LeSportsac is an American handbag, luggage, and accessories company that has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity since collaborating with Japanese pop aesthetic and Harajuku streetstyle -inspired artists such as TOKIDOKI and Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B.
Le Sportsac bags have been seen on the shoulders and arms of local cosplayers and Japanese street fashion enthusiasts — thanks largely to their funky, colorful designs and extra roomy capacities.
The question is, however — how many of these seemingly ubiquitous bags are actually authentic? And if you are on the quest for a genuine Le Sportsac and not one produced in a knock-off factory in China, how do you tell these bags apart? Here are five signs to look for when looking to purchase your first authentic Le Sportsac handbag.
The most telling sign for spotting fakes is the zipper. Authentic Le Sportsac zippers feature solid colors complementary to the main color theme of the pieces (for example, on a predominantly black wallet the zipper is black, and on a mainly brown bag the zipper is brown). They are very rarely silver, and are never in rainbow colors.
Another way to tell is to look at the zipper head. There should be a tiny embossing on the side of the head that says “YKK” — which is the name of the Japanese company that supplies them with zippers. Meanwhile, the zipper pull should feature the company logo embossed in steel; if you have an ordinary zipper pull then the bag is very like a fake.
Authentic Le Sportsac feature nylon straps. They are very rarely leather — only the TOKIDOKI ones have straps made out of leather. Even then, the leather used is genuine and of very good quality; if your handbag has fake leather straps that crack or peel easily, chances are you picked up a fake.
The inner lining of genuine bags are as thick and have a substantial feeling as the outer covering, and also feature the trademark textured surface of genuine Le Sportsac fabric. They are also more often than not — just like the zippers, in solid colors reflecting the main color theme of the piece. If you have a bag that features either a thin white fabric lining that is not textured, or a printed lining with the same fabric as the outside of the bag, chances are you purchased a fake.
Genuine Le Sportsac fabric is fairly thick and scratchproof, and has a distinctive square texture that can be seen when the bag is held against the light, or felt if the surface is stroked with your palm. It also features crisp, in-line printing with nary a line out of place. Fake bags usually look a little too smooth, which means that the fabric used is not the authentic kind. Many fake bags also have prints that are poorly aligned or miscolored — like a comic book that did not have its individual parts line up during press.
The last indicator is price. At the Le Sportsac online store, small pieces run about USD 25 to 40, while larger ones can go for up to USD 140 to USD 200. The collaboration bags like TOKIDOKI and Stella McCartney of course go for a premium — starting at USD 250 for just the medium sized totes. So if you found a TOKIDOKI overnighter for just PhP 1000 it would be safe to assume that it’s fake — but hey, if you’re okay with that, go knock yourself out~
For more detailed descriptions on telling fakes apart from the real thing, visit the TOKIDOKI blog.
Buying your first piece is always an important learning experience, since girls are known to move on from Le Sportsac and Kipling to Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier (and of course on to LV and YSL). Making sure that your pieces are good investments is simply good money sense. Good luck and have fun with your first buys!