Part 2 Authentic Vintage Louis Vuitton: The French Company
5. Linings...Louis Vuitton today uses mostly crossgrain leather, alcantara and man-made washable vuittonite linings. Even vintage Luitton rarely used suede. Most of the vintage items that you see on eBay with a suede interior and patch that says "LOUIS VUITTON Paris Made in France" are fake.
The lining of most French Company items mirror the linings in their international cousins. For example, a FC Speedy will have a brown cotton lining. A FC Keepall will have a brown cotton lining. Some luggage may also have an off white heather like linen lining like this (thank's Brooksboutique for letting me borrow the picture!):
The lining of small leather goods (wallets, cosmetic cases) also may differ from today's models. While today, most of the lining in monogram items is a rich caramel colored crossgrain leather- the lining in the past varied from light brown (below left), to very dark brown leather (below right):
6. Differences between French Co. Speedy and International...As I mentioned, although many of the items that were manufactured by the French Company for Louis Vuitton were very similar to popular traditional LV pieces, there are some interesting differences. I will only go through the most common two bags- the Speedy 30 and the Bucket.
Above left is a picture of the Louis Vuitton Domestic Speedy 30 (the French Company version of the traditional Louis Vuitton Speedy) is different from it's International Cousin (above right) in many ways.
a. The leather: The leather of course is the "treated" caramel colored leather that we discussed earlier. It is NOT vachetta leather.
b. The strip across the bottom: The traditional Louis Vuitton Speedy and Keepall appears to have the "LV's" upside down on one side, because the canvas is rightside up on the front and then wraps around and under the bag in one continuous piece- leaving the LV's on the back "upside down". The French Company Speedy actually has a seam on the bottom, covered with a leather strip. The LVs on each side are "rightside up." Below is a picture of the bottom of a French Company Speedy.
c. The tag: It will have the Tyvek "LOUIS VUITTON Manufactured in the U.S.A. Under Special License to the French Company" tag stitched into the inside seam. Do not completely freak out if a bag you are looking at has other features of an authentic FC bag- but no tag, as these are really thin, tyvek, removeable tags and many are now missing.
d. The leather tabs: As I explained on my Louis Vuitton buying guide, the leather tabs that the handles are attached onto on ALL Louis Vuitton Speedy and Keepall bags EXCEPT French Company bags, have 5 stitches across the top. French Company Speedys have more than 5 stitches and the number isn't exact. (The FC version also will not have brass rivets, and they will not have anything written on them.) See below: the left is a traditional Speedy, the right a French Company Speedy.
Please continue on to Part 3 with a discussion on the French Company bucket and a look at some French Company fakes- what to look for etc.
I hope this and all of my guides have been helpful to you!
More Louis Vuitton Information...
MY GUIDES --- Here is a list of all of my free eBay Guides.
LOUIS VUITTON --- This is a general buying guide for all Louis Vuitton- vintage and current
MULTICOLORE --- A guide to buying authentic Louis Vuitton Murakami Multicolore on eBay
THE FRENCH COMPANY --- This guide, from the beginning.
OTHER DESIGNERS --- I don't know it all- Guides and About Me pages written by other eBayers...
BOUGHT A FAKE? --- So you think you've bought a fake? Check out my guide to getting your money back!