Michael Kors rose to international prominence after the brand’s chief creative officer and founder, Michael David Kors, joined Project Runway as a judge at the height of the reality show’s popularity.
Kors, who was born in 1959, was already established as a sportswear designer when he broke onto the show’s set but leveraged the opportunity to convert his brand to a household name by shifting to a new focus: Handbags.
Left: Taylor Swift heads out with the “Casey” satchel. Right: Hilary Swank attends an event with a Spring 2013 buckled clutch.
Today, Michael Kors-branded leather goods are coveted by men and women all across the globe. The brand namesake’s creations are so popular that counterfeits have started popping up. While some customers buy fake purses and wallets willingly, many others simply can’t tell the difference when shopping online.
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We’ll show you nine easy ways to tell whether a Michael Kors bag is the real deal.
1. Buy from authorized retailers
To avoid the risk of purchasing counterfeit products, it is best to buy directly from the official Michael Kors website, a Michael Kors retail store, a reputable department store, or authorized retailers like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The American fashion designer works with customs authorities, law enforcement, and legal representatives globally in an effort to prevent the sale of counterfeit Michael Kors products, both online and offline.
In September 2019, New Haven Register reported that the fashion house had filed a lawsuit against vendors and operators of The Boulevard Flea Market in New Haven, Connecticut, alleging counterfeit goods bearing the company’s brand have been sold there for years.
2. Get acquainted with Saffiano leather
Michael Kors bags have become synonymous with Saffiano leather. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand’s trademark material, Saffiano is calf leather with a fine criss-cross pattern pressed on it by a machine. An original will feel structured and rigid, while synthetics tend to be soft and floppy.
Original Saffiano leather will also have a slight gloss to it. Please note that not all genuine bags are made with real leather.
Michael Kors bags have become synonymous with Saffiano leather
3. Familiarize yourself with the two official Michael Kors logos
Michael Kors typically uses two different logos: the expanded one and the circle emblem.
The expanded version should be precisely cut with sharp edges, and the letters should be evenly spaced. Inauthentic versions of this logo tend to stand out from the leather more, while legitimate logs are embedded into the leather, and perfectly centered.
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The circle emblem shows the letters M and K at the center. The letters should be distinct and surrounded by a perfect circle. Often, fakes will feature logos that look a little wonky and unsymmetrical.
Logo hardware should feel heavy and substantial, and not like coated plastic.
From time to time, Michael Kors does use a plain MK to embellish some bags as well.
4. Know quality handles
An original Michael Kors bag should use sturdy hardware to fasten the handles to the bag.
Fake bags typically use rounded handles that don’t feature stamping. On genuine bags, the joint hardware is slightly rectangular with rounded edges, and the expanded logo is stamped on one side. The original hardware should also feel hefty.
Left: Miranda Kerr wears a bright “Selma” crossbody bag. Right: Kate Hudson prefers the slouchy “Large Riley” tote
Another subtle telltale sign in an original Michael Kors is four even and perfectly proportionate stitches underneath the handle hardware. Counterfeit Michael Kors bags do feature the four stitches as well, but they’re often sloppily executed.
Below the stitching is a screw that should feel flat to the touch and shouldn’t protrude from the bag.
The handle of an authentic tote must be made from premium leather and shouldn’t wrinkle around the foam tube. Additionally, leather tabs should neatly conceal the handle edges instead of exposing the edge stitching.
5. Have a feel for quality zippers and zip closures
Authentic Michael Kors zippers have a brass finish and are usually paired with an elongated zipper pull. The expanded Michael Kors logo is engraved cleanly onto the pull.
Counterfeit zipper pulls will typically use the rounded logo and are usually made out of plastic with a metallic finish. This type of pull is noticeably more prone to breaking, flaking and chipping.
When opening or closing the zip, an original should feel more rigid. Pay close attention to the structure of the bag upon opening the zip: the shape of an original will remain structured, while a fake will gape wide open.
