We know how popular vintage Levi's are, but with so many options to buy from, how do you know that you're buying an authentic pair? In this video, we give you a rundown of what to look out for on your next hunt for the perfect pair.





Levi’s is one of the largest brand name apparel companies and an iconic global leader in both men’s and women's jeans wear. Today Levi Strauss & Co operate in over 100 countries, with more than 500 retail stores worldwide. Their 501 style has become a firm favourite of many denim lovers. Denim expert and trend forecaster Samuel Trotman stated “It is the ultimate original jean. I guess if you close your eyes and imagine Levi’s, most people will probably think of the 501, I think from an industrial point of view, that it's the most user-tested piece of human clothing ever worn.”

Unfortunately due to their successes as a brand, this welcomes the likes of counterfeit items creeping their way into circulation, essentially “ripping off” the notion of Levi’s authenticity as a brand and high quality product lines. However with the increased prevalence of counterfeit goods in the fashion retail today, how can you spot a fake pair of Levi’s?

The iconic “two horses”, leather brand patch should appear on the waistband above the right hand back pocket.  When identifying a fake, be sure to check the size is no smaller than the standard Levi’s patch, and that the shape is not abstract.

One of the biggest telltale signs of counterfeit products in general is the printing technique used and lack of punctuation and grammar.

You should always look out for the style number, waist, and length. They’re always marked and are always a different colour than the rest of the label as those details are added after the labels are manufactured.

Vintage, short run, and collaboration styles can also vary and one or more of these characteristics may differ. Always authenticate through the collaboration page of the brands.

The red logo tab is another classic detail utilised by Levi’s.

This tab should always appear 1-1¼” below the very top of the left hand side stitching of the right hand back pocket.

- This detail is added during the production process, therefore any varying stitching is a huge sign of a knockoff

Grammar is often wrong on fake logo tabs, be sure to check there is an ‘S’ on the end of Levi’s. Also any logo tabs with capital 'E" would date to pre 1971 production, therefore if they don’t look age appropriate, they are more than likely fake.



  • A collectors item! Have a pair of Levi’s with a full capital spelling in Levi’s on the tab? You’ve got yourself a pair of pre-1971 jeans. As time progresses, ‘Big E’ tabs, as they’re known in the industry, are increasingly hard to come by, and even harder in top condition


  • In 1971, Levi’s decided to switch the spelling of the tab back to a lowercase ‘e’, in order to make it easier for collectors to differentiate the 2 era’s of Levi’s pre and post 1971.


  • Metal rivets across all pairs of Levi’s jeans should contain the letters “LS&CO-SF” stamped distinctly and should have 6 on the front of the jeans, importantly there should be none on the back! The waist button should be centred (as should the zipper) and clearly branded.


  • When taking a look inside your jeans, you should be sure that the run number on the back of the waist button and the run number on the fabric care tags match up, this small attention to detail is what sets aside the authentic products from the fakes! 
  •  There will also be a Certificate of Authenticity stamped on the left hand pocket inside the jeans
    • On 501s the certificate is bigger than a dollar bill but around the same dimensions and low on the pocket fabric
    • Other styles should have a larger two horses stamp, closer to the top and filling nearly all of the pocket area. 


  • Today more than ever, people are turning to e-commerce platforms to fulfil their shopping wants and needs. Although this is great for convenience,  it also makes it a lot harder to guarantee you are buying genuine designer label pieces, rather than low quality counterfeit goods.
  • The rise of the circular economy has seen an increasing shift towards the use of peer-to-peer clothing retail sites such as Ebay, Depop and Vinted, meaning that essentially, anyone can sell to anyone.
  • Despite this movement's positive aspirations of fuelling sustainable fashion, it has also caused controversy in regards to the growing presence of counterfeit products. Fake products are widely available across all these platforms, regardless of each of their efforts to regulate authentication. 
  • Additionally, with the growth of the vintage clothing market catapulting over the last few years, independent vintage/thrift stores are becoming more and more common along the high street. Therefore if they are not sourcing products responsibly, they may find themselves also selling fakes. This means that the tips stated above are vital if you are browsing around for a pair of vintage Levi’s jeans.


  • Counterfeit goods are undeniably damaging to designer brands highly esteemed reputations. This is because consumers who may have unintentionally spent their hard earned cash on fake pieces, will blame the real manufacturers for falling short of their expectations. In Levi’s case this is likely to be issues related to the quality, longevity and durability of the ‘denim’ used. This in turn results in bad reviews and lowers brand loyalty among unhappy customers


  • If you think you have been scammed by a seller claiming to sell authentic Levi’s jeans, there are a few things you can do. According to Citizens advice,  “You have the legal right to a refund if you’ve bought something that’s fake or counterfeit. You can also report the seller to trading standards or report the seller for fraud. Trading standards might take legal action against the seller, but they can’t help you to get your money back.” Depending on your payment method, you should contact your bank and ask to use the ‘chargeback scheme’. 


  • If you’re currently on the market for the perfect pair of Levi’s, why not check out our wide collection of vintage Levi's here

Video by Joel Benjamin