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Best Guesses needed for Burberrys' Hat

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by onceoza, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. onceoza

    onceoza Registered Guest

    I sold a Burberrys' hat that had the store tag still on it and it was in the original gift box. I was helping a friend go through theclosets full of designer clothing at this estate he was hired to appraise and the hat was found down the basement.

    Last night, I get a message from the buyer that the hat isn't authentic and she "doesn't wear fakes". That's fine, cause I don't sell fakes, but I told her to return it. The store it came from was "The Tartan Corner", which was a store that was in business from 1982-1992 at the Plaza Frontenac, an exclusive shopping mall in St. Louis. The mall is home to Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany's, etc. They sold everything plaid including Burberrys' and Pendleton.

    I know from reading the rules that you can authenticate this hat, but it does say in the rules that you can give a best guess. The label looks very much like the 1980's label in the VFG library. Thanks. BurberryHat.jpg BurberryHat2.jpg
  2. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    Did your buyer say what was inauthentic about the hat?
    The reason I ask is because qualities found in brand name contemporary products do not always exist in vintage versions.
  3. onceoza

    onceoza Registered Guest

    No, she just said the hat wasn't authentic and she doesn't wear fakes! Oh, she added a God Bless at the end.
  4. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    Especially as you believe it to be authentic, I would ask her for details - she should be able to give you specifics about why she believes it is not authentic.
  5. onceoza

    onceoza Registered Guest

    Okay, I shot off a message to her. We'll see if she responds. I don't believe fakes have a place on any online selling venue or anywhere else, for that matter.
  6. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    I agree, but as she has held the hat in her hand, she has seen a lot of information that we can't tell from a couple of photos. I hope she sends you a good response.
  7. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member


    This is not my area of expertise, but the Burberry caps I have seen had the plaid pattern matching up better, lined up and not off set and will nilly like yours. The fabric also looks a bit looser weave than burberry wools, and the inside headsize band looks odd to me, sort of not the best quality. But it may be, as Jonathan said, that the quality of Burberry is not what it once was. I am curious to know what she says.

  8. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    For comparison, I happened to pick up two tartan tweed flatcaps today: the first a very good quality Barbour cap; fairly modern I would say, the colours are more varied than the ones they are selling today on their website so possibly a few years old.
    The second a medium quality 'Failsworth' one of similar age to your cap. This has a bigger or 'fuzzier' weave than the Barbour however both caps have a good grosgrain band and the checks match up at stragetic points where possible with the cut. (notably at the front of the cap where the top piece joins the lower in a seam and then is hand stitched to the peak)
    I would have hoped a Burberry cap to at least match the quality of the Barbour, but as Jonathan says this may not be the case now.
  9. cosmiccowgirl

    cosmiccowgirl Alumni

    Burberry labels vary dramatically --- even among items that were produced at the same time. No one here has the expertise to even "best guess" this item, particularly without having it in hand.

    Since you are not the original buyer of the item and therefore cannot 100% guarantee its authenticity, you need to accept the return. (This is not my opinion, it is part of the PayPal agreement.) Once you have received the item back, you can do some research and contact someone who is in the business of authenticating such items before you put it up for sale again.
  10. onceoza

    onceoza Registered Guest

    I told her right away to return for a refund. I just can't imagine a store like The Tartan Corner selling fake Burberrys hats back in 1982. I think there are some members here from St. Louis that remember that store.
  11. cosmiccowgirl

    cosmiccowgirl Alumni

    You are assuming that the store sales tag attached to the cap is original to the cap. Unfortunately, that's not an assumption that can be made with designer items.
  12. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    I agree with Leigh - the designer fakes industry is very big and will sink to many levels to fake items. Price and swing tags moved from one item to another, are not unheard of.

    As she mentioned, unless you are the original purchaser, you can not be sure about the origin.
  13. onceoza

    onceoza Registered Guest

    Just an update..... I received the hat back today and gave an immediate refund. The hat came back in the original Tartan Corner plaid gift box and the tag was still attached; just as I had found it. While waiting for the hat to come back, I explored ways to have the hat authenticated. I even contacted Burberry in London and I called the nearest Burberry store to me that happens to be in Kansas City. I have a sister in KC and thought that possibly she could take the hat in for me to have it looked at. Both London and KC told me that it is against company policy to provide any authentication so I am at a standstill. That does bring a question to mind....if it is against company policy, how did my buyer walk into a Burberry store in NY and have them tell her it is a fake?

