How to Spot Fake MCM Bags: 5 Ways to Tell Real Purses and Backpacks

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MCM bags have been a popular leather luxury brand since the ‘80s, and while they’ve had their ups and downs, the brand has made a comeback in recent years and is a world-class brand.

Billie Eilish was the face of MCM's Fall/Winter 2019 campaignBillie Eilish was the face of MCM’s Fall/Winter 2019 campaign

Celebrities like Heidi Klum, Karrueche Tran, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and even Cristiano Ronaldo like to show off their MCM bags.

In August 2023, MCM and Cindy Crawford reunited for a new campaign celebrating the brand’s heritage and the supermodel’s iconic status.

Unfortunately, counterfeit MCM bags have become a significant concern in the world of luxury fashion. Like other prestigious brands, MCM faces challenges posed by producing and distributing fake replicas of their products.

Where to Buy MCM Bags

For authentic MCM bags, consider visiting one of their global boutiques or shop directly from their official website, MCM Worldwide. This ensures you’re purchasing genuine products straight from the source.

British interior designer Kelly Hoppen and the CEO of MCM, Sung Joo Kim, at the opening of the new MCM Store in Sloane Street, Knightsbridge, LondonBritish interior designer Kelly Hoppen and the CEO of MCM, Sung Joo Kim, at the opening of the new MCM Store in Sloane Street, Knightsbridge, London, on May 22, 2018 (Credit: Vince Maher / WENN)

You can also purchase real MCM bags from online stores that sell authentic designer bags. These sites include Zappos, Nordstrom, and Amazon. You can buy discounted bags at Nordstrom Rack.

These retailers have good reputations and offer a wide selection of MCM bags.

MCM has hundreds of stores worldwide where you can buy real bags, purses, and backpacksMCM has hundreds of stores worldwide where you can buy real bags, purses, and backpacks (Credit: Karolis Kavolelis / Shutterstock)

Finally, you can buy MCM bags from other online marketplaces like eBay, but they’re generally less trustworthy than other options.

1. Check the Materials of the Bag

All designer brand bags use only the finest leather; MCM is no exception. High-quality leather is easily distinguishable by its texture, toughness, and smell.

German actress Franca Berlin inspects her bag at the MCM Berlinale brunchGerman actress Franca Berlin inspects her bag at the MCM Berlinale brunch in Berlin on February 11, 2007 (Credit: WENN)

The rich leather is generally smooth and uneven due to the nature of animal skin being imperfect. It feels supple and soft as well. Finally, you can tell the leather is the real deal if the leather doesn’t smell “fresh” or “factory-made.”

If the leather used is rough, tough, and smells bad, you’re probably looking at a cheap knock-off of an MCM bag.

2. Inspect the Size and Shape of the Bag

An easy way to quickly determine the authenticity of an MCM bag is to check the shape of the bag itself. More specifically, you want to take note of the bag’s dimensions and whether or not the bag can stand upright by itself.

MCM bags are made of high-quality leather and materials, meaning they won’t collapse if put upright, even if it’s something like a backpack.

Just place the bag on a flat surface without support to see if it can hold up on its own.

MCM offers luxury luggage and handbags with their famous monogram designMCM offers luxury luggage and handbags with their famous monogram design

Aside from this, get the measurements of the bag itself if possible.

You can easily find the dimensions of the bag you’re purchasing with a quick Google search, so if you notice that the bag is smaller or larger than stated online, take that as a red flag.

3. Pay Attention to the Logo or Logo Plate

An MCM logo is very easy to notice at first glance, but there are many details that counterfeit bags often don’t get right. You can use these inconsistencies to determine whether the bag is fake.

A great place to start when examining the logo is the leaves of the MCM logo. Remember that there are always nine leaves on the left and eight on the right. Any more or less is proof of a fake bag.

There’s also an order that all MCM bags follow with their logo, and that’s the MCM title, followed by the bay leaf logo and MUNCHEN (top to bottom).

Iconic MCM backpacks with high-quality hardwareIconic MCM backpacks with high-quality hardware

Aside from the logo’s design, look for the differences in the quality of the print.

If you’re familiar with the logo on the bag’s plate, you’ll know that everything doesn’t look too big or too small.

Counterfeit bags may have the same design and format, but sometimes, the logo can end up too big or small or too thick or thin. Know how to tell the difference.

4. Examine the Hardware and Accessories Used

The hardware on an MCM bag can be an excellent way to tell if it is real or fake. For starters, check the screws that keep the logo plate in place. They’re slotted (not star-shaped) and can be removed from the plate.

If the screws are simply part of the plate itself, then it’s not an MCM bag. You can also look at MCM’s zippers – the brand primarily uses YKK zippers.

YKK is a high-quality zipper manufacturer; many luxury brands use their zippers. If the zippers are not made of YKK, then it’s a red flag.

