Making the Cut: Bella Bag’s Is-It-Real Test

Thorough. That’s one way to describe Bella Bag founder Cassandra Connors and her 13-step authentication process. As soon as a new bag comes into her Atlanta showroom, she and her team get right to work examining each ridiculously luxe corner and crevice. And if the pre-loved item’s not up to par? It goes back out the way it came.

Here, Cassandra gives us her spin on her process and why it makes her business:

“The 13-Step is the reason Bella Bag even exists and is the beginning of the authentication process. It examines all pertinent aspects of an item’s craftsmanship – like, stitching, serial numbers, hardware, pattern formations, and various logo stamps – comparing real items to counterfeit.

“It starts in a very broad manner, exploring patterns and sizing and progresses to a deeper level with heat stamping and hardware magnetism. It’s essential to our livelihood here at Bella. It’s the beginning and the ending of everything we do.”

Inspired? Check out some of her top picks from the Boutique:

Valentino Black Rockstud Lattice Studded Leather Shoulder Bag
Who doesn’t adore Valentino’s Rockstud collection? Together with an intricate lattice weave front, this piece is anything but boring. It carries all the essentials – from a laptop to your cosmetics, and it does so while remaining sleek and simple by your side.

Chanel Pink Black Tweed Woven Medium Double Flap 2.55 Bag Purse
This bag is just incredible. A twist on the classic Chanel Flap bag, the colors are stunning and I’ve not seen another one like it. It’s bright and happy, but still an understated Chanel classic.

Fendi Grande Mia Pebbled Leather Nappa Chain Shoulder Bag
When we got this bag in, most everyone at Bella Bag was swooning. Pairing deliciously pebbled leather with a gorgeous dual chain link handle, this bag is roomy enough for everyday (albeit glamorous) use.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas Griet Handbag Shoulder Bag
The Louis Vuitton Griet has always been one of my favorite LV styles. This hard-to-find bag pairs the signature Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas pattern with a modern buckle over closure.

Gucci Stirrup Original Lizard Skin Hobo Rare Bag
This bag is a very special, very rare piece. Gucci is currently making a gorgeous Python Stirrup and this is the original design from the 1973 Collection. It looks very similar to what you would find in the Gucci store today, but has a little bit of vintage flair to it that you won’t find again.

I’ll take one of each, thank you very much.

Find your perfect bag in our From the Reserve: Balenciaga, Gucci, & More Boutique, opening Saturday, August 18, at 11AM ET.

By Cassandra Handley, Editorial Director

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August 18, 2012