Deciphering YSL: Real vs. Fake Bag Showdown!

Fake vs Original Yves Saint Laurent Bag Review by Tanner Leatherstein

Step into the opulent world of luxury fashion as I embark on a captivating exploration. Join me as I’m on a mission to uncover the hidden truths nestled within two illustrious Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) handbags. Get ready to dive deep into the little details of how these bags are made and spot the differences between them.

Imagine the scene: Two YSL handbags sit before us, one procured from the illustrious Champs Elysees store in Paris, and the other, a cunning imitation sourced from the bustling streets of Turkey. Can you discern the true luxury from the clever facade? Let the investigation commence!

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.

Initial Observations

At first glance, the two bags appear quite similar, but let's delve into the finer details to distinguish them. Starting with the fake bag, it initially seems well-made, with a solid shape, logo, and hardware giving off a sense of quality. However, upon closer inspection, I notice several creases that seem out of place for a luxury item. Additionally, the logo on the magnetic closure is slightly misaligned, indicating a lack of attention to detail. Inside, while the fabric and zipper look decent, there are some smudges in the embossing and imperfections in the serial number, raising suspicion further.

In contrast, examining the genuine bag reveals flawless details. The logo is perfectly aligned, and the embossing is crisp and clean. The interior is immaculate, with clear embossing and protective plastic details on the hardware. Comparing the leather of the two, the fake bag exhibits more visible grain pores and a less refined finish, indicating lower quality compared to the uniform, luxurious look of the real leather used by YSL.

Hardware Comparison: The Telltale Signs of Authenticity

When examining the hardware, the contrast between the two bags becomes apparent. The authentic bag boasts a sturdy metal feel, lacking the heavy lacquer coating often seen on lower-quality hardware. In contrast, the counterfeit hardware has a noticeable plastic-like feel, which is common in cheaper materials prone to oxidation. To combat this, the fake hardware is coated with a thicker layer of lacquer to prevent oxidation, resulting in a distinct tactile sensation.

Another notable difference lies in the size of the chain. While I cannot confirm if YSL ever utilized a thicker chain for this design, it's clear that the chain on the fake bag is noticeably larger than the original. Additionally, the authentic hardware features a more subtle lacquer finish, providing a refined touch, whereas the counterfeit hardware feels heavily coated and somewhat plasticky to the touch.

Craftsmanship Revealed: The Intricacies of Quilting Patterns and Stitching

Examining the craftsmanship and assembly of the bags, I notice a distinct difference in the quilting patterns. The fake bag lacks a small triangle in the upper back, which may be an oversight or an intentional design choice. Additionally, the spacing between the chevrons on the quilts differs between the authentic and counterfeit bags. The real YSL bag maintains a consistent spacing of approximately 23 to 25 millimeters, while the fake bag's spacing is slightly smaller, around 22 to 23 millimeters. Though this may seem like a minor detail, it can result in noticeable misalignments when repeated across the bag's surface.

Assessing the thread thickness and stitching cleanliness, I find the craftsmanship of the fake bag surprisingly commendable. The stitching is well-executed with thick enough thread, showcasing attention to detail. However, despite these efforts, the replication of the quilting pattern falls short of perfection, indicating a lack of precision in mimicking the authentic design.

Bag Dissection: The Hidden Secrets of Bag Construction

As always, our exploration doesn't end with just a surface examination. Let's take a peek inside these bags, where the biggest secrets often lie hidden. Opening up the real bag reveals a sophisticated internal structure crafted from high-quality materials. Everything is meticulously clean, with a variety of fabrics used to shape the bag's form.

As I inspect further, I notice the finish peeling off, revealing a top grain leather with a micro finish on the real bag. While this leather is of good quality, it's not the top-of-the-line rawhide required for luxury fashion.

In contrast, the fake bag's interior exposes lower-quality materials and a less refined structure. It lacks the engineering finesse of its authentic counterpart, with many elements seemingly cut by hand and lacking proper patterns or measurements.

On the other hand, the fake bag utilizes a more minimal finish, still showcasing the grain but with imperfections indicating a lesser quality rawhide. It seems that the raw material used may not have been perfectly suited for this application, resulting in a finish that falls short of perfection.

Final Thoughts

The way these bags were crafted truly showcases the skill of the makers. It's clear they have the ability to produce a bag of similar quality. When comparing the leather and hardware to the real bag, it's evident that the materials used are of lower quality in the fake. However, considering I paid only $230 for the counterfeit compared to $2600 for the authentic one, it's quite impressive.

It makes me wonder why the counterfeiters don't remove the logo and utilize their talents to improve the quality of the leather and hardware. It seems like a simple adjustment that could elevate their product to a higher standard. They could potentially establish their own brand and sell the bags at a price point of three to four hundred dollars, offering customers a comparable quality product at a much more affordable price compared to the genuine bag, which retails for $2600.


In my journey through luxury fashion, I've uncovered the differences between authentic YSL bags and their counterfeits. Despite surface similarities, the fakes reveal flaws in materials and craftsmanship. However, they also showcase talent that could be redirected to create legitimate brands. True luxury goes beyond logos—it's about quality and integrity.

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