Sunday, July 7, 2013

Replica Balenciaga Classic City Orange Yellow

I purchased this bag from Vanco Fashions a few months ago for $109 plus shipping which is $40 (if purchased alone) and a western union fee of $15. I purchased 5 bags so my shipping was higher but less per piece with their combined shipping discount for multiple item purchases.

I haven't used the bag yet and have since purchased another Yellow Balenciaga from a forum member who purchased from NBF (New Bag Factory) that I like better. The leather is nicer and it is a true yellow where this one is more of an orange yellow. Some of the pictures make the color look more orange than yellow but in reality it is definitely more of an orange yellow like in the first few pictures below.

Let me start off by saying this is one of those bags that looks good overall if you're looking at the whole picture but when you start looking closely at details there are a lot of minor issues mostly with the stitching.

The picture below shows the bag with the mirror out. I wanted to try something different so I braided the leather strips for the mirror so it would not be so long. I've always hidden the mirror inside the bag which kind of defeats the purpose of having one. However when I left the mirror out as is, it was very long and just didn't feel right dangling. With the leather strips braided it can dangle outside but not be in the way if that makes sense.

The hardware in the pictures look almost black but they are actually a very dark bronze. The studs are a matt finish but the buckles do have a slight shine to them.

The zipper on the front does not zip all the way. It leaves a slight gap as shown here. On my Authentic bag it zips all the way. This appears to be a common issue with the replicas because none of my other Bals zip all the way even the ones from the higher price point but it doesn't bother me.

The stitching on the front is pretty good. There are a few spots where the size of the stitches are inconsistent but on my Authentic bag they are not consistent either so I don't consider this a flaw.

The buckles are a shade darker than the studs but it is not black as it appears. The studs are a dark bronze and the buckles are a shade darker. This is true in my Auth bag as well.

Quality of the leather is good but not as nice as the ones I've gotten from NBF. It is sufficiently thick and smells deliciously like new leather :).

On this bag the leather overlay for the buckle decorations are the same on both sides. I've noticed that on some of the replicas they did not use the same type of leather. For example in my Navy blue which I paid over $100 more had 2 different types of leather which were not noticeable until you look closely so I'm glad to see this one is consistent.

The shape and size of the mirror are almost perfect in comparison to the Authentic.

The handles look well done all around for both front and back.

Here are some pictures showing the inside of the front handles only.

The pictures here were originally very dark and when I went to brighten them it turned the color to almost a true orange.

The studs on the tabs connecting the handles have two slight gaps which are true to the Authentic.

This is the left side of the bag and some close ups of the various section.

This bag has a nice shape and the leather is soft giving it that lovely slouchy look that Balenciaga's are known for.

This is the underside of the zipper. Stitching is sloppy here so it's fortunate this is underneath where it would not be seen. Also the zipper ends are incorrect because on the Authentic the ends do not have a rectangular piece on the back side. There should only be teeth shown on the back.

The rings should be sealed (soldered closed). On this bag there is a split so that if you pulled (hard) in opposite directions you can open the ring up and slide it off the bag. However, it feels substantial, just slightly thinner and a little bigger than the Authentic. The split in the ring does bother me a bit but not so much that I wouldn't use it.

A lot of people who buy replica Bals are most concerned about the Bales being dipped. Oddly enough I find that part bothers me the least. However I'm glad to see they are done correctly here.

Here again we see sloppy stitching. It looks like the sewing machine veered off course here. This is on the under side of the long strap.

On both sides of the bag there is a cut in the leather which is stitched together. This is true for the Authentic as well.

Some double stitching on the center cut which isn't really noticeable unless you look closely. They could have aligned the trim better but again it's really not noticeable.

The leather appears very shiny in some of the pictures but that is mostly a reflection from the lighting. In person it is no more shiny than my Authentic bag. Actually I think the Authentic may be more shiny than this bag. See the comparison pictures towards the end.

I'm not sure if it is correct to refer to the edges as the glue but I can't think of what else it might be. In any case I have to say on this bag it is nicely done. There are no sloppy parts on either of the handles.

These pictures are of the handles on the back side. The ones shown previously were for the front.

For this style the rope detail for the handles are correct. There is only 1 instead of 2 rope detail.

