This post has long been on my list of blog posts to add but I have always been reluctant to publish this in case I create a massive (disproportionate) reaction. Also don't want to help those who make counterfeits make a BETTER counterfeit. When I first started collecting Dianas in 2014, there were virtually no fakes. Fakes are really only created when profitable to do so and back then the Diana was not a particularly popular style (and hence why MGFT was created!)
Fast forward to 2021, the Diana has become the IT bag and as a result there are some fakes popping up here and there. However, DO NOT BE CONCERNED. Fakes as far as I can see in the mainstream market are pretty rare so do not let this post make you fear an online purchase.
I say this a lot but vintage is a niche market and requires specialisation and expertise. I see a lot of people trying to be a generalist and to do everything, which in my opinion is just diluting one's efforts to establish your reputation in this saturated market. So the main takeaway is to only buy from reputable people who know what they’re doing and is a specialist and/or familiar with the styles in that area.
Back to the fake Diana. This post is interesting not for the bag at hand but because it showcases how far technology has come with the fake Dianas – not all fakes will look like this and some will be better and some will be worse. I don't generally believe it's helpful to hone in on this particular fake design but it does indicate which areas are obviously harder to replicate. Can you tell below which is real and which is the replica?
Obviously we knew this was a fake Diana but nonetheless we got this one for the purposes of educating and learning. Being also part shopfront, we authenticate each bag and so we need to be able to know what the other side is up to! Part of researching is not only to collect knowledge but also to educate our community at large and that is definitely a key MGFT mission!
Main key differences:
- Replicating what the Diana looks from the outside seems to be quite easy and arguably if you don't look too carefully they looks passably similar.
- Replicating vintage accessories is pretty difficult and looks like technology isn't great enough yet (or detail hasn't been given yet) to this aspect.
- Replicating the inside body lining is again not quite there, you'll see a huge and obvious difference in stamping and the smooth lining. Probably this is the best place to cut corners since no one presumably will look at the deepest darkest corners of your bag carefully enough.
This means a good way to tell if a bag is a replica is probably to open up the bag and take a look. It also means you should take a look at the accessories. Although from what I can see, the fakes are really so bad for the accessories you shouldn't need to scrutinise eyes squinting to be able to tell.
Also, before you become what I call an "accessory snob" and ask for even the receipt for a bag purchased 30 years old, always apply common sense. Just because a bag doesn't have a card or sticker doesn't necessarily mean it is a replica. It's a good way to authenticate but a person who knows their stuff in this area can tell in a WINK if this is authentic or not without any of the above (obviously MGFT included duh).
Now on to the replica bag itself. I would rank this fake as a medium quality fake. One look at the accessories will give it away and as I said, this was priced as a fake/replica, so no one was trying to pull off any fancy tricks here. I would say the outside is a pretty good fake, all things considered. I dare say the Diana style is incredibly difficult from a technical standpoint to copy correctly. All the puffs and the half moon round tab looks pretty difficult to copy and one look, at least to me having looked at literally thousands of Dianas at this point, this one just looks OFF. The stitching is absolutely off - too far apart, too deep (not enough thickness of "leather").
Card, care booklet, pretty obvious the copying is off. Vintage accessories do not look like that. The serial number is also way off, usually the 1 series bags do NOT have this many digits.
The serial sticker is another thing that is actually pretty difficult to get exactly right. It's nearly impossible in fact to get both the card AND sticker right.
Taking a look at the inside, it's pretty obvious that this is not the real deal. Printing and stamping is totally off here. This is not a good fake.
Look at the inside here, how wrinkled is this inside compared to the smooth internal stitching of the real thing. Seems like they really skimped on even the glue!
The leather quality isn’t vintage lambskin. You may not tell from the photos but touch and smell will give it away. Vintage lambskin by Chanel is something sublime and extraordinary. In terms of fakes for caviar, I would think the caviar texture is probably easier to replicate since it requires sturdy and bumpy textures more than soft silkiness - you can hide the texture better with some grittiness.
All in all, no need to panic and no need to become an accessory snob. I think there are ways to go with this and of course we take education seriously here at MGFT so we will definitely do reviews and post if they are useful for the community.
Let me know in the comments below on your thoughts of the quality of the fake Diana!