When shopping for clothing in Asian cities such as Shanghai, Hong Kong and Bangkok, you must exercise prudence as you browse items sellers purport to be of authentic origin. Given these cities' proximity to manufacturer hubs, it's not unlikely that even the most authentic-looking items could be well-made counterfeits. Whether you're bargain hunting in Asia or anywhere else, if you spot a Levi's jacket you believe might be fake, you should inspect it carefully before throwing any cash down.
Inspect the Levi's label for size and spelling. Although the location of this label, which always the same for jeans, will vary for jackets, it will be the same size, made of brown, natural-colored leather and include some variant of "Levi Strauss & Co; San Francisco, Cal; Original Riveted" on it. If the color or spelling of this label is off, you may have a fake on your hands.
Look for the "Tab Device." Also know as the red tab, this is a one-inch long (approximately), narrow tab of red fabric that will extend off the side the your right jacket pocket and say the name "Levi's," which will read (from top to bottom) as the characters "L," "E," "V," "I," and "s" stacked on top of one another, rather than written horizontally as a word.
Scrutinize the pocket stitching, which is always done in an "Arcuate" pattern on authentic jackets. Shaped like a double-arch, the letter "m" or a bird flying toward the horizon, this is one of the most distinctive features of Levi's products.
Robert Schrader is a writer, photographer, world traveler and creator of the award-winning blog Leave Your Daily Hell. When he's not out globetrotting, you can find him in beautiful Austin, TX, where he lives with his partner.