YKK is the most popular brand of zippers in the world, but are they used by the likes of Louis Vuitton, one of the kings of the modern fashion industry?
Louis Vuitton doesn’t use YKK zippers – or any other brand, for that matter. The high-fashion company manufactures its own zippers for use on its luxurious bags, jackets, and accessories. They’re stamped with either the LV emblem or simply the words, ‘Louis Vuitton’.
Read on to learn more about Louis Vuitton, YKK zippers, and why the latter is so incredibly popular.
Zipping Around The Fashion World
It’s estimated that YKK dominates the zipper market with a fifty percent share, standing firm as the most popular brand on the planet. There are countless companies and labels that use YKK zippers, and you’ve probably never even noticed them.
If you have a zipper near you right now, pick it up and look at the zipper tab itself; you’ll almost certainly notice the letters ‘YKK’ on the grip. You’ll find YKK zippers on almost every product that uses them – pencil cases, jeans, jackets, and backpacks.
The YKK company was founded in Japan almost one hundred years ago, and it stands today as one of the richest corporations in the country. It boasts an employee roster of more than forty thousand people, and it has a dramatically enormous footprint that can be seen globally.
Officially, YKK is known as Yoshida Kogyo Kabushiki, but that’s far too long a name to be stamped on a simple zipper. Throughout the world, YKK has more than one hundred facilities, consistently producing zippers and fasteners in around seventy countries.
There are a huge amount of zipper types manufactured by YKK, ranging from military-grade to polished metal zippers. The company also produces buttons, snap fasteners, buckles, and clips, offering a diverse product line that serves thousands of fashion labels.
However, high-fashion brands like Louis Vuitton tend to diverge from the norm and avoid using YKK’s zippers. Instead, they use their own, proprietary zippers, manufactured with their own name and emblem.
If you examine the zipper on a Louis Vuitton product, you’ll either see the ‘LV’ crest, or the words ‘Louis Vuitton’ clearly stamped on the grip. Another brand that follows this practice is Gucci, which reportedly manufactures its own durable and high-quality zippers.
Conversely, some brands, such as The North Face, only use YKK zippers, and it stands as an indicator that your product is genuine. So, whether the brand in question uses or doesn’t use YKK zippers, it’s one of the first things you should check when trying to determine authenticity.
Why Is YKK The De Facto Standard?
It might seem bizarre that something as simple as a zipper can be so important, but YKK exists as tangible proof that the industry would be lost without them. In just one YKK facility in Georgia, around five million zippers are made every single day.
When there are some manufacturers that produce tens of thousands of pairs of jeans every day, the call for good zippers is an extremely loud one. It’s unlikely you’d want to purchase a backpack or jacket with a faulty or poorly functioning zipper.
Reportedly, the construction quality of a YKK zipper is unmatched in the fashion world, and its reliability is second to none. Over the course of an entire year, YKK can manufacture more than seven billion individual zippers.
The YKK company has a fantastic operating model that sees them being totally vertically integrated. They own the entire manufacturing process, from smelting to packaging, ensuring every step of the chain is completed to their rigorous standards.
Of course, it isn’t just zippers that act as an identification point when you’re trying to authenticate your expensive and exclusive Louis Vuitton product. There are many methods you can use to identify whether or not your Louis Vuitton bag is genuine.
For example, you can start by identifying the stitching – the thickness and color of the thread used should be consistent and neat. Secondly, every Louis Vuitton bag comes with an original stamp, which can be identified by comparing it with others found online.
Then, there’s the date code; this is a kind of serial number that identifies exactly when and where the bag was made. While it can of course be fake, it serves as another arrow in the quiver of authentication.
Ultimately, if you’ve spent thousands of dollars on a Louis Vuitton bag, you’ll want to know if it’s genuine; start by looking at that all-important zipper.