When it comes to fashion, many of us seek to own designer items but are often deterred by their high price tags. That's where replica bags come in. For those who wish to own high-end bags but cannot afford the real deal, replicas can seem like the perfect solution. During my recent trip to Guangzhou, China, I became curious about the world of fake bags and decided to explore it.
I purchased a fake Hermes belt from a marketplace for a fraction of the price of the real one. Hermes is an iconic brand that is highly sought after by fashion enthusiasts all over the world. Its luxurious products have been adorned by many celebrities, politicians, and royalties. However, with this immense popularity comes a darker side.
Fake Hermes products have flooded the market, making it difficult for customers to differentiate between the real deal and the fake ones. I wanted to do a visual comparison between the fake and real belt and see if the difference is noticeable. But before I do that, I ran the fake belt through the Entrupy system to see if they could identify it as inauthentic. In this blog post, I'll share my experience of visiting a fake bag mall and discovering what goes on behind the scenes. I'm also going to share my experience of comparing a fake Hermes belt vs. the real thing from the packaging to the leather quality. We will also talk about the telltale signs of a fake product.
DISCLAIMER: This is an UNSPONSORED review. I purchased all of these products myself and am not affiliated with the brand mentioned in any way. All statements and expressions made about the products are solely the opinion of Tanner Leatherstein and are not meant to be conclusive or definitive. The purpose of this video is for informational and educational purposes only. We recommend that as a consumer, you exercise your due diligence and research on the products before adopting the opinion of Tanner Leatherstein.
Journeying through Guangzhou, China
As I entered the fake bag mall, I was disappointed to see that the bags being sold were not fakes. They were replicas with made-up logos and names, similar to those of high-end designer bags. However, my interest in finding the legendary Super Fake was not dampened. When approached by vendors who told me about the hidden stores on the upper levels, I immediately agreed to follow them.
As I entered the apartment-looking structure, I was met by a woman and a bodyguard-looking man. They seemed cautious, and the lady immediately noticed my camera. I explained that I was a leather enthusiast and was interested in exploring the world of replica bags. After some conversation, they began to show me a variety of bags. Each one was marketed as a Super Fake and came with a price tag that was significantly lower than that of the real versions.
As I continued to observe the bags, I noticed that there were subtle differences between these Super Fakes and the original designs. Some were near-perfect copies, while others had slight changes that were barely noticeable. It was clear that creating these replicas was an art form, and the craftsmen behind them had perfected their skills over time.
The more I spoke to the vendors, the more I realized that it wasn't just the quality of the bags that made them so popular. It was the association with luxury brands that made them desirable. For many buyers, it was the idea of owning a designer bag without the high price tag that made replicas so appealing.
However, as I left the hidden stores and reflected on my experience, I couldn't help but feel conflicted. On the one hand, I appreciated the artistry in creating these replicas. On the other hand, I wondered about the ethics of buying something that was not legitimately produced. I also couldn't help but think about the impact that replicas have on the livelihoods of those who create and sell genuine luxury goods.
Comparing the Original vs. Fake Hermes
I subscribed to Entrupy, an AI-based software that authenticates luxury purchases, especially from preloved marketplaces. However, to my dismay, Entrupy does not support Hermes belt authentication. Nonetheless, I still wanted to do a visual comparison of the two belts. The packaging is an essential aspect of the luxury experience, and I must say, the packaging of the authentic Hermes belt is unparalleled. From the luxurious box to the high-quality gift note, Hermes packaging does not disappoint.
When it comes to the leather quality, the difference between the fake and authentic Hermes belt is noticeable. The shine difference between the two belts is evident. The authentic one has a subtle sheen that radiates luxury, while the fake belt's shine feels plasticky and cheap. Hermes belts are made of high-quality leather, which is usually full-grain or top-grain. However, fake Hermes belts are made of low-grade leather that is slapped with a plastic layer finish to imitate the original. This fake leather is flimsy, and the plastic coating can easily peel off, exposing the poor quality material underneath. So, if your belt feels light and fragile, chances are it's a fake. Overall, when it comes to the leather quality, the authentic Hermes belt wins hands down.
The stitching of a belt is also a crucial factor in identifying a fake Hermes belt. Hermes products are saddle-stitched, which means they are hand-stitched and not machine-stitched. However, upon further research, I learned that Hermes belts are machine-sewn and not hand-stitched. Fake Hermes belts are also machine-sewn, and upon closer inspection, you can notice even stitch lines that are too straight to be done by hand. While machine stitching isn't necessarily a flaw, it's still important to note that Hermes belts are known for their impeccable handmade craftsmanship.
Additionally, the hardware on Hermes belts is made of high-quality metal, which is usually gold or palladium-plated. On the other hand, fake Hermes belts have inferior hardware that can easily tarnish or chip off. One way to determine the quality of the hardware is to check the weight of the buckle. Genuine Hermes buckles are heavy, while fake ones will feel light, cheap, and flimsy.
The brand's reputation also contributes to the value of the Hermes belt. As a luxury brand, Hermes is known for its heritage, craftsmanship, and exclusivity. Owning an original Hermes belt is a statement in itself. The fake belt, on the other hand, diminishes the exclusivity and authenticity of the brand. It also doesn't hold up to its quality standards and won't last as long as the original one. I think investing in a real Hermes belt is not just a purchase; it's an investment in a quality piece that you'll enjoy for years to come.
My exploration of the world of replica bags in Guangzhou was a fascinating experience. I learned that there is an entire industry devoted to creating flawless replicas of designer bags. I also gained insight into the motivations behind why people choose to buy these fakes. However, I remain conflicted about the idea of owning a replica bag. As consumers, we must consider not just the financial cost of what we buy, but also the ethical and social implications of our purchases.
A visual comparison between the fake Hermes belt and the original one reveals sharp differences in the quality of leather, details, and craftsmanship, and the brand's reputation. While the fake belt may seem like a good bargain at the time of purchase, it's not worth the investment in the long run. Owning an original Hermes belt is a unique experience that is unmatched by any fake replica. The luxury experience that comes with owning an original Hermes belt is signified from the packaging to every detail. It's a statement piece that will stand the test of time, just like the brand itself.
It's crucial to be vigilant when purchasing a Hermes belt to ensure that you are getting the real deal. Fake Hermes belts can be easily identified by examining the quality of the leather, the stitching, the hardware, and the packaging. Always buy from an authorized dealer or reseller, and don't fall for too good to be true prices because chances are they are selling fake Hermes products. Remember, Hermes is a luxury brand, and luxury comes with a premium price tag. So, if you want to own a genuine Hermes belt, be prepared to pay for the quality and craftsmanship that comes with it.