The roxanne (roxy) is one of the most sought after and therefore also highly copied of all mulberry bags, alongside the bayswater, phoebe, emmy, annie and more recently the mabel and poppy. As with the bayswater, the roxanne has remained a mulberry classic and is produced every season by mulberry. The general style of the bag has remained much the same, with slight design variations mainly down to seasonal collections and changing economics effecting where the bag and its parts have been produced.
Craftsmanship, premium quality and exclusivity account for the high price of the mulberry roxanne. So if the item you are considering seems a bargain and a little to good to be true, it may well be just that!
Craftsmanship is an area of distinction with luxury goods and most design houses have particular leather tanning, cutting, forming and stitching methods, relative to style, length of stitch, number of stitches per detail etc, so beware of untidy details, stitching and uneven stitch counts etc. Pay particular attention to areas which are not immediately on display such as the underside of an item, interior pockets, beneath and around the edges of fastening zippers. If the results of your investigation lead to finding any questionable elements, take your investigations further until you are convinced either way.
Ultimately your roxanne should feel good, look exquisite and be crafted beautifully with no unsightly areas. Always check those areas not always on display, such as inside pockets, underside of the bag etc, as these are the places where counterfeiters often let slip.
2. size of your bag
Pull the bag to its widest extremes and take the measurement across the base, many counterfeit bags will be slightly out in proportion to the real bag, mostly smaller as counterfeiters will skimp even on the amount of fabric which goes into the production of the bag, and size discrepancies from 2cm to 5cm have been noted on fake roxannes. The actual size of the bag can be checked from mulberry.com.
3. leather quality and finishing details
A with many of mulberry's contemporary bags, the leather type and quality varies greatly with the roxanne, from darwin leather and matt glove to more recent exotic leathers such python leather (snakeskin) and haircalf. It is important to remember that darwin leather especially oak will carry watermarks even from the slightest use, so this in itself is a way of helping to determine authenticity. We have just sold a fabulous genuine much loved oak roxanne with wonderful aged character, which typifies the way this leather responds to use.
The unlined suede of the interior of the roxanne often continues externally through to the two side flap details. The base of this element is completed with a finished curved leather section secured by 3 studs and which accommodates a large D shaped ring. Many genuine roxannes do have the upper section of this detail in suede and some are completely finished with leather on this flap. The fairly early chocolate and matt glove leather roxannes are good examples with this section being completely crafted from finished leather, from chocolate darwin to aqua, rose pink and red matt glove, this detail will be seen on all these colour and leather combinations.
This side detail with D ring on a genuine roxanne will always fall close to the bag, due to the weight of the brass ring and the fine quality of the leather. On many counterfeit bags you will see these 2 elements standing proud of the bag, rather like wings, this is due to the inferior, often plasticised and stiff nature of the finishing treatment used on the leather of these fake bags.
4. the cut of the leather
The cut of the leather should be always be highly precise. With particular respect to the 2 side leather sections accommodating the side D rings, these should display a sharp however a gently curved and not quite squared off shape, so to comfortably fit the shape of the d ring hardware. On fake roxannes the cut of the leather in this location is often crude and less well defined - images to follow.
Hardware finishes vary on the roxanne relative to colour and leather type. You will find many roxannes with matt brushed satin, antiqued brass and occasionally some with highly polished nickle, such as on the emerald roxanne. The early chocolate roxanne may have dull antiqued brass d rings and also bronzed brass studs.
With some of the early roxannes such as the oak darwin and red matt glove version, the mulberry tree embossed studs have a very flat appearance, almost flush with the leather surface, and again with a dulled antique brass finish. These studs which are functional in terms of connecting various parts of leather, have over the years undergone several transformations. More recent and often highly polished versions have a deeper side profile than earlier bags, reaching a very curvaceous and highly polished form such as on the emerald bayswater.
The self locating magnetic closing studs (which are hidden beneath the three front closing buckled leather straps and the two pockets buckles) have also changed in their appearance over time. The current studs have a ramped profile to aid speed of location when fastening. There is an older version of this stud which is a shallow drum shape and which is mainly found on the original roxannes from oak and chocolate darwin to matt glove. These details are evident on genuine roxannes along with the afore mentioned flat embossed studs. Sadly many of the fake bags from the same period and later do have very similar details, however when combined with other elements such as the leather type, cut etc the genuine bags can be deciphered from the multitude of counterfeits.
To date all zippers on the roxanne's internal pocket carry the riri imprint on their reverse side and most are produced from solid brass. The teeth should be small and neat, should run smoothly and bite together perfectly.
Zipper pulls also vary in style, a tear drop with a keyhole has recently succeeded previous much simpler designs of a slightly tapered lozenge shape and even earlier elongated triangular forms.
6. leather embossing, internal labels and manufacturer stamps
The roxanne has a sewn in rectangular plaque to the rear internally. This again should be sharply cut, with no rounded edges. Upon this the word mulberry is heat embossed centrally in gold leaf.
