The Balenciaga Motorcycle bag made its debut at Nicolas Ghesquière’s 2001 runway show and a star was born. Through the years, many styles were produced in several different leathers, but for serious collectors the very early Firsts and City bags, made of the luxurious chevre leather, will be the most coveted. Having its incredible popularity, Balenciaga has become one of the most copied brands in the world and one of the most complicated to authenticate, with multiple exceptions to most authentication rules. We have assembled this quick guide to help you unravel some of the larger mysteries, but remember to always do your due diligence before buying and purchase secondhand only from a reliable source.
Leather vs Silver Tags
The interior tag on the Replica Balenciaga Handbag will have the silver plate that come with a leather tag or solely a leather tag. Apart from metropolis, First, Work (since 2005) and Weekender, all Balenciaga moto bags have leather tags only. These four styles will have gold tags only when they may have classic (also called regular, or RH) hardware. The silver tags were made out of genuine metallic until F/W 2008, with the “925” silver stamp in underneath right corner.
Letter Codes – Style/Season of Production/Color
The silver tags include both a season/year identifier and a style code. Balenciaga started out using an uppercase letter of the alphabet to match the season/year of production in F/W 2003. The style number on the tag front will always match the style number on the tag back on a real bag. The rest of the code numbers are in-house information for Balenciaga and can be disregarded. The overall consensus among Balenciaga aficionados are that we now have no consistent codes for colors, although black is often 1000.
The alphabet has reset for Balenciaga codes, with the letters A through D getting used for two different seasons/years. While the D tag can be either F/W 2003 or S/S 2016, for example, the fonts and methods of the labels for both seasons look completely different so it’s easy to tell them apart. A few of the newer styles have their own particular tags as well. The metal edge bags have a leather tag with the info embossed in either silver or gold to match the color of the hardware. The Papier line also offers a sterling silver embossed leather tag, again matching the hardware.
For Balenciaga styles with only a leather tag prior to 2012 (when the letter of the alphabet for the growing season was included to the label back) identification/authentication is tougher, and a knowledge of seasonal colors, changes of fonts, introduction and discontinuation of specific varieties of bags and hardware is necessary.
A Word About Style Codes
To add to the general confusion when trying to identify a Balenciaga bag is the fact that the hardware on the bag will influence the style code. For example, a City bag with classic hardware (silver tag) will have a different style code than a City tote with Giant 21 hardware (leather tag). This pertains to every style, where each kind of hardware within a style will have it’s own code. To find out more, visit Replica Chanel Flap Bag
Label and Font
Both the fonts and varieties of the labels have changed more than once over the life span of the moto line. Changes were made in various years. The first few seasons Balenciaga used the serif font on the tags. In F/W 2004 the font changed to sans serif. In 2011, the “made in italy” heat stamp on the leather tag back was changed to the upper case “Manufactured In Italy”. In 2012 the season/year letter was added to the tag back, making season identification much easier. In 2014, the label front was restyled and “Fabrique En Italie” was added to the tag back, although this seems to have been removed for the F/W 2017 season.
Authentic Balenciaga handbags possess the Lampo logo on the trunk of zipper heads. One of the few exceptions was in 2010 when Balenciaga released their rose gold hardware without the Lampo logo. One theory is the fact that Lampo didn’t make increased gold at that time. By 2011 the logo was on rose gold as well. Some replicas also use real Lampo zippers so simply because your bag has a Lampo zipper, will not mean it is authentic. On many of the fakes, the emblem and accompanying “lightning bolt” underline is thick and clumsy-looking. On the majority of real Balenciaga bags, an authentic Lampo zipper has the logo embossed instead of engraved and Lampo is written in italics and undercollectiond. A number of the very early moto bags; however, did hold the engraved custom logo. In 2014 the Lampo logo was replaced with an uppercase letter B.
The bale (that is the metal hardware by the end of the leather shoulder strap) should have a rounded, organic and natural shape. The conditions have changed somewhat every once in awhile, but never have any abrupt angles. Fake bags frequently have bales that appear to be “coat hangers”. The ends of the twisted piece of the bale should taper to a smooth, flat end.
Until 2005 the rivets on Balenciaga bags were rounded and slightly convex (these rivets were on the first pewter hardware bags). Since 2005 (inconsistently in S/S, but regularly by F/W) the rivets were deeply notched. Lots of the fake bags have shallow notches that are either squarish or shallow half moons.
While these quick tips provide some of the clearest points to look at, you can view that with all of the variations in hardware, codes, styles etc. authentication can be a challenge! The most effective advice we can give you is to buy a bag from an authorized seller or an established reseller.