Another tip? The zipper on an authentic Michael Kors bag ends before the leather tab, whereas the zipper on a fake usually tucks into it.
6. The shoulder strap should be sewn on correctly
A nicely sewn loop should hold the strap to the tote body. On classic MK bags, the loop is stitched above the seam. On fakes, the loops tend to be stitched into the seam. The small difference in stitching makes the strapless durable and more prone to snapping.
In an authentic Michael Kors bag, exemptions are made when the straps are sewn into the seam for aesthetic purposes.
The label Michael Kors has turned into the true fashion must-have in recent years. The range of the designer ranges from sun glasses to bags to fashion. Especially the bags are very popular among fashionistas. On the one hand the designs are relatively simple and thus always modern and on the other hand the designer handbags by Michael Kors are really affordable. A real bargain can be found especially in the USA. On my last visit to New York in 2015, the Michael Kors bags cost just half as much as on the German market. Who does not beat as Michael Kors fan, is itself to blame! If you do not have the possibility to get such a designer handbag in the USA, then you can do this in the respective Michael Kors stores in Germany or most conveniently on the Internet. What you should pay attention to when buying a Michael Kors designer handbag , I tell you now:
The first step to make sure you are sure to find an original Michael Kors bag is to find a right seller or seller. Does an online shop not particularly trustworthy or even dubious? Then try to continue! Make the best of new bags right at the boutique, at verified online shops like the official Michael Kors website, great designer portals like net-a-porter and co. or find the best second hand, sale or outlet deal on Catchys – here all partnerhops are tested and offer buyer protection and authenticity guarantee. However, it does not hurt to look at the bag anyway – with these tips you will become the absolute Michael Kors expert:
If you put your Michael Kors bag, she should always keep her shape. Wrong bags are usually not particularly stable and only very poorly structured, which is why they often buckle, fall into themselves or generally simply lose their shape. The shape is decisive for the overall impression of the bag – it should be high-quality and noble. You should especially inspect the side view of the Selma Bag . A genuine Michael Kors Selma consists of a leather piece, which goes through completely, while in the case of non-genuine bags, the sides are often only sewn to the front and back. As you can see the seam immediately and the alarm bells should ring loudly!
Just Michael Kors bags are often imitated very badly – as you often recognize it already, because the Markenname was misspelled. But even if Michael Kors is correct, you should look at the distance between the letters. This is always balanced and equal. The letters themselves are the same size and the same thickness. Furthermore, you should ensure that the round Michael Kors charm – if the pocket model of your choice has one – corresponds to the original. The original has a thickness of 3 mm and is glossy. Most counterfeits are rather dull, scratched and much thinner. In addition, the letters are very close to one another – in the case of imitations they are often separated. Also you should pay attention to the logo on the inside as well as on the handles of the handles. The logo inside the Michael Kors bag is sewn there and rounded and neatly sewn at the edges. Often the MK logo is also engraved on the hardware – here it must always be extremely clean, straight and balanced.
They are quickly overlooked or not regarded as important, but the seams can also point to imitation. The difference to the original designer handbag is usually clear at the corners. In the case of counterfeits, the seams are frayed, not stitched or show small knots. So keep the seams in mind before you buy a Michael Kors bag !
The hardware is shiny and tidy with Michael Kors pockets. Also the weight of zippers and co. is relatively high due to the use of high-quality materials. In the case of imitations, however, the hardware is often made of super-light metals, which quickly scratch or have a matte effect. On most hardware pieces, you’ll find a Michael Kors engraving – this should be absolutely straight and balanced, the letters should be in an even distance and equal width, as well as high.
THE INNER LINING
In most cases it is also worthwhile to take a look inside the Michael Kors bag, because the inner lining tells you something. Especially the typical crackling of the material should bring with you the alarm bells. These are, in most cases, a counterfeiting in which plastic sewing templates or the like have been left in the fabric. Authentic Michael Kors bags have an inner lining of polyester, which feels soft and supple.
