In order to help you, the customer, identify fake designer goods many manufacturers will mark their items in some way.
• Unique item serial numbers, here each and every item produced has its own unique serial number, usually stitched onto the garment as part of the various tags. Note, this is not the same as an item number where all model x items will carry the same number; with the unique item number system each manufactured article carries its own unique traceable number. Using this number the manufacturer can tell you exactly where and when the garment was manufactured, what type of garment it is and in some cases even track its movements through the supplier chain to an end user.
• Holograms. If you’re not familiar with what a hologram looks like just examine most any credit or bank card “plastic” and look for the small (approx. 1cm) reflective looking square. That is a hologram; when looked at with the right equipment it is relatively easy to spot fake ones since they are incredibly difficult to forge accurately without access to the original processing facilities. Because of the cost and difficulty in forging these holographic tags most fakes will simply not bother to include them - at all. Some, though not all, more recent D&G garments are protected in this way.
Stone Island use the Art Number
The Art Number System employed by Stone Island can be found on every Stone Island garment. Once you know how to read an Art Number it will prove invaluable as a quick way to spot a large number of fakes. Art Numbers carry encoded information to identify: season of garment, type of garment, material used and various other dye and colour information as well.
The Art Number here is 51155AA3/359, breaking this down we have:
- The first two numbers indicate the Year and Season of the garment. Even numbers are Spring / Summer whilst odd numbers are Autumn / Winter
By way of example the year / season numbers for 2000-2009 are:
2000 33 32
2001 35 34
2002 37 36
2003 39 38
2004 41 40
2005 43 42
2006 45 44
2007 47 46
2008 49 48
2009 51 50
- The second two numbers indicate the specific brand, Stone Island is always 15.
- The next (fifth) number is used to indicate the type of item using the following values:
1 = Shirts
2 = T Shirts
3 = Trousers
4 = Jackets
5 = Knitwear
6 = Sweatshirts
9 = Accessories
For flag ship models this number may be replaced with a letter.
- Next is the specific model designation as a single letter or number.
- The last letters numbers before the “/” indicate the cloth or material used and the treatment applied to it.
- Everything after the “/” denotes the colour and dye designations and refer to a specific combination help in the companies vast archives of materials, colours and dye processes.
As you can see, the Art Number conveys a lot of information if you know how to read it. Learn the basics described here and you'll spot a lot of fake items much faster and save yourself a lot of trouble.