Chanel's mod. 01945 round logo sunglasses are one of the world's most coveted and sought after statement accessories. Having been worn by countless A-list celebrities such as Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Mary-Kate Olsen and Pharell Williams over the last few years, these showstoppers from the early 1990s have become a fashion must-have. Regarding that prominent exposure and the resulting hype and high demand, we are not surprised that the counterfeit industry got excited over these shades, too, and that by now fakes have entered the market. In this post we will show you how to spot differences between authentic Chanel 01945 sunglasses and replicas, using pictures of our own 01945 and those of a replica that we have recently seen online.
These sunglasses have originally been released for Chanel's Spring/Summer collection 1993. The pictures below show the sunglasses on the runway and - with a different print - in Chanel's own magazine from 1993, so here we have pictures of the 100% authentic archetype. See the very dark lens colour and the extraordinarily flat shape - the lenses do not seem to be curved at all. Many of the 01945 sunglasses that we have seen online seem to have slightly curved lenses and a slightly lighter and somewhat blueish tint, and these also appear to be authentic. Known frame colours are white with a black print and black with a white print.
One of the most important characteristics to look for when examining a pair of Chanel 01945 round logo sunglasses for authenticity is the font. See the obvious difference between the "R"'s below - the original "R" has a slightly curved line whereas the replica's line is completely straight. Also, the letters as a whole should form a regular curve with balanced space between them. See that the replicas' letters A, N and E seem to be mismatched and appear to be "dancing" on the frame.
Furthermore, the replica in the bottom pic has a lasered Chanel logo along the top of the lens, sitting just below the frame. Etching their logo right into the lens is something that Chanel started to do no earlier than in the 2000s.
Please note: The print of the authentic Chanel sunglasses is not always 100% correctly aligned to their circular shape and the edges of the frame so that the position seems somewhat off-center (even in the runway pics). We believe this is caused by manual steps in the printing process (i.e. manual positioning of frame and lettering in the manufacturing tool).
Below we see how the left arm is marked with the serial number. Authentic Chanel sunglasses from the early 1990s have a "Made in Italy" stamp on the left arm plus the product code followed by the colour code. The top two pictures show our 01945 plus a 0026 from 1992/93 that we have sold in the past, bottom picture shows replica. Although the photo is of bad quality, you can see that product and colour code are followed by the codes for arm length and bridge size - this seems to have been simply copied from current Chanel sunglasses. You will not find this technical data on vintage Chanel sunglasses from the early 1990s which were produced in limited quantities and sold through Chanel boutiques exclusively. Only in 1999 Chanel made a licensing deal with Italian manufacturer Luxottica, and their sunglasses were brought to a wider audience by being sold through other retailers than Chanel itself. You can find further information on this very interesting topic over at Very Vintage. They published a super in-depth blog post on authenticating vintage Chanel sunglasses which we find extremely informative and helpful.
A side note on the hinge fastening - the top two pictures show the typical Chanel fastening. Unfortunately we cannot see this in the picture, but a replica will most probably have cheap standard hinges and screws. Regarding the hinge fastening of the 01945 sunglasses specifically - most often, it seems to have been done in a gold-tone metal, more rarely in a silver-tone colour. The silver-tone fastening seems to have been used for the batch of 01945 sunglasses with the superflat and very dark lenses. These also appear to have a slightly finer logo print. The gold-tone metal fastening appears to have been used for the batch with the more curved and blueish lenses, also with a slightly bolder logo print.
We have been asked whether discolouration/yellowing of the frame could be a sign for a replica. The answer is no, yellowing and discolouration seems to be quite common for the Chanel 01945 (same goes for chips - the frame of our 01945 does have tiny chips at the edges), and furthermore, yellowing or colour fading of plastic material is a common occurrence in general, especially when the plastic is of a light colour and not only coated but dyed throughout. Think general use or age, UV exposure, climate or storage conditions, a different batch of raw material or differences in manufacturing conditions. Conclusion: Discolouration or yellowing does not necessarily mean fake.
Below the equipment that comes with the sunglasses. Top picture shows original documentation provided through Luxottica who obviously produced for Chanel before their licensing deal in 1999. Luxottica is originally located in Agordo, Italy. In 1997 they opened their first factory in China to boost their production capacity. Center picture the original cleaning cloth - first-class quality with a clear, sharp Chanel logo. Bottom picture shows some of the replica's equipment. It has been offered with the full equipment comprising box, case, cloth, authenticity card and documentation. Have a close look at the obvious differences. The cleaning cloth of the replica seems to be of poor quality with a somewhat odd logo.
The replica's case, shown in the bottom pic, with misplaced Chanel logo and poor quality stitching.
And the box - black top and white bottom as expected, but the font is not the original one and appears to have been chosen quite randomly, plus the print is of very bad quality with frayed edges.
Don't buy fakes. Don't waste your money on them and don't support the counterfeit industry. We hope you find this guide to be helpful in authenticating your vintage Chanel sunglasses!