These next 3 pictures show the inside of the back handles only.

This is the right side of the bag. You can see there is some sloppy stitching on the zipper ends here.

On the Right zipper the stitching is sloppy both top and bottom. This would definitely bother me if I had paid more for it but for the price I paid I'm ok with these minor issues. I've seen people with $250+ Balenciaga replicas with a lot worse so it makes it easier to be forgiving. And the bad stitching in a few areas do not jump out at you. It's only when you start looking closely.

Some double stitching here. I would definitely prefer double stitching to crooked or loose stitching.

Here's the underside which is again crooked like on the other side only slightly better.

Here is a loose thread here which is easily fixed. Just snip the ends and add a tiny drop of clear glue to prevent from further unraveling. It didn't bother me so I just left it alone.

Here I have removed all the stuffing from the inside so the bag lays almost flat. It looks very orange here but the true color is closer to the picture above. Also this bag is fairly lightweight when empty.

Here's the bottom view and some close ups.

The stitched area where the 2 leather pieces come together could have been aligned better here. There's also some tiny stitches poking through and some sort of sticky residue on the upper right side. I didn't even notice it until I saw this picture. Since the bag has never been used it must have been there when I received it.

Here are some close up of the long strap both front and back from left to right.

All zippers run smoothly and the ones on top meet at exactly the same as my Authentic bag.

The zipper back is embossed with Lampo and the shape of the zipper head on this bag is actually very close to the Auth.

The interior is lined in a black fabric which is correct however the fabric itself does not quite feel the same as my Auth. I don't think it is the same type of fabric but it is a decent quality fabric.

The interior zipper head is lighter than the zipper teeth which is correct.

The metal name plate is not stitched tightly so it does move around a bit. It doesn't feel like it will come apart, just needs the stitches tightened. I'm still not at a point where I understand the numbers on the plates so I won't bother trying to determine whether it's correct or not and as most of you know incorrect serial #'s are not an issue for me. Also the top thread on the name plate should be black regardless of what color the bag is.

The back side has the same #'s from the front. I know this part is true but not sure about the other 4 #'s. Also "made in Italy" should be all caps "MADE IN ITALY".

Here are some comparison pictures. The bag on the left is the replica and the one on the right is my Authentic Rose Blush from Neiman Marcus. It's the only Authentic Balenciaga I own at this time so I've been using it to compare to all the replica Bals I've purchased.

The dust bag on the replica is definitely thinner. You can almost see the color of the bag underneath. On the Auth it is noticeably thicker.

Here's a close up. The name has some minor bleeding but the fonts look correct and about the same size as on the Authentic.

Here's a close up of the Authentic dust bag. The print looks very close to me.

The drawstring pulls on the replica is a lot thinner than the Authentic and also a stark white. The Authentic is more of an off white color and is a lot thicker.

Here is the Authentic.

Here are the 2 bags side by side. You can see the shine factor is very close. The Authentic actually looks to be slightly more shiny than the replica.

I didn't measure this bag but based on the side by side pictures I'd say they are about the same size.

The studs and buckles look exactly the same size and almost the same color.

The mirror is the same size. In the picture the Authentic looks bigger but that's only due to the angle of the shot. They are the exact same height and width.

The ring where the leather strips are strung through is smaller on the replica.

Here's a comparison of the rings. The Authentic ring is completely sealed but the replica has a split.

The rings on the replica is slightly larger and thinner but just barely. I doubt anyone would know without seeing them next to each other like this and even then the difference is very minor.

The strap on the Authentic is wider and the bales are larger but they are the same shape and thickness and the hardware is almost identical in color.

The rope detail on the Authentic is slightly thicker but you'd never know just by looking at them. Even with them side by side it's barely noticeable in person.

The texture on the smooth area is nearly identical.

Here's a comparison of the trim where they are stitched together. It is better aligned on the Authentic but if you look closely the size of the stitches are inconsistent on both bags and there are also some tiny pieces of thread sticking out on the Authentic so neither one of them is perfect :).

Overall I'd rate this bag an 8 out of 10. The leather smells delicious and the overall appearance is nice in comparison to the Authentic. The main issues are stitching and the rings not being sealed.

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