How to Read a Balenciaga Tag

by Betsy Morgan

Balenciaga began as a Spanish haute couture fashion house. It was founded in 1918 by Cristobal Balenciaga. Today, Balenciaga is synonymous with European style and elegance. While the company creates men and women's clothes and shoes, it is perhaps best known for its fashionable leather bags. Bags like the "Twiggy" and "City Classique," made of leather with silver or gold adornments, are popular among celebrities and fashionistas alike, and have spawned many fakes. Each bag comes with a metal or leather tag inside that features a series of numbers and letters.

Step 1

Look at the top number on the tag. This should be a four-digit number following the letter "N." This number identifies the leather batch used to make the bag.

Step 2

Look at the letter to the right of the four-digit number. This indicates the season and year when your bag was produced. For example, the letter "O" indicates that the bag was produced for the Fall/Winter line of 2010.

Step 3

Figure out when your bag was produced by using Balenciaga's code. Balenciaga goes backward through the alphabet to designate the season and year. Since the letter "O" indicates the bag was produced for the Fall/Winter line of 2010, the letter "P" indicates it was produced for the Spring/Summer line of 2010, the the letter "Q" indicates the bag was produced for the Fall/Winter line of 2009, and so on.

Step 4

Look at the bottom number on your tag. This is the six-digit style number that designates the design name of your bag. For example, the popular "Classique (small)" design has the number 103208, and the "Twiggy" style has the number 128523.

Step 5

Look on the back of the tag. The six-digit style number will be repeated here, followed by the bag's serial number, which ranges from four to six digits.

About the Author

Betsy Morgan has been writing and editing professionally since 1995. She has written for publications like "Wired" magazine, "Paper" magazine and Vault.com. She has a Bachelor of Arts in history from Columbia University.