    I feel so very confident that it is real. The estate I was helping with was full of designer clothing. The closets both upstairs and in the basement were packed full with mostly designer names (Dior, St. John, etc.). There was even a Chanel bag that I paid to have authenticated that had the original price tag tucked inside. What are the chances that they would purchase fake stuff back in 1982 when they could clearly afford a $1100 Chanel bag?
  14. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    As a professional seller, I feel that the best you can do is state your belief and add the background material and let the buyer make up her own mind: I agree that the facts suggest very heavily that this item is authentic but unless you can be totally sure, you should not represent it as such - the designer market is so fraught and many people who buy designer goods also buy fakes at times, or perhaps it was a gift?

    It's unfortunate that Burberry's won't authenticate but now you know that whatever it is that put your buyer off it, it was probably not a genuine Burberry opinion.

    I recently authenticated some designer goods for an auction house - five items had fake labels, I think the labels were probably real and had been moved to different garments. One was a beaded '20s jacket with a Christian Dior '50s label in it! Fakes like this are easy to pick up, but this collection came from a vintage clothing shop, it shudders to make me think that she was fooled (and probably paid a lot of money).
  15. onceoza

    onceoza Registered Guest

    Thank you. I did error in my first listing by not identifying it as "vintage" Burberrys'. I know that Burberry has probably changed in 30 years in more ways than removing the s'.
  16. cosmiccowgirl

    cosmiccowgirl Alumni

    Faking vintage designer items is a huge new growth area in the counterfeiting world. The details on these items are very precise, thanks to information the counterfeiters have gleaned from the internet. This is one of the reasons collectors are now very reluctant to provide public help in authenticating and discussing the reasons for their opinions.

    Anyone can attach a legitimate vintage store price tag to a fake item with a barb gun. Anyone can put a fake item in a legitimate package (I personally have seen this a horrifying number of times in consignment shops.)Additionally, store receipts are faked. It is an absolute jungle out there.

    Also, the legitimacy of other items found with an item is no indication of its authenticity. People who can afford to buy the real deal often don't do so --- I see it all the time with certain celebrities who carry fakes in addition to real items. I've also found fakes in the most lavish surroundings and the real deal in the hands of people of the most humble of means.

    While designer stores will not provide authentications for the general public, they will often do so for customers they know --- if you are a VIP or have a strong buying relationship with a sales associate. You can even get one in writing if you have the right relationship. If they know you and know you regularly drop money there, they will do a lot of things for you that they won't for someone walking in off the street. The customer who returned this item may very well be in that position.

    The bottom line is if you are going to sell frequently faked designer items (whether vintage or new) that you have purchased from anyone but the original manufacturer of that item, you are legally responsible for authenticating it before you put it up for sale. It is not enough for you --- as a non-expert or collector --- to feel confident something is real. If you can't find someone to authenticate Burberry with proof that is accepted by both eBay and PayPal, you haven't done quite enough research. My Poupette provides Burberry authentications and has for many years.
  17. joules

    joules Trade Member

    Very difficult situation; one would "think" that a store at Plaza Frontenac would sell authentic items. I've been following this thread, and trying to form my own opinion. We know the rents there have always been sky high, and the shop was only there for ten years. That plaid on the cap, not matching up, catches my eye too. Perhaps they sold fakes at that shop, from time to time? Anything is possible.

    Agree with Leigh, on the extent of the counterfeiting jungle, and the importance of authenticating, whatever it takes.

    A recent article details some of the latest, surprising trends in fakery:
  18. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    The thing that still doesn't sit right with me is that why would somebody bother to fake a Burberry hat from the 80s? Burberry was not sexy in the 80s - it was fuddy duddy old lady stuff. If you are going to fake something, you are going to do something contemporary like a purse, or maybe a scarf. I bet the hat is real, its just from a 'down' time in Burberry history. Chanel DID do T-shirts one season in the early 90s (they won't admit it now), and Vuitton used to have its luggage made in Florida for a while but stopped it because the production was substandard. So just because its a hot label now, doesn't mean it always was.
  19. joules

    joules Trade Member

    You know, that's a good point, and I can see that scenario being true as well.

    I think I have a piece of that substandard Vuitton! When was that happening?
  20. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    I think it was the late 70s - early 80s. I once knew someone who had worked for Vuitton for twenty years and one night at a dinner party he got REALLY drunk and started dishing all the gossip to me about the company! I wished I had taken notes because I was trying to remember as much as I could but I was pretty drunk too!

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