfeits use lower quality leather (or even fake leather material) that’s stiff or has an unnatural plastic-like texture and shine to it, which is a tell-tale sign of poor material quality. However, Yves Saint Laurent’s authentic leather is soft and smooth to the touch. Inside the bag, it should be black textile with leather trim. The leather may be glued to the lining, but this is for its seamless transition.

Other materials to look out for include its original metal hardware. Saint Laurent uses precious metals that aren’t plated, so they don’t chip, discolor, or look dull.

3) Check the Stitching

Yves Saint Laurent bags have consistent, perfectly aligned stitching. Some bags feature matelassé, a stitching technique that copies the appearance of quilting. These stitches should be even and aligned. Signs like double stitches, loose threads, or any flaw may be a sign that the bag wasn’t made up to YSL’s level of standards.

4) Examine the Outer Logo

Look at images of the brand’s iconic “YSL” logo on the front of the bag and compare it with the logo on the bag you want to buy. The original letters of the Y, S, and L all overlap with each other in certain areas, but there’s a specific way they overlap. If the overlapping is wrong or it’s impossible to tell which letter is on top of which, you’re looking at a fake bag that failed to perfectly replicate the logo.

The Y’s left arm should be under the upper curve of the S, while its right arm is above the S-curve. The S’s middle section should be under the bottom half of Y. The S then intersects with the L’s vertical line in 2 points: the upper intersection should have the S on top, while the lower intersection has the L on top.

Notice also the thickness of the different parts of the letters. The Y’s left arm should be thicker than the right. The L’s vertical line starts wide at the top and goes slightly narrow downwards.

Lastly, most bags that were made from 2012 to 2016 – back when Hedi Slimane was the creative director for Yves Saint Laurent – should have 4 mock nail heads. Two on the upper part of Y’s arms, one at the bottom tip of the S, and one at the tip of the L’s horizontal line.

Signs a YSL Bag May Be Fake

ysl black bag

Aside from the signs of authenticity, here are some additional red flags that can appear if a Yves Saint Laurent isn’t real.

1) Bag Fails the Designer Bag Authentication

If the bag has no serial number, the serial number doesn’t line up with YSL’s format, or any other obvious sign, you can authenticate for yourself. But if you’re unsure, you can pay a professional authentication service to verify the bag for you. If they can’t verify the bag’s authenticity, it might be a red flag not to purchase the bag.

2) Price Is Lower Than Market Value

If something’s too good to be true, then it probably is. Pre-owned YSL bags won’t cost the same as brand new ones, but people aren’t going to let go of a luxury designer bag for a fraction of what it’s worth.

3) Seller Doesn’t Offer Refunds

Buying a bag online limits your ability to examine the bag in detail. It’s a major red flag if sellers don’t offer money-back guarantees in case you spot signs that the bag you received is not authentic.

Shop for Saint Laurent Bags Today at HG Bags Online

ysl bags

You can tell apart a real YSL bag from a fake one based on certain details. Buying a designer bag is a huge purchase, so make sure you know all the signs to spot a real bag and trust your instinct if you see a crucial detail is missing.

At HG Bags Online, we guarantee that all our bags are 100% authentic – or get your money back. We’ve sold countless designer bags since 2002, and our client base can trust us to give them the quality and customer service they expect. Browse through our shop today to find new and pre-owned luxury brand handbags for sale.