One of the most embarrassing things a woman can experience is the humiliation of realizing her prized Dooney & Bourke bag is a big, fat fake. Nowadays, replicas look so much like the original designs, it's easy to be fooled. Of course, if you bought your Dooney & Bourke bag on a side street in Manhattan, chances are you've probably purchased a fake. But if you're looking to buy or want to know if a bag you've already purchased is authentic, a few things offer up some clues.
Examine your bag for the red, white and blue registration number that can be found under the leather seam. If this is missing, it's a surefire indication that your bag is a fake.
Look at the classic Dooney & Bourke duck logo carefully. Replicas will often skimp when it comes to the detail of this majestic mallard. The duck fob or the brass duck found on the leather clasp should have a crevice that separates the duck's bill from its head and a deeply engraved eyeball. There is also a texture behind the duck; if the area behind him is smooth, you've got a bona fide fake.
Check the seam thread. It always matches the color and texture of the thread holding the duck logo in place on a genuine D & B. Any variations in color or texture should raise suspicion.
It doesn't matter what color your purse is; the pockets on the inside are always brown, with the exception of a black purse. If you have a black purse, the pockets are a matching black. So, if you find your bright red Dooney & Bourke purse has bright red pockets, your bag is not authentic. Also, the pockets have a triangle-shaped flap that hides the zipper on the genuine article.
Check out the knobs and metal fixtures on your purse. Dooney & Bourke purses only have brass knobs and plates, not silver. The brass grommet on the shoulder strap should read "Dooney & Bourke," with the words "Solid Brass" printed on the back of the purse buckles.
Look for the standard corded leather trim in British tan. The trim will not match the purse color, with the exception of black bags. Also, the handles of the bag are typically made of British tan leather.
Take a close look at the zipper pull. This should read "Dooney & Bourke" if it is a rectangular pull and "riri" if it is a rounded zipper pull. But don't fret if the only thing on your purse is a zipper pull that does not match these two; chances are the pull has been replaced if you are purchasing a used purse.