How You Can Know The Difference Between Louis Vuitton Date Codes and Model Numbers
March 29, 20173 min read
If you're a Louis lover, you know that the stampings and different marks on LV bags can make or break the authenticity of your bag. That's why so many people find it important to check up on the date codes from each of their bags, especially if they're buying pre-loved pieces. However, people often mistake product numbers for date codes and vice-versa. That's why we're going to break down what Louis Vuitton date codes and style numbers are, so that you can learn the difference between the two and add a little extra info to your Louis knowledge. While there are variations between bag styles depending on age and wear, you can use our insider information to do a quick authenticity check on your bag using the date codes and style numbers.
All About Louis Vuitton Date Codes
Louis Vuitton date codes indicate the location of the bag's manufacturer and when it was created. Checking the validity of a date code is one of the easiest and first steps that can be taken to make sure a bag is authentic. In some counterfeit Louis Vuitton bags, stampings that mimic the format of authentic LV date codes may seem convincing unless you double check the factory codes. Rarer cases include counterfeits with model numbers dubiously stamped on the bag in the place of a date code. So what do you need to know about date codes and style/model numbers to become a more informed LV-insider?
Decoding your Louis Vuitton date code
To help you decode your Louis Vuitton date code, please review the chart below to see what time-period and date code style your bag fits into.
Finding the date code for your bag may require you to search harder-to-reach areas, since Louis Vuitton typically places date codes in difficult-to-access spots. Here are some of the most common places you can find Louis Vuitton date codes:
Stamped onto the underside of an interior leather tab
Stamped on a tab that is stitched into the corner of an interior pocket
Stamped onto the face of a leather tab, such as in LV bucket bag pictured below
Stamped directly onto the fabric/leather of the bag (these may be difficult to see, especially if the interior lining is worn)
Style/Model Numbers and Your Louis Bag
The style/model number attached to every bag is Louis Vuitton's way of cataloging the unique style of your bag and others like it. Unlike Louis Vuitton date codes, however, style/model numbers are a bit more elusive and are typically only found on a small tag that sometimes comes with the bag. If this tag is misplaced, finding the style/model number will require some online research to match your bag to a similar one posted online with a listed style/model number and date code.
Where you can find the Style/Model number of your LV bag
A major difference between date codes and style/model numbers is the location where you can find them. If you're looking at a stamping inside of your bag, chances are it's a date code rather than a style/model number. Currently, you can only view model numbers on the Louis Vuitton website if the item is still available or on the paper tag that came with the bag. Style/model numbers often begin with the letter "M" or "N" and are followed by five numbers. The style/model number "M95397" seen below is an example of an authentic LV model number found on the bag's accompanying paper tag.
Remember:some date codes may begin with "A0," "A1," or "A2," which mimics the format of style/model numbers. These date codes are rare and typically found on vintage items that were made in France.
Exceptions to know about
Most Louis Vuitton bags and accessories won't have the model number stamped onto them in the same fashion as the date codes, but there are a few pieces that can be found with both stamps. Belts, scarves, and recently manufactured bag charms can have the style/model number and date code stamped directly on them to make authenticating or finding information about the piece easier.
In the Louis Vuitton belt pictured above, it can be seen that the date code is "CA3100," indicating that the belt was manufactured during the 30th week of 2010 in Spain. Similarly, the model number "M6889" is visible close to the stamping of the belt's size. So, if you find yourself taking a closer look at one of your smaller LV accessories, remember that these items can sometimes be an exception to the "no style/model number stamps" rule.