Christian Dior is undoubtedly an iconic brand in the fashion industry and Dior handbags are some of the most counterfeited products on the market.
Every Dior bag comes with its specific tells, and we are going to explore one of Christian Dior’s signature bags, the Lady Dior. That, said, most of the elements covered in this guide apply to other Christian Dior bags too.
How do you authenticate a Lady Dior bag?
Christian Dior handbags are elegant and timeless, but none so as much as Lady Dior. Named for the late Princess Diana, Lady Dior is one of Dior’s flagship products. This elegant Dior handbag has truly stood the test of time, since its conception in 1994 when it was first named ChouChou, meaning ‘favorite’ in French.
Come September 1995 when a black ChouChou was gifted to Princess Diana of Wales, everything changed. The princess ordered one in every color and by 1996, the bag was officially renamed as Lady Dior.
How do you know if you have the authentic bag so beloved by the late princess? Follow along these steps to know whether you are holding the real deal:
1. Check the handles
The handles should be firm and sturdy. You can keep them upright or fold them down, but the leather handles themselves should not bend in any way. Flimsy handles is a sign of poor workmanship. Fakes also tend to squeak.
2. Inspect the charm
The charm that spells out D-I-O-R should not be able to flip on itself and face the opposite direction because it is attached to the bag on a pivot loop rather than a free hanging loop. You should be able to swing the charm loop left and right, but not turn it around. The D-I-O-R letters should not be flimsy or light-weight nor move around excessively.
3. Take a look at the exterior leather tag
The leather tag that’s affixed to the “O” charm should simply say “Christian Dior” printed on the back of it, not more and not less. Fakes sometimes have “Christian Dior Paris Made In Italy” embossed.
4. Check the zipper
The main zipper’s pully will have four chain-links attached to it, a tiny one followed by three bigger rings, with a rounded zipper pull attached to the final ring. This oval zipper pull should feel hefty in your hand and have “CD” stamped into it.
Please note that many modern Lady Dior bags do not have a zippered closure, but rather have a leather flap covering the opening to the bag.
5. Take a look at the metal feet
Flip the bag over and you should see five or four metal studs (depending on the bag size) in the shape of a tapered dome. Fakes are often flatter or may be overly pointed. You should find four feet on the Medium, Small and the Mini sized Lady Diors and five feet on the Large one. Please note that the shape of feet on the Mini Lady Dior is more tapered or flatter than on other sizes.
6. Inspect the interior lining
The color of the fabric lining will not always be identical to the outside color of the bag, despite of the popular belief. For example, you may often find red cannage lining inside of Lady Diors with black exterior.
Real Lady Dior bags may have cannage or Dior jacquard pattern on the lining; although Cannage patterned lining is more common. Some Lady Dior bags have plain leather or suede lining.
Please note that leather elements used inside the Lady Dior must always be of identical color to the bag’s exterior.
7. Feel the stitching
Examine the stitching. You should not be able to feel it by running your fingers over the stitching and the color should match the bag’s color, making it almost invisible.
In most fakes, the thread might be a different color and will be easily felt. In some high-end fakes, they might try to emulate the quality of the stitching found on real bags, which is why you should check the entire bag, from the handles to the interior to get a better idea of its quality.
In authentic bags, there should be more than ten or more stitches on each side of the square or diamond pattern. The stitching also won’t run deep as to not ruin the leather, whereas fakes often look almost embossed onto the bag.
8. Check for symmetry
The cannage quilting is a Dior signature and should be perfectly complementary to the bag. It should also be perfectly symmetrical and line up with pockets and the different sides.
9. Inspect the structure
Both, brand new and pre-loved Christian Dior bags should retain their shape. If the bag is lopsided or out of shape, you’re most likely looking at a fake.
10. The dimensions of Lady Dior bags are as follows:
The handle drop should measure 4” to the top of the bag on the Large and Medium Lady Dior, 3.2” on the Small one and 2.8” on the Mini Lady Dior.