HENKEL AND HENKELSCHNALLEN
The handles are also engraved with an original Michael Kors handbag. In addition, the seam has a distance of about 2 to 3 mm under the handle buckles and consists of a maximum of 4 stitches. This is absolutely straight and even – it is necessary to look closely, because this often shows an imitation. If the bag is not worn, the handles are absolutely stable and structured – they do not fall in and do not form strange kinks.
THE SERIAL NUMBER
Like every designer handbag, the models by Michael Kors have a serial number as well as a label, which is inside the bag. Here you have to make sure that the label consists of 1 or 2 letters, a dash plus four numbers. If this is not the case, then it is not a genuine bag of the label Michael Kors.
MADE IN CHINA
In addition, however, you should not be left unsure when embroidered in the bag on the label ” Made in China ”. Unlike Louis Vuitton or Chanel , the label Michael Kors has his handbags produced in China. Apart from that, labels with other countries in Southeast Asia are also possible, as are often the case in Indonesia, as are the production sites of Michael Kors Taschen.
Should the supposed designer handbag smell unpleasant, then finger away! Counterfeits are often glued or treated with chemicals and this leads to a very unpleasant artificial odor. Attention! Not to be confused with the typical smell of a vintage handbag. Leather smells, this is no sign of a faux!
Tips to Spot a Fake Michael Kors Handbag
When looking at a bag, the qualities below can be used to distinguish a fake bag from a real one:
- Price: As with all designer handbags, price is a big indicator of what you’re buying. Michael Kors handbags range from the mid-100s to several thousand dollars. Research the price range for the bag you’re interested in. When considering an online purchase, stay away from bags listed below this price range.
- Trademark: Look for the designer’s trademark square buckles and fixtures. All Michael Kors bags, big or small, display these square accents. Authentic Michael Kors purses have multiple “MK” insignias on buckles, snaps, and other metal parts.
- Materials: Authentic Michael Kors handbags are made from very fine materials and are superbly handcrafted. Although he’s only been designing accessories since 2001, MK bags are extremely well priced. You’re getting great value for your dollar when you buy an authentic Michael Kors purse.
- Silver-tone and gold-tone hardware: This is a sturdy, shiny metal that feels very solid to the touch. Replica Michael Kors handbags usually use cheaper metals and plastic.
- The stitching: The stitching should be even, straight, perfectly aligned with seams, and never loose. Large, uneven stitching is a surefire sign of a knock-off. The stitching is the hardest thing for replicators to copy. Because it takes a lot of experienced, skilled labor, the stitching on replica Michael Kors handbags almost always comes up short.
- The inside lining: People who make knock-offs only care what it looks like on the outside. So you can definitely tell the difference when you open the bag up. The inside of a real bag is often made of a soft canvas-like material with leather trimming around the lining. The zippers, trim, and seams are always stitched. If you see unstitched seams and tags, then you know they’re being held together by glue, another sure sign of a replica Michael Kors handbags.
- Research the bag you want: Visit a boutique or the MK official website and study the bag you want. Compare it to the one you’re planning on buying online. Compare all of the features. Are all of the buckles and insignias in the right place? Do they look like they should? All individual MK lines are designed the same with all their features in their respective places. If anything is out of place, red flags should be going up. When you know what you’re buying, it’s easier to identify replica Michael Kors handbags.
- Purchase from trusted retailers: When purchasing MK handbags online, purchase from a reputable dealer. Read our section on how to avoid buying replica Michael Kors handbags for a resource list on what to look for when buying from an online retailer. If you’re buying on an online marketplace like eBay or Amazon, be sure to read the seller’s feedback and review their return policy. If their bags are authentic, they’ll have no problem taking it back.
- Read the listing carefully: Remember, if it’s described as “replica” or “designer inspired,” it’s not real.