Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Authentication Class // Louis Vuitton French Company Monogram Speedy

The LV Speedy is an iconic bag!  The classic international Speedy bags are gorgeous, but the Louis Vuitton French Co. Speedy is almost like a hidden surprise. 
From the late 70's to early 90's, Louis Vuitton manufactured bags in partnership with the French Luggage Company in the U.S. under special license.  These bags were sold at exclusive department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.  
You all might remember my vintage Speedy 30 from this post!  I'll be using it here in a little photographic guide to authenticating your Louis Vuitton French Company Speedy.  

How to tell if your Louis Vuitton French Co. Speedy is Authentic
The Speedy is made of the classic LV monogram canvas material.  The LV monograms should have faint diagonal stripes through the gold icons.  
The leather used on French Company items is not the oxidizing leather that Louis Vuitton uses today, but a treated leather in a caramel color that does not darken or patina, so it stays protected longer.  
The international Speedy bags have a leather zipper pull tab with a hole and seperate lock and key, while the French Co. Speedy has a Talon zipper pull and a Tucky lock, which is great for keeping your bag secure and safe.
The French Company pieces are one of the RARE exceptions to the "no monograms cut off" rule in Louis Vuitton products.  On the sides of the Speedy, there are some LV monograms on the edges.  
The leather tabs that attach the strap to the bag on Speedy styles has 5 stitches across the top, except on the French Company Speedy bags.  This is the only exception to the 5 stitches "rule".  
This is the only Speedy style with a seam on the bottom.  International Speedy bags are made of one continuous piece of canvas, so the monograms on one side are upside down, but on the French Co Speedy bags, the monograms are all facing up!
The strip is made of the same leather as the handles and should be in the inside as well.
Here's a shot where you can see that both sides have LV monograms facing upwards in the canvas.
The interior tag is a little paper tag that reads Louis Vuitton, Manufactured in the USA Under Special License to the French Co.  There are no other interior tags.  The lining of the bag is a brown canvas instead of the suede they use on International Speedy bags.
FAQ:

How much did the French Company bags cost?
They cost the same as regular LV styles.

Does being a French Company Louis Vuitton make it less valuable than a regular?
No!  If anything, it might be even more valuable as the quality produced during this time period was very good and these bags are harder to find.

What should I keep in mind while authenticating my French Co. bag and spotting a fake?
Not all the same rules apply to French Co. bags as International LV styles.  Some things are indisputable (for example the monograms should still have the same gold stripes through them, or the stitching should be precise and straight).  Other than that, you can throw out the rules that no monograms can be cut off on the sides, that Speedy bags have no bottom seam, and that the Speedy bags and Keepalls have 5 stitches on the tops of the handles.  These are all exceptions with French Co.

4 comments:

  1. Such a good classic bag to own! I love your anchor top as well!
    xo, Scarlett
    The Trendy Chick

    ReplyDelete
  2. What great information!! I was extremely LUCKY to find a Vintage (French Company) Louis Vuitton speedy (the same one you have here) in mint condition for an unbelievable price!! I feel like I won the lottery!! Thanks for the info!

    ReplyDelete
  3. How do you clean the hardware?

    ReplyDelete

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