This example is a fake silk scarf with a spurious mark indicating it was made by the well-known French design house of Hermès. The scarf has a bold decorative design and lively colors. It appears to have hand rolled and stitched edges, but the quality and manner in which the hemming was done is incorrect. As are other item characteristics. Hermès did not make this scarf. This item originally had a country ID/fabric content label attached. This label is now missing. Why? Because the wording on it would have too easily identified the piece to a savvy buyer as something made in Italy, not France. And they would have immediately known it was not an authentic Hermes-made item.
The first official Hermes printed silk carré (meaning 'square') was made in 1937. It measured 90 cm (about 35.43 Inches) by 90 cm. Hermes makes their scarves with incredible attention to detail, including printing individual colors by hand via silk screen process and hand-stitching the hems. With well over 2,500 different designs created since that first 1937 carré, new scarf collections coming out each year, and the durability of their older designs, there are today hundreds of thousands of authentic Hermès scarves available on the secondary market. And counterfeiters, of course, are well aware of this. The makers of counterfeit scarves know that the normal, everyday, consumer or collector will find it virtually impossible to quickly ID their fakes.
Because purchases not made through Hermès' stores or website, or new from an authorized retailer, means taking the risk of buying a counterfeit scarf that only has had their name illegally printed on it, in buying these kinds of items on the secondary market you need to have some idea of what to expect. Know the questions to ask, before you buy.
Use of colors that Hermes never used in a specific design, or having colors that seem 'off,' can help determine authenticity. But those clues are only useful to those who already know what specific colors were used, or if an authentic example is available for a side-by-side comparison. Color information for newly released designs, in particular, often does not become common knowledge quick enough and may be disseminated too late to help multitudes of secondary buyers. Here are some easier characteristics to look for that can help almost anyone to identify many of the fake scarves already on the market (not all):
1. If it is made of polyester, it isn't Hermès, regardless of how many times their name has been printed on it. A scarf with a very shiny surface and no creases, though just 'out of the box,' is likely made of polyester (folded polyester does not crease, while folded silk definitely does crease).
2. Silk twill scarves should have the hem softly rolled back to front, rather than front to back, and show evidence of having been hemmed by hand, not machine.
3. As a general rule authentic care labels will be written in French or English, or a combination of words in both. If the label on your 'Hermes' marked scarf says it is, "100% Seta" the scarf almost certainly is not authentic. 'Seta' means 'Silk' in Italian, not French.
4. Crude, poorly executed artwork, lettering or printing anywhere on the scarf are always the sign of a fake.
5. The 'Hermès Paris' mark is almost always somehow incorporated into the design of the scarf, rather than stamped, block letter style, outside of the design. In the example in this listing, for example, ''Hermes Paris" is block printed on one corner, entirely outside of the decorative design. This is the counterfeiter's way of making sure it will be easily seen.
6. The Hermès company name has a diacritical grave mark over the second 'e.' Although some experienced buyers say there may have been a few past scarf designs marked with the company's name without the grave on the 'e,' again, as a general rule, companies do not tend to incorrectly print their name, their trademark, on their own commercial products. But a faker will, with the idea that if caught, this slight difference may help them to escape legal issues later. If the name on an item reads 'Hermes' instead of 'Hermès' (with the grave mark) - then that item almost certainly was not made by 'Hermès' of Paris. Write to the Hermès' company to ask them to authenticate an item marked 'Hermes' (without the grave mark) prior to sale or purchase.
7. While thanks to computerized imaging technology there are new photo accurate fakes out there, often the design on a fake has been quickly printed only on the front. There may be little or no details on the reverse side. The hand printed colors on an authentic scarf permeate the silk, so a design should show through on the back side, too.
8. Always keep in mind the main idea behind faking a designer name item is for that thing to only seem to be something they made, not for it to actually be made in the same way, with the same great care, expensive materials, or attention to details. Quickly and cheaply is the name of the fakery game. Counterfeit Hermes scarves can be had at very low wholesale prices because they are so cheaply made. Expect high quality in fabric weight and finish, artistic design, its application and the color ways, if what you have is authentic. If the item in your hand seems cheaply made, then it is a fake.
9. Though silk will shrink a bit with laundering, Hermès is very exacting about product measurements. When new an authentic carrè scarf should measure exactly 90 cm by 90 cm, or about 35.43 Inches square. Counterfeit scarves tend to be smaller and/or may not be exactly square.
The new scarf shown in this listing was advertised with measurements of 34 inches by 34 inches.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
Item listings in this shop are intended to be viewed for educational purposes, only. Items in this shop are not for sale.