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Yves Saint Laurent authentication: what to look for, on vintage bags

In this post we want to share our experience on what to look for when it comes to purchasing a vintage Yves Saint Laurent bag. We have divided some examples into decades, starting from the 1970s, and ending with few contemporary examples as well. As always, do feel free to ask for suggestions or advice by emailing us, or with through our “live chat”.

A little history:

From Oran, Algeria, of Alsatian descent, Mr. Saint Laurent left its hometown to study art in Paris in 1953 at age 17.

Two years later at age 19 he was introduced to Christian Dior, who hired him immediately as his design assistant in 1954-1957.

Yves Saint Laurent was brilliant at visualizing things early with a heightened awareness, interpreting the mood of the world, not just the street, and turning his vision into designs that people want.

Drawing influences from history, art, and literature, he is famous for his 1958 trapeze line for Dior, then under his company: the “Mondrian” dress“the smoking” suit (based on a man’s tuxedo with satin lapel), the Safari lookmilitary styles, the costumes he designed for actress Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour, the 1976 collection inspired by the Ballets Russes, and the ready-to-wear collections based on Carmen, 1976, which included 300 numbers and ran for over three hours.

With its unique style, Yves Saint Laurent definitely defined the way 20th century women dressed.

As we always do, our primary aim with this blog post is to share with you our knowledge and experience when it comes to vintage and more recent YSL accessories.

As we know, YSL has been rebranded to Saint Laurent about 5 years ago, so some of the pictures you will come across in this blog post will feature some more recent bags with “Saint Laurent” logos and hardware.

1970s

YSL striped canvas crossbody bag from the 1970s

Iconic YSL striped brown on gray pattern, which is brought to life in recent and upcoming collections. YSL gold print on internal leather tag, and YSL monograms over internal canvas lining.

1970s Suede YSL crossobody bag

Gorgeous Small suede messenger bag, with gold metal heart finish on the front. Printed YVES SAINT LAURENT logo inside. No serial.

1980s

Red canvas and blue leather messenger. Very common YSL gold metal hardware finish on the side. YSL monogram on internal canvas.

Brown leather plain messenger bag. YSL hardware and internal logo on a gold metal plate.

1980s leather shoulder bag by YSL

1990s

Cosmetic Clutch from the early 1990s. Notice the PKK metal zippers, and the YSL gold metal zipper pull. Take a look at the internal logo printed on the leather tag inside.

1990s YSL canvas and leather clutch purse
1990s brown canvas and leather satchel bag

Canvas Bowler Shoulder Bag. YSL gold metal logo on the front, and gold metal plate inside. No serial.

2000s and over

Here’s a recent Clutch Portfolio bag, in green and black canvas. A clear view of its internal gold metal logo, and its interlocking front logo.

2000s YSL green and red clutch purse

Gold tone leather “Metallic” Hobo Bag. With 12 digit (xxxxxx-xxxxxx) serial, and YSL Rive Gauche leather print logo inside

Beautiful satin evening “Rive Gauche” bag. Here you can see its 12 digit serial number, just over the “made in Italy” logo. Both printed inside its internal pocket.

YSL Saint Tropez Pony Hair Leopard look Top Handle Bag

Pony Hair, “St Tropez” Bag, another Rive Gauche YSL. Again, 12 digit serial and YSL rive gauche gold printed logo on the internal leather small flap (just over magnetic button closure).

YSL Mombasa black leather handbag


MOMBASA Leather Bag: Authenticated by our friends at Entrupy. Pre-owned, with some light wear, but still in great shape. This bag has a 11 digit (xxxxx-xxxxxx) serial number.

Cassandre Clutch Bag: Simply GORGEOUS. In our opinion this is one of the most beautiful and elegant bags of recent fashion. You can take a look at the cards which you should find when you purchase a second hand bag like this one. Have a close look at it’s internal logo as well.

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OPHERTYCIOCCI Team
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