Authentic MCM travel bag made from luxury leatherAuthentic MCM travel bag made from luxury leather

Designer bags have hardware that isn’t easily damaged by scratches, doesn’t have the paint peel off, and is generally heavy. The hardware should be made of solid metal. It should not be easily scratched or damaged.

MCM bag hardware, in particular, shines in a golden tint, so that should be a dead giveaway in itself, too.

5. How to Find the MCM Serial Number

MCM bags have a serial number on a small plate inside the bag. The serial number usually comprises a letter followed by four digits.

The serial number is important for authenticating an MCM bag. If you are buying an MCM bag from a second-hand store or online, you can use the serial number to verify that the bag is authentic.

MCM bags are crafted in Korea and Italy using high-quality materials and craftsmanshipMCM bags are crafted in Korea and Italy using high-quality materials and craftsmanship

If you see “Made in Korea” or “Made in Italy,” that’s a good sign, as most bags, backpacks, and shoes are made in these locations.

Also, if you’re getting a backpack, it must have these tags, as MCM started releasing them after they began adding tags to their apparel.

If you are still unsure whether a bag is authentic, you can contact MCM customer service for assistance. They can help you verify the authenticity of the bag.

What is MCM?

MCM Worldwide is a luxury designer brand founded in 1976 in Munich, Germany, by Michael Cromer.

MCM gained popularity for its iconic Cognac Visetos pattern, a symbol of the brand and symbolic of the global jet-setter lifestyle during the 1980s.

The brand’s luxury backpacks, bags, and accessories have been particularly popular among celebrities and fashion-conscious consumers.

The company filed for bankruptcy in 1997 and was eventually acquired by the Sungjoo Group, a Korean fashion retail conglomerate.

The Sungjoo Group has since invested heavily in MCM and helped revive the brand’s popularity. MCM is now a global luxury brand with stores in over 40 countries.

What does MCM stand for?

MCM used to stand for “Michael Cromer München.” The luxury fashion brand was founded in 1976 by Michael Cromer in Munich (German: München). He was both an actor and a model during the company’s founding.

Following the company’s restructuring, MCM now stands for Modern Creation München and is no longer affiliated with its founder, who died in 2007.

MCM used to stand for Michael Cromer Munich and now stands for Modern Creation Munchen MCM used to stand for Michael Cromer Munich and now stands for Modern Creation Munchen (Credit: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock)

On social media, it is also an acronym for “Man-Crush Monday,” a popular way to increase social reach when sharing photos of attractive men on Instagram.

MCM monogram-print tote

How much do MCM bags typically cost?

MCM bags are expensive, like most other popular designer brand bags. Depending on the kind of bag you’re purchasing, you’ll end up paying anywhere from $625 to $1000 or more for a single backpack.

Is MCM a luxury brand?

Yes, MCM (Mode Creation Munich) is considered a luxury brand and is known for its high-quality products and iconic Visetos logo.

However, their products are generally more affordable than other luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel.

Is MCM comparable to Louis Vuitton?

MCM and Louis Vuitton are both luxury brands known for their high-quality products and iconic logos. However, there are some key differences between the two brands.

While MCM bags in the 1990s used to cost more than similar products from Louis Vuitton, the company now offers backpacks and purses at a wide range of price points.

MCM is a relatively newer brand, having been founded in 1976. On the other hand, Louis Vuitton is a much older brand, having been founded in 1854. This age difference is reflected in the brands’ price points. MCM products are generally more affordable than Louis Vuitton products.

Another difference between the two brands is their target audience. MCM is known for its hip and trendy designs, while Louis Vuitton is known for its classic and timeless designs. This difference in target audience is reflected in the brands’ marketing campaigns. MCM often collaborates with celebrities and influencers, while Louis Vuitton typically relies on its brand recognition.

What is Cognac Visetos?

Cognac Visetos is a signature print from the luxury fashion brand MCM (Mode Creation Munich). This print features the MCM logo and a unique laurel design.

MCM gained popularity during the 1980s for its distinctive Visetos logo, which comprises two boughs of bay leaves stretching the letters’ width.

Is MCM cheaper in Korea?

You may get a good deal if you buy backpacks at duty-free department stores, but the selection is often quite limited.

According to an interview with MCM’s owner, Sung-Joo Kim, in The Business of Fashion, MCM is the second-biggest fashion brand in Korea by sales after Louis Vuitton.

A signature logo print adds impeccable style to a streamlined cognac pouch furnished with an optional crossbody strapA signature logo print adds impeccable style to a streamlined cognac pouch furnished with an optional crossbody strap

Where are MCM bags made?

MCM bags are made in Korea and Italy. The brand’s parent company, the Sungjoo Group, is from South Korea, so it has decided to produce some of its accessories and clothing closer to home.

However, most MCM bags are still made in Italy, known for its high-quality leather goods production.

What is MCM Electronics?

Now part of Newark Electronics, an electronic components distributor, MCM Electronics was a public company in the consumer electronics industry.

Founded in 1976 in Springboro, Ohio, MCM Electronics ceased operations in 2017 and merged with Newark Electronics.