Authenticating Your Saint Laurent Handbags

Learn how to authenticate Saint Laurent handbags

Just landed yourself your dream Saint Laurent handbag, but not 100% sure its the 'real thing'? While we can only recommend purchasing from reputable sellers / resellers with an authenticity guarantee and a proven track record, we understand that sometimes gifts or hand-me-downs leave questions on the table. Below are some tips and tricks to help you investigate your bag at home. And if you're STILL not sure, reach out to us. Launching this Monday, January 30th, we'll be offering a Canada-wide handbag authentication service. Subscribe to our newsletter now to stay in-the-know!

Until then, here are a few areas to hone in.



Authentic Saint Laurent handbag serial number

  • Traditionally found inside the bag, these are either sewn onto the lining using a tonal leather rectangular debossed panel or directly debossed onto the interior material
  • Alternatively, there are also some styles that have the date code heat stamped inside 
  • The serial numbers are usually placed inside of a pocket, directly behind where the interior logo panel would be found
  • Vintage YSL bags will consist of 12 digits in total, separated by a singular dot 
  • Newer models consist of three letters, followed by six digits (denoting the style number), and a singular dot that ends with four numbers (representing the date code)
  • Similar to the LVMH protocol, the last four digits (signifying the date code) represent the month of production using the first two numbers, and the year of production with the two remaining numbers
  • Serial numbers are condensed into one line only - if the serial number is more than one line, that is a good indication your item may be counterfeit 
  • The words “made in Italy” can be found below the serial number (all capital letters is rare, but possible for some styles as pictured above)
  • All of the letters and numbers are a consistent font and size with equal distance between each digit


Authentic Saint Laurent handbag blind stamp

  • Usually debossed or heat stamped into the interior of the bag on the underside of the flap, “SAINT LAURENT” is written out with “PARIS” directly below
  • Exceptionally, some style have the blind stamp sewn onto the interior lining, while others can actually have two interior blind stamps - one under flap and one sewn to the interior
  • The "SAINT LAURENT" print has several distinctive features
    • The silhouette of the letter S is well balanced
    • The letter A is printed at a distinctive angle - never too narrow or overly wide
    • The leg of the letter R will have a slight, but noticeable curve to it
      • The leg of the R in "PARIS"; however, is straighter than those in the “SAINT LAURENT” logo
    • The letters N and T at the end of both “SAINT” and “LAURENT” will be connected at the top (top line of T flows into the top right leg of N)
  • Some bags also have the same blind stamp debossed onto a leather strap / leather shoulder rest on a chain strap
  • Like the serial numbers, some interior blind stamps can include “made in Italy” discreetly just below the “PARIS” text



Clean quilting on an authentic Saint Laurent handbag

  • For chevron quilted bags (also referred to as “matalessé) the stitching is extremely neat, leaving each row the same width with an even number of stitches
  • There is only one individual row of stitching per line - double stitching can be a red flag
    • Some styles, such as the Becky Bag are an exception, with tightly neighbored triple stitched lines
  • As a luxury brand, Saint Laurent uses premium materials that never feel overly stiff (even for structured silhouettes) or posses a plastic-like texture and shine 
    • Some styles; however, like the Niki bag have a deliberate glossy finish
YSL handbag emblem on an authentic Saint Laurent bag
    • For bags donning the iconic YSL logo using hardware, the placement of the overlaps for each letter are intentional and and present as follows: 
      • The Y’s left arm is thicker than the right arm 
      • The Y’s left arm sits beneath the S, while the right arm rests atop the S
      • The S curves behind the bottom half of the Y 
      • The S continues to overlap the L and then slides behind it towards the bottom quarter of the letter
      • The angle (or slope) of the L is very distinctive in that it is wide at the top and narrows as it connects with the horizontal leg 
      • The S is also thicker at its middle compared to the top and bottom curves
    Authentic YSL bag's magnetic snap engraving
    • The magnetic snap closures have the “SAINT LAURENT PARIS” logo precisely engraved on the non-flap half of the snap (*the letter N and T in both words are NOT connected when engraved*)
    • Some grommets also have “SAINT LAURENT PARIS” engravings that are legible and follow the perfectly circular curve of the grommet evenly 

    Saint Laurent's authentic Grain de Poudre leather

    • The beloved and durable YSL 'Grain De Poudre' grained leather appears not as dots, but more so as tightly placed hypnotic small circular shapes
    Authentic Saint Laurent Curb Chain
    • Chain straps are a flat curb chain that has more sanded edges rather than run of the mill curb chains that have sharper corners to each link  


    • It is important to note that many details mentioned above that are often used to establish authenticity, can vary based on the bag's style, size, and the time of production
    • After the rebranding from Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) to Saint Laurent in June 2012, at the direction of Hedi Slimane, dust covers are now traditionally black with white lettering in the center and drawstring closures 
    • "SAINT LAURENT" is said to be spelled out using the Helvetica font, while “PARIS” uses a font called Copperplate
    • Inside the dust covers, there is often a white paper tag, attached at the edge, displaying again the brand name and also indicating where the item was made in smaller letters just below
    • Inclusions for traditional retail purchased authentic Saint Laurent items can vary based on the item or style. For handbags and small leather goods, there is always a black envelope included that is stored inside a plastic protector, which contains a black care booklet, a white tag with the shortened style name and year, a small black rectangular control card, a black authenticity card, and, more recently, a black RFID booklet

    With plenty of small details to analyze, Saint Laurent bags, like most other luxury designer handbags are a trove of information when you know what to look for. And if you've discovered your handbag IS authentic, and you're interested in selling from within Canada, fill out our consignment form today!

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