Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy is all about the combination of high fashion, street style and gothic romanticism. Since he took over as Creative Director in 2005 he’s transformed the label in his image, garnered a coterie of famous friends and turned out collections filled with must-have items. Case in point: the Antigona handbag. “Launched in 2011, Riccardo Tisci designed this duffle to mimic the Givenchy aesthetic: clean design with strong lines and geometric ornamentation,” says Senior Director of Authentication Graham Wetzbarger. “Knowing his customers’ lifestyle, Tisci designed this bag to be extremely functional and durable.”
Sleek but roomy enough in its larger sizes to fit all of your essentials, the Antigona is coveted by street style stars and celebrities. Often seen on the arms of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kate Moss, Olivia Palermo and most Kardashians, it’s something of an It bag equalizer — edgy but very pulled together. It comes in three sizes — Mini, Small and Medium — and is available in a long list of colorways, prints, exotic skins and more, so while the design is iconic, you can choose a version that fits your personal style. As is often the case with highly sought-after handbags, fake versions abound, so it’s important to know the signs of an authentic Antigona. Here, Wetzbarger breaks down the telltale signs of the real thing.
1. Givenchy Antigona Materials & Construction
“Givenchy uses various leathers from polished cowhide to goat, but it should always be sturdy and structured, which keeps the bag from losing its shape,” says Wetzbarger. “While rigid, it should still have a smooth, luxurious hand, and appear supple rather than plasticy. The triangular leather logo detail is padded with batting so it should be convex and puffy, not flat. It should also be firmly affixed without any gaps. Each letter should be separate in the Givenchy logo and very tightly affized to the bag. If you examine closely, you should see that they are very cleanly finished with no rough or raw edges.”
On the bottom of the bag, you should find ‘feet’ consisting of two panels created from stacked layers of leather that are glued together and stitched down. “Inspect these carefully,” warns Wetzbarger. “Some fakes will just have stitching in the shape of these panels.” An authentic Antigona is lined with solid cotton twill and should match the color of the leather on other interior details like the label and zipper pocket. “While not fixed to the interior with adhesive, the lining is well-constructed to fit perfectly inside the dimensions of the handbag. It should not be loose or bunchy and should have one center seam across the bottom,” Wetzbarger says.
“If you have the original dustbag, it should read ‘Givenchy’ or ‘Givenchy Paris’ on white cotton twill fabric. It should have a crisp screen print with well-defined lines and edges, not bubbles or raised areas of ink.”
2. Givenchy Antigona Brand Stamping & Serial Numbers
The date code format used on Givenchy Antigona handbags follows LVMH standards. According to Wetzbarger: “The first two characters denote the location at which the bag was manufactured, and are followed by four numbers; the first and third digits represent the week and the second and fourth represent the year in which the bag was made.”
“3C” denotes the workshop location. This Antigona was made in the twelfth week of 2012.
He suggests cross referencing your date code with the seasonal specifics of you Antigona. “While some colors like black are made every season,” he says, “certain colorways are season-specific, so you can check to see if particular bags are from the correct year.” In fact, some fake date codes are so wrong that they indicate that the bag was made in a year prior to the Antigona’s debut, or a year in the future. “FW 2011 is the season the Antigona premiered, so your date code should fall between then and now,” notes Wetzbarger.
3. Givenchy Antigona Hardware
Handbag aficionados will be familiar with zipper brands such as Riri and Lampo, however the Givenchy Antigona features an oversized zipper made by Raccagni. “Within roughly the past year however, Givenchy has begun using zippers branded with their own logo,” Wetzbarger explains.
The geometric shape of the bag is echoed in both the unique pyramid-shaped leather zipper pull and strap hardware; the latter should be emblazoned with the Givenchy logo on one side of the D-Ring. Wetzbarger suggests inspecting the color of the hardware which should be “silver or very light gold in color, but nothing brassy.”