Monday, April 4, 2011

Is it the Real Thing? How to tell if a Designer Scarf is a Fake.

Okay, so I've delved into the realm of designer brands and all of the trappings. I'm fairly new at the vintage or designer silk scarf and clothing market and I'm realizing that it can be a perilous place!

I posted that Christion Dior scarf (which I featured in my very first post) on Ebay at a starting bid of $48.00 and immediately got a lot of attention but only one person bid on it. I thought that was strange but wasn't too worried about it. The next day I went to post another Dior scarf that I had and I got a message from Ebay saying that I had reached my limit. I was taken aback because this was the first time I had heard of any limits to the amount or type of listings I could make. I contacted the online assistant and after some back and forth she just said to " Just take it easy on the designer labels for a while." So, I assume that someone had reported that the scarf may be a fake. I took a second look at the scarf myself and realized a few things that made me suspect that I had been sold a replica Dior.

Let's look at the scarf and pick apart the different aspects:
  • It is made of excellent quality silk twill which is heavy weight and has a beautiful drape. Really valuable designer scarves are always made from silk twill. Some twill is lighter than others though and the heavier the twill is the better. Silk twill is amazing for it's texture and longevity. So this scarf fit the bill there. 
  • The hem was hand rolled. Silk scarves that have a hand rolled hem are usually more valuable. The hem should be plump and not ironed flat. This scarf has a great hand rolled hem that is in excellent shape.
  • There was a label on the scarf that stated the fabric content and where it was made in French and English. Tags and labels also add value to a vintage scarf so if you buy an expensive designer scarf never take off the tag. It will depreciate in value if you do. This Dior scarf had a tag but it was lacking the designer tag; the one that says the designer's name and/or logo. 
  • The scarf was signed in the font or a font that looks like the real thing on the front of the scarf in the bottom right hand corner. Signatures or logos also add value and if you don't have a tag then you have the logo and that helps a lot. However, it's pretty easy to print a logo or signature on something if you have the tools. The Dior logo consists of a fairly simple font so if someone wanted to copy it they could do so quite easily.
  • The print is very detailed and the colors are amazing! The only problem is that the print on the back isn't quite as vibrant as the front - this is an indication that it may not be a very high quality print job. Usually the colors should be the same or almost the same on the front as on the back.

  • Also, the print looked pretty tacky to me. I thought well, sometimes the French go overboard a bit with the florals and that may have been the style back in the 50's. However, if you know a designer's style then sometimes it's easy to pick out whether that design or graphic would be something that they would have done. I have seen quite a few Dior scarves now and I must say it doesn't really look like something else that I've seen so far. However, my experience is limited and maybe it was a phase he was going through at the time!
Anyway, so I'm still not sure if it's real or not. But as the Ebay assistant told me if you're not sure it's real then don't list it. They have very strict rules now about selling replica's on Ebay which is a good thing but how do you know? There are registered appraisers you can use and they will appraise something for you for $10.00. Of course, it's only worth it if the item is very valuable.

As for my customer who bought the scarf I informed her that it may or may not be a "faux" Dior and I offered her 50% off or to cancel the listing. She chose the 50% off. I'm sure she will be happy with it anyway and I think even the vintage "faux" scarves are also collector's items now!

Happy Hunting and beware of imposters!!


  1. Thanks for this post, it is helping me trace the origins of my "dior" scarf!

  2. Yeah, this is absolutely true. I saw similar piece in online collection of Kate Spade scarf. I love it because of vibrate color, charming pattern and discounted price.