Having worked with handbags for the past ten years, Graham's skills in authentication grew from his background in Fashion Design and Art History. His thirst for knowledge has taken him around the world, seeking education and work experiences on both coasts and beyond. Having cultivated a network of industry insiders, Graham has his finger on the pulse of the constant changes within the luxury sector. Graham is passionate about preserving the integrity of designer goods and views the manufacture and distribution of counterfeits as unethical, immoral, and detrimental to global human rights.
At The RealReal, we take the authenticity of the products we sell very seriously.
Each art item we accept is thoroughly researched by our team of fine art specialists. To learn more about our fine art team, click here.
For fashion items, each product we accept is put through a multiple-point, brand-specific authentication process by a team of luxury experts headed by our Director of Authentication and Brand Compliance
We inspect all applicable leather goods for the appropriate date codes, serial tags and hologram stickers, ensuring that all handbags pass our specific authenticity tests before they are placed in sales.
The RealReal does not accept fake or counterfeit merchandise of any kind. If we suspect that a submitted consignment item is inauthentic, we will contact the consignor for proof of purchase. Counterfeit items discovered will be destroyed and not returned to the consignor, as federal law prohibits these items to be mailed.
Please note, brands sold are not partnered or affiliated with The RealReal. However, we cooperate with brands looking to track down the source of counterfeit items, and this includes revealing the contact information of consignors submitting counterfeit goods.
For questions regarding authenticity or how we authenticate, we encourage you to email us at authenticity@TheRealReal.com.
How To Authenticate Designer Handbags and Clothing
Fashion And Fine Jewelry Authenticity Team
Elizabeth trained at the Gemological Institute of America and became Instructor and Supervisor of the Diamond Course for several years. After moving to San Francisco, Elizabeth worked in the wholesale pearl industry grading shipments from Japan, China and Tahiti, as well as managing the Gem Trade Lab. In the last 20 years Elizabeth has written Insurance and Estate appraisals for Northern California jewelry stores. In addition to being a resident gemologist at The RealReal, Elizabeth creates designs for local retail stores and her own jewelry line, Gemme Fatale.
After his father gave him a fossil and rock collection for his 8th birthday, David developed a fascination with rocks, minerals and gemstones. He earned a Graduate Gemologist Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America and studied at the European Gemolgical Laboratory USA. David also earned the designation of "Certified Member" of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers - the nation’s only professional appraisal organization dedicated solely to the field of professional jewelry appraising. Most recently, David founded Gem Pro Quality Appraisal Services, which provides gemological appraisal and consultation services to the public and trade.
Fine Art Authenticity Team
Brittany Gersh is an art and design historian, bringing eight years of experience in the art world to The RealReal. Brittany’s professional experience includes the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department at the Detroit Institute of Arts as well as M+B, a contemporary art and photography gallery located in Los Angeles. Prior to her current position, Brittany worked in the