Hermès Kelly: The Definitive Authentication Guide

Written by
Ch David
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Last Updated on May 7, 2024 by Ch David

How to Check if Hermès Kelly is Original

The #1 way to authenticate the Hermès Kelly is checking the ‘HERMÈS PARIS MADE IN FRANCE’ text. Fakes often have a super thin inscription.

1. Engraving

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Hermès Kelly's engraving
  • Authentic:
    • The “S” in “HERMÈS” is in line with other letters, with correct thickness and placement.
    • The “MADE IN FRANCE” text is appropriately thick, well-shaped, and opaque.
  • Fake:
    • The “S” in “HERMÈS” is too thick and positioned higher than the other letters.
    • This is also observed in the “PARIS” text with the letter “S” being thicker.
    • The “MADE IN FRANCE” text is too thin, improperly shaped, and lacks opacity.

This applies to all bags from our era. Below is a note for (way) older bags.

Vintage bags crafted prior to 1954 may display alternative inscriptions (silver or gold).


Some other authentic bags may feature a colorless debossed stamp.

Is it too hard? Reach out to our expert Hermès authenticators:

2. Strap

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Hermès Kelly bag's strap
  • Authentic:
    • Letters in all text are properly spaced, aligned, and have consistent thickness.
    • None of the letters are connected.
  • Fake:
    • The letter “S” in “HERMÈS” is overly thick.
    • In “PARIS”, the letter “S” is positioned lower, and the vertical leg of “R” is too thick.
    • The letters “F” and “R” in “MADE IN FRANCE” are connected.
    • The letter “C” in “FRANCE” is too thin, while the letter “E” in “FRANCE” is overly thick.

3. Metal plate

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Hermès Kelly bag's metal plate
  • Authentic:
    1. The upmost horizontal leg in “E” has the right length.
    2. Letters “S” use a constant font throughout the metal plate (for both of them).
  • Fake:
    1. The top horizontal leg in “E” is too short.
    2. Both letters “S” use a different font. They curve too soon.

A quick mention:

  • The steps we’ve written so far are the BEST ways to authenticate this item
  • The next few steps are still reliable methods…
  • … but they apply to non-top-versions of replicas available for this item

If in doubt, we recommend double-checking the steps we’ve explained above this line.

4. Handler

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Hermès Kelly bag's handler
  • Authentic: The handle is straight and uniformly shaped all around.
  • Fake: Crooked and not properly aligned, differing from the uniform shape seen on the original.

5. Luggage tag

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Hermès Kelly bag's luggage tag
  • Authentic: The stitching on the tag is thin and consistent all around.
  • Fake: The stitching at the top right corner of the luggage tag is noticeably thicker.

6. Clasp

This only applies to Kelly bags with a golden clasp.

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Hermès Kelly bag's clasp
  • Authentic: The clasp is entirely golden.
  • Fake: The opening mechanism is silver instead of gold.

7. Lock

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Hermès Kelly bag's lock
  • Authentic: Has a thinner font for the “HERMÈS” text.
  • Fake: The logo is way thicker than it has to be.

8. Interior strap

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Hermès Kelly bag's interior side of the strap
  • Authentic: All threads are perfectly straight, even when curving along the strap.
  • Fake: The stitching is crooked on the area where it curves.

9. Stitching

Find this little tab on the exterior side of your Kelly.

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Hermès Kelly bag's stitching
  • Authentic: Thinner and smaller threads than the fake.
  • Fake: The stitches are too thick and boxy.

10. Closure ring

Authentic vs fake comparison of the Hermès Kelly bag's closure ring (buckle)
  • Authentic: When light lands on the ring, it powerfully reflects it away.
  • Fake: Doesn’t reflect light powerful enough.

Shortlist: Authenticate in 30 seconds

This simplified list makes it easy to authenticate Hermès Kelly bags in a hurry:

  1. Interior Text: Check for thickness and proper positioning of interior text.
  2. Exterior Tab: Verify the thickness and positioning of text on the exterior tab.
  3. Handle Shape: Ensure the handle is straight and uniformly shaped.
  4. Luggage Tag: Examine consistent stitching on the tag, especially at the top right corner.
  5. Clasp (Golden): Authentic bags have entirely golden clasps; fakes may have silver mechanisms.
  6. Lock Font: Authentic locks have thinner “HERMÈS” text; fakes may have thicker text.
  7. Strap Stitching: Authentic straps have straight stitching, even on curves.
  8. Exterior Tab (Handle): Check for thinner, smaller threads.
  9. Stitching (Exterior Tab): Authentic bags have thinner, smaller threads.
  10. Closure Ring: Authentic bags powerfully reflect light on the closure ring.

If you can’t go through the entire detailed guide, this is what you need.

Use this shortlist whenever you’re authenticating a Kelly bag on the go.

Let our Expert Team handle it

If you require assistance with authenticating your Hermès Kelly bag, our team is here to assist:

  • Simply provide us with high-quality photographs of your bag.
  • We will promptly assess its authenticity within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Our findings will be accompanied by a detailed report explaining the basis for our determination.

That’s it for now.

Thank you for using our real vs fake Hermès Kelly bag guide!

Need our opinion on your item’s authenticity? It’s a service we provide.

Get a fully-detailed report for why you have a real or fake item. Takes less than 48 hours!

Alternatively, use our free resources: written guides and video tutorials.

Thank you for reading this,

Ch Daniel and Ch David

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About the Author

David is the co-founder and co-CEO of Legit Check By Ch. David's experience: 5+ years of creating educational content in the fashion industry. 6+ years of authenticating luxury items. Currently, David is the Head Editor of the LCBC Library, where 1,000,000+ words have been published, in free guides, for over 1,000 items.
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