11 Ways to Spot a Fake MCM Bag in Under 5 Minutes

Real MCM bags embody quiet luxury. Save yourself some heartbreak by learning how to tell a fake MCM bag from a real one with our money-saving tips.

Updated May 16, 2024
MCM cross-body bag

If the first thing you think of when you read MCM bags is Mid-Century Modern bags, you came to the right place. Chances are, you're probably not going to be able to tell a fake MCM bag from a real one on the first try. Since 1976, MCM has been making beautifully handcrafted bags and purses to sell at one of their 650 stores around the world. Whether you're eyeing a vintage MCM bag to add to your collection or want to get a great deal on a modern purse, we've got all the tips you need to ensure your MCM bag isn't a fake. 

11 Ways to Spot a Fake MCM Bag 

Born in the lush disco era of Munich, MCM — a luxury German handbag brand —  is a sleeper hit on the name-brand market. Their leather Visetos pattern bags may not call the same attention as Birkins or LV luggage, but they give off a quiet luxury that's kept the brand in business for decades.

Yet, people are more likely to get away with faking a lesser-known brand like MCM because the brand's hallmarks aren't as well-known as others. 

Fight back against scammers by arming yourself with these common MCM bag characteristics. 

Test the Shape 

MCM bags come in many styles, though they're more stiffly constructed than some bags. An authentic MCM bag will hold its form and not fold over or collapse in on itself unless it's been improperly stored for some time. An excellent first test is to see if your bag will stand up when you set it on a flat surface.

Check the MCM Logo

Close-up of luxury expensive light pink MCM leather handbag

The MCM logo (made of two bay leaf boughs and the company's initials) is distinguishable and followed by the registered trademark sign ®. The MCM letters are centered above the two boughs of bay leaves that stretch the width of the letters. The bay leaf wreath features the ends of a ribbon arching downward and then up, with the ends of the ribbon falling on either side. The upper ribbon arch is joined to the baby leaf wreath on each side of the logo.

The logo's print quality, for both the leather and canvas, should be consistent, and it should appear clear and distinct. Any oddities you see point towards it being counterfeit. 

On any potential MCM bag, make sure you count the individual bay leaves on the wreath. There should be nine leaves on the left side and eight leaves on the right. And underneath the wreath and ribbon should be the word, MUNCHEN. If these elements are missing or misrepresented, you probably don't have a genuine MCM bag. 

Assess the Visetos Print's Pattern 

MCM's Visetos print might not be as immediately recognizable as the Louis Vuitton pattern or Burberry check, but it's a brand staple that you can find on old and new bags alike. The classic Cognac Visetos comes with a repeating black logo and diamond pattern over cognac leather. One characteristic unique to this pattern is the way that the oscillating diamond and MCM logo pattern appears both upright and upside down. 

If the first two columns of the MCM logo are upright, then the next two columns will have MCM logos that are upside down. Some dupes fail to replicate this part of the repeating pattern. 

Compare the Product Details to Current Listings 

If you're looking at a bag from a reseller that MCM currently makes, you should always compare the product details in their online listings with the reseller's. If the dimensions don't add up, it might be a fake MCM bag instead of a real one.

Related: How to Spot a Real Coach Purse & Avoid Getting Duped

Look at the MCM Bag's Zippers

All real MCM bag zippers should be metal. The most common zip brand used for MCM bags is YKK, though you might come across other brands. Check the zipper slide to see what brand was used. 

Check the Hardware

Luxury brands like MCM don't skimp on their hardware. Their handbag's metal hardware is gold-tone, although some bags feature cobalt or 14k gold-plated hardware. There should never be any chipping, flaking, or cracking on new bags, and very minimal tarnish on vintage pieces. Any substantial flaking or lack of heft could indicate it's a fake. 

Peep the MCM Tag Inside the Bag

When MCM was sold to Sungjoo Group in 2005, a company tag was included inside the bags. One side features the MCM logo while the other side reads either Made in Korea or Made in Italy. If this tag is missing on a bag manufactured between 2005-present, it's a fake MCM bag.

Give the Lining a Once-Over 

MCM, Large Liz Reversible Visetos Shopper

The inner lining should never be too tight or stiff nor too loose where it's sewn onto the leather. The fabric should be soft and perfectly fit within the bag's dimensions. Unlike other designer bags, the MCM fabric lining can vary in look and pattern from one bag to the next, making it a bit harder to go off of this characteristic alone. 

Related: How to Tell if a Burberry Bag Is Real Using 8 Key Elements

Look at the Gold Plate for MCM Serial Numbers  

MCM Gold Plate

Most MCM bags (though not all) feature a gold plate with rounded corners on their exterior. Some bags may have a cobalt plate, depending on its color. Each plate features the MCM logo at the center top.

On top of being flashy and aesthetic, these baubles also feature the purse's serial number. The serial numbers on MCM's vintage bags are a simple four-number series. However, the serial numbers for newer bags contain one letter followed by four numbers.

Need to Know

Unfortunately, there aren't any online MCM serial number code checkers available right now. If you want your MCM authenticated, you'll need to contact a professional appraiser. 

Pay Attention to the Plate's Screws 

The slotted screws on the logo plate never feature star-shaped slots. Screws are rounded and can easily be removed. However, they're not completely flat, but rather slightly sloped upwards towards the center slots. These small distinctions are the things you have to pay attention to to avoid being duped. 

Look for Curved Straps on MCM Backpacks 

Strak backpack by MCM

MCM backpacks are a popular commodity. The shoulder straps have a slight inward curve for greater comfort, and fake MCM backpacks usually have straight straps without any curve. 

These MCM Bags Are the Real Deal 

Everyone likes to get a luxury bag for a steal — us included. But when you're fighting against the clock to nail a great auction lot on eBay, you can't afford to mess things up. Make sure you've got a real MCM bag in your cart and not a convincing fake with these money-saving tips. 

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11 Ways to Spot a Fake MCM Bag in Under 5 Minutes