11. Review the authenticity paperwork (booklet and card)
A new Lady Dior bag comes with a booklet complete with information on how to maintain the bag. It will be written in English, Chinese, and French.
There will also be a Dior authenticity card. This card should have white rectangular spaces which have been filled in, most often by hand, with details such as the date of purchase, boutique’s location, and the bag’s style number.
Don’t be too fussed if you don’t get a card when buying second-hand, as most preloved bags will not come with this card or the booklet. Too, having the booklet and the authenticity card does not guarantee authenticity as these items are not attached to the bag.
12. Examine the date code tag
All Dior bags contain a leather date tag stitched into the bag. On some Lady Dior bags you will find the date code heat printed into a leather tag inside of the internal zippered pocket. On others you will find the date code heat printed onto the back side of the ‘Christian Dior’ leather tag attached right outside of the internal pocket.
Regardless of the location, the tag must be rectangular in shape with rounded corners. A leather tag with straight corners will most certainly be a fake.
The ‘Christian Dior’ leather tag attached right outside of the internal pocket should have two or three lines heat printed in gold, silver or imprinted with no color: “Christian Dior” at the top with “PARIS” in all capitals below. On some, but not all Diors, you will also find a third line below: “MADE IN ITALY” or “MADE IN SPAIN” also in all capitals.
On some Dior bags, you may find the “made in..” stamp on the back side of the tag instead of the front. If not located in the front, the “made in” would be heat stamped right above the date code and must be perfectly centered. Sloppy printing is a sign of a fake, so beware.
Christian Dior stopped making handbags in France in 1990. Seeing a “MADE IN FRANCE” on a newer Dior bag should be an immediate red flag.
Also, starting from 1990s the tags located outside of the internal pocket are stitched around the perimeter. The date code tags located inside of the internal pocket are not and were not stitched around their perimeter.
How do you read a Dior date code?
Pictured: on the left the date code tag is sawn into the suede lining of the inside pocket. The code means that the bag was made in July of 2017 at a factory in Italy. On the right, the date code is heat printed on the back side of the ‘Christian Dior' tag attached right outside of the zippered pocket. The code means that this Lady Dior bag was made in December of 2008 at another factory in Italy.
When you look at this date code, you’ll notice that it consists of six numbers and two alphabets in the following format: 00-XX-0000.
The two letters indicate the factory where the bag was made. For example, “BO” and “MA” mean that the bag was made in Italy. The first and third numbers following the letters represent the month, whereas the second and fourth represent the year.
The format of the date code is the same as on Louis Vuitton bags because both Dior and Louis Vuitton are a part of LVMH. Please reference the LV guide for a letter code chart, but remember that you should expect your Lady Dior to have been made in Italy or Spain if the bag was made in 1990 or thereafter.
How do I find my Christian Dior serial number?
Christian Dior bags do not have a unique serial number to each bag. You will find a style number of the bag on its authenticity card and a date code heat printed on a leather tag inside of the bag. The leather with the date code may be located in one of two places: inside of the zippered pocket or right outside and below the zippered pocket.
There are no other serial numbers that can be found on any of Christian Dior’s designer handbags. It goes without saying that if there is an additional number printed anywhere on the bag that it is clearly a fake.
Do Dior bags come with an authenticity card?
As mentioned above, Dior bags do come with an authenticity card upon purchase but it is not a dependable method of authenticating a bag, especially because it’s much easier to fake a high quality card than an entire bag, so always pay attention to the quality of the bag itself rather than focusing solely on the authenticity card.
How much does it cost to authenticate a pre-owned Dior bag?
Designer resale companies will authenticate your used Dior bag for free if you choose to sell your bag with one of them. It is one of the perks of having a professional reseller handle your sale.
If you are buying a pre-loved Dior bag look for a designer bag reseller that offers a Lifetime Money-Back Authenticity Guarantee and has a long-standing reputation to back up their authenticity claims. Look for customer reviews and see what other buyers and sellers have to say.