A misconception about the iconic French luxury brand Louis Vuitton is that all their bags are made in France. It is not true that a Louis Vuitton bag has to be marked "Made in France" to be authentic. Louis Vuitton actually has around 4,000 leather good specialists workshops throughout France, Spain, USA, Italy, and Germany. There are three known Louis Vuitton factory locations in the US: San Dimas, CA, Irwindale, CA and Keene, Texas.
The USA manufacturing locations primarily make canvas products: Monogram, Damier and (now discontinued) Multicolore canvas. If you purchase a brand new LV bag from a Louis Vuitton boutique in the United States, it’s likely that it was made in the US.
There are three ways to identify if a Louis Vuitton item is made in the United States:
1. Date code
2. Heat stamp
3. Fabric Made in USA of Imported Materials tag
Louis Vuitton Factory Location Codes & Date Codes
Deciphering the date code of a Louis Vuitton is the first step in authenticating an LV bag. Before our in-house trained authenticators even start to look at the bag itself, we check the date code. Everything else will be framed from the point of view of that date code.
All authentic Louis Vuitton handbags and wallets will have date codes that match the factory location and show the week and year the item was produced. There are several date codes to indicate if the Louis Vuitton item is made in the USA, which are two letters followed by four numbers. The made in USA factory code prefixes are: FC, FH, LA, OS, SD, FL. The most common factory code is SD.
There are some exceptions to this; depending on the year, SD represented France before 1995 and San Dimas (city in California, USA ). Bags produced after 1995 should say SD with a marking for U.S.A. Also, CA doesn’t represent California but instead indicates Spain.
‘Made in USA’ Heat Stamp
From 1995 to mid-2012, Louis Vuitton bags made in the US were stamped with “LOUIS VUITTON PARIS made in U.S.A.”. When authenticating Louis Vuitton, matching the factory code letters of the date code with the country listed on the “made in” stamp is essential.
‘Made in U.S.A. of Imported Materials’ Tag
After 2012, Louis Vuitton added a cloth or leather tag for all Made in USA handbags that reads “made in U.S.A. of imported materials”. LV removed the “made in USA” heat stamp (shown above) and instead added it to a separate tag.
Note, some small leather goods made in the US after 2012 will not have a “Made In USA” or “Made in USA of imported materials” stamp, but instead will only have a date code to indicate where the item was made using the factory code explained above (i.e. SD####).
Examples of fabric and leather Made in USA of imported materials tags:
The Proof Is In The Purse
Make sure to check every detail! All of these details will be consistent on authentic Louis Vuitton handbags. Here, we've combined the three components we taught you about to see them together on three of the most popular bags: Neverfull, Speedy, and Pochette.
Louis Vuitton Speedy NM Heat Stamp, Date Code, Made In USA of Imported Materials tag
Is there a difference in craftsmanship on LV made in USA versus France/Italy/Spain?
No, there is not a difference between Louis Vuitton made in France, USA, Italy, or Spain. Every Louis Vuitton artisan is trained by master artisans, be it here in US or in Spain or France. The materials and quality are the same, though some people prefer LV items “Made in France” for the heritage of the French company. We love them all equally!
Now that we've taught you all about Louis Vuitton bags made in USA, learn more about authenticity.