These plaques also often carry a small stamp with 2 initials (capital letters) to the lower right hand side, which is associated with the final stages of craftsmanship and is a form of reference to the place of production. This is a method which Mulberry has used for many years and is also widely counterfeited. Below the plaque you will often find a metal circular fob, though not in all instances...
7. round metal fob and authentication stamps
Traditionally most mulberry bags displayed a brass circular fob with a serial number on its reverse side. This was and still is looped onto a leather tab and sewn to the leather either internally or externally, or historically tied around the handle by a leather thong or piece of cord. On the roxanne this would be positioned below the rectangular plaque upon the carpenters pocket.
As the roxanne soon became copied on a vast scale Mulberry took the decision (as with the bayswater) to omit the fob from certain bags. It is believed this was primarily to confuse the counterfeiters. So it is more likely a genuine roxanne without a brass fob is authentic!
The mulberry authenticity code stamped on the reverse of the fob, also due to anti counterfeit measures has been omitted by Mulberry from certain bags on occasion. So again more likely your bag is authentic with no serial number. Counterfeiters are very eager to force the brand name and its associated! provenance in every way possible, ultimately in the fight to convince you that there is no doubt their fake item is the real deal!!!
The size of the numbers within this code, should be succinct, neat, tidy and aligned in a condensed typeface. The individual letters can be quite large, crude and rounded on counterfeit bags.
8. country of production and tags
Mulberry became a well established luxury brand due to its British craftsmanship and English saddlery techniques, however its items are now (as with many other luxury brands) produced by craftsmen in various European and International locations and you will today find Mulberry bags are produced in countries such as Turkey and China.
The little folded black country of origin tags which can often be quite hidden, sewn within the side seams of the roxanne, emerged with the newer it bags, primarily the bayswater and roxanne. Taking influence from the original white tags which often stated 'Fabrique en Angleterre' and were sewn into the tartan linings of often now vintage Mulberry bags, these today display 'made in england' etc on the upper, most visible side and on the reverse side usually have two initals which relate to the place of production (see leather embossing, internal labels and manufacturer stamps section 6).
9. immediate countefeit giveaways
- Counterfeiters often place plastic protective wrapping on the handles of new bags - which you will not see with a luxury branded item.
- A little hide shape leather hang tag (leather sample) on cord can often be seen wrapped around the handle of a counterfeit bag. This tag which is another trademark counterfeit giveaway has traditionally been acknowledged as a sign of 100% vera pelle or real leather, much associated with general market goods... if you look on auction sites you may well spot one of these hanging from a supposed genuine luxury handbag! Be aware as the majority of luxury brand names will never use this emblem.
- Lower end counterfeit items will often have mis-spelt brand names. Look for letters that are in the incorrect order or a letter that is capitalised and is not on the authentic item, and vice versa.
- Check your sellers feedback, if they have sold the same bag previously ask yourself why they would have a duplicate - this could be a genuine resale from an item unpaid for - so investigate, if they have sold several of the identical bag...be very careful indeed!
- sellers who advertise bags which have a long delivery period ie 7-14 days etc, as this is the time period for their fake goods to travel from the foreign counterfeit factory directly to you.
- private auctions - ask why you would hide your feedback - maybe due to selling many fakes in succession
- items which have the word authentic or genuineseperated from the word mulberry ie: authentic leather mulberry bag
- images. If you do not see images of the actual bag or you think you have seen these images elsewhere ie on another website or listing by another auction seller, then ask questions and if not confident avoid. It is one of the most common scams to show an image of an authentic bag (belonging to someone else) and then sending out a fake on the back of this!
- what payment method your seller accepts. Many fraudsters prefer untraceable payment methods, bank wire transfers, which they will occasionally offer generous discount for your use etc. Bidpay and westerm union, the fraudsters preferred payment methods are apparently no longer available, so loopholes in the paypal system are being exploited, however this is mostly targeted towards sellers.
Paypal is a trusted payment system which works in conjunction with ebay and its anti-counterfeit policy, so upn receipt if your item is proven to be a fake and your seller is unresponsive to your communications or will not refund your purchase do not hesitate in pursuing a claim.
10. choose trusted on line sellers
Always check feedback, credentials etc to the fullest extent. Don't risk your investment, make sure you use sellers who have a very good history and consideration for you - the buyer. Look for those who guarantee your purchase fully, as ultimately this gives a degree of peace of mind prior to receiving your item and can be indication of both the level of service and goods provided.
We will be updating our guide regularly with images etc - hope you find this of use, let us know by checking the box. Also read our guide on genuine pre-loved luxury from the following link. http://reviews.ebay.co.uk/lovehandbags-co-uk-genuine-pre-loved-luxury-handbags_W0QQugidZ10000000008360731
Many Thanks lovehandbags.co.uk