How To Spot Fake Burberry Bags: Where To Buy Real Purses

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Burberry is a British institution unlike any other. It’s synonymous with British elegance and has connections with everything from celebrities and influencers to royalty.

The brand has gone from its humble beginnings in the mid-1950s to become an international powerhouse. Like any luxury fashion house, Burberry finds itself the victim of counterfeit bags and products.

If you’re considering buying a Burberry bag pre-loved, you want to know the signs to look out for to tell a real Burberry from a fake. Read on to find out more about these legendary bags and how to spot a counterfeit.

The History and Revival of Burberry

Burberry was established by Thomas Burberry in 1856 when he was just 21 years old. The mission of the company was to make clothing that would protect people against the unpredictable British weather.

In 1879, Thomas Burberry invented the gabardine, a waterproof fabric that revolutionized rainwear.

Kate Moss advertisement in Burberry's store in Knightsbridge, LondonKate Moss advertisement in Burberry’s store in Knightsbridge, London (Credit: Daniel Deme / WENN)

The brand’s distinctive equestrian knight logo came to fruition in 1901 after a public competition. The predecessor to the iconic trench coat – the Tielocken coat – was launched in 1912, with the trench following a few years later. It was designed as a functional jacket to be worn by soldiers during the First World War.

Burberry’s trademarked check – which appears on most of their bags – first appeared in the 1920s. Throughout the early 1990s, Burberry became synonymous with sporting attire before being granted a royal warrant in 1955 by HM Queen Elizabeth II.

This event marked the start of a long-term relationship between the British Royal Family and Burberry. Virtually every family member has been spotted wearing their clothing, in particular their infamous coats and trenches.

Danielle Staub carries a Burberry umbrella and Paloma Faith pairs a Burberry raincoat with neon orange hair and a burgundy handbagDanielle Staub carries a Burberry umbrella and Paloma Faith pairs a Burberry raincoat with neon orange hair and a burgundy handbag (Credit: TNYF / Lia Toby / WENN)

In 1990, HRH the Prince of Wales granted Burberry a royal warrant as an outfitter. 1999 saw a rebranding from Burberry’s to Burberry and a new logo was designed by then Art Director Fabien Baron.

Other landmark events include the 2010 live streaming of a Burberry fashion show, the first luxury brand to do so. It was also the first luxury brand to join the ethical trading initiative.

In 2011, Burberry launched its first Tweetwalk by streaming its Spring/Summer 2021 show to Twitter. By 2014, Burberry had 500 stores across the world.

As part of its ethical and sustainability work, Burberry was recognized as the industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in the ‘Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods’ sector.

In 2018, they celebrated diversity by launching their rainbow vintage check-in partnership with three LGBT+ youth charities.

The current Chief Creative Officer, Riccardo Tisci, is moving Burberry towards a more contemporary and streamlined aesthetic. The new logo and TB monogram appear throughout the brand’s accessories and marketing, breaking away from the previous equestrian knight and heavy reliance on check prints.

Where are Burberry bags made?

In 1972, Burberry acquired its factory in Castleford, the home of the Burberry trench coat.

It marked the establishment of Burberry’s manufacturing presence in the UK, which continues today. While this is true – and stated on Burberry’s website – not everything is made in the UK.

Although Burberry prides itself on being a British brand, its items are made all over the world. Most of the Burberry bags that you’ll find on the market will now carry a ‘made in Italy’ stamp on the metal plague of leather tag.

Screenshots from Voice of People Today YouTube channel show that fake Burberry bags (left) have inferior quality stamps, while original Burberry bags (right) have neat stamps and seamless calligraphyScreenshots from the Voice of People Today YouTube channel show that fake Burberry bags (left) have inferior quality stamps, while original Burberry bags (right) have neat stamps and seamless calligraphy (Credit: Voice of People Today YouTube channel)

Don’t be automatically alarmed if you see other countries like Spain, the USA, or even Romania on the bag. Burberry has even been known to use factories in China to produce their bags.

While ‘made in China’ is usually an automatic red flag, it’s more complicated with Burberry. It’s best to try and work out the year of origin for your Burberry bag – or even a ballpark estimate.

The best way of using the label to authenticate the bag is to look at the font used for the world ‘Burberry’. The left side of the U and Y should be slightly wider and the three Rs should have small tails.

The changing countries of origins and unusual practice of making bags in China means that you can’t overly rely on a ‘made in’ stamp to authenticate your bag. Take it with a pinch of salt, but don’t rely on it to make or break the authenticity of your Burberry bag.

It’s also worth remembering that older Burberry bags – before 1999 – will carry the name ‘Burberry’s’ and not ‘Burberry’. The same is also true of other accessories that you might be thinking of buying pre-loved, including scarves.

Burberry Patterns

If you’re looking to buy a Burberry bag pre-loved, you want to pay extra attention to bags made in the fashion house’s signature check prints. Like any fashion brand, it is their signature prints that appear on the counterfeit market.

The Classic Burberry Check pattern features the signature black, white, and red stripes with a faded equestrian knight logo The Classic Burberry Check pattern features the signature black, white, and red stripes with a faded equestrian knight logo (Credit: Voice of People Today YouTube channel)

The two prints to look out for are the Classic Check and the Nova Check. The Classic Check is on a tan background with black, white, and red stripes that go both horizontally and vertically.

The equestrian knight symbol should always sit where the red lines meet. If there’s any deviation in placement, it means the bag is counterfeit.

The Nova Check pattern is more modern and has no equestrian knight detailThe Nova Check pattern is more modern and has no equestrian knight detail (Credit: Voice of People Today YouTube channel)

On the Nova Check, the main difference to the Classic Check is that there is no faded equestrian knight.

The print is more contemporary and brighter, with yellow undertones. The red lines carry a pinkish undertone compared to that of the Classic Check.

Burberry Stitching

Fake Burberry bags have faded metal and uneven stitchings (top), while real Burberry bags (bottom) have polished metal and even and sturdy stitchingsFake Burberry bags have faded metal and uneven stitchings (top), while real Burberry bags (bottom) have polished metal and even and sturdy stitching (Credit: Voice of People Today YouTube channel)

If you’re able to see the bag in person, the stitching is always a good indicator of whether a Burberry bag is a genuine product. You can sometimes ask online sellers to provide close-up photos of the stitching, but it’s easier to examine in person.

Burberry stitching will always be neat and even, working in a straight line or curve that matches the shape of the bag.

You shouldn’t see any loose threads or mismatched needlework. Although it doesn’t produce its bags inside the UK, Burberry is known for its quality and craftsmanship.

How much do Burberry bags cost?

The cost of buying a Burberry bag new versus buying it pre-loved is fairly significant. The brand doesn’t maintain its value the same way ‘big four’ brands like Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Dior do.

You can expect to make a fairly considerable saving by purchasing a Burberry bag on the pre-loved market instead of purchasing it at Nordstrom or Saks Fifth Avenue.

The deciding factor in the price will usually be the style and era the bag is from. The price will drop for older bags, particularly those from the 90s and early 2000s.

You’ll naturally pay a higher price tag for current bags that are readily available as they’ll be a more recent bag, especially if it’s a trending silhouette.

It’s worth remembering that Burberry is a British brand. You can expect to pay a premium to purchase any of their items outside the UK. Whether you’re buying a bag pre-loved or brand new, it’s usually more affordable to purchase it from the UK.

The current Burberry handbag range includes bags across a wide price spectrum. The most affordable bag is the Icon Stripe ECONYL Packaway Pocket Tote, an online exclusive at £390.

The most affordable bag you’ll find in-store is the bum bag, which is available in several prints and material options, retailing for £590.

At the top of the price, spectrum is the Medium Quilted Monogram Lambskin TB Bag, which retails for £2,190. Compared to other luxury fashion brands, Burberry is in a more attainable price bracket.

If you want to invest in a luxury bag that won’t break the bank or is easier to save for, Burberry is an alternative to European brands like Gucci, Prada, and Chanel.

Don’t forget that you’ll pay a premium to buy Burberry outside the UK and Europe, but you can use sites like Harrods and Selfridges to purchase them at a slightly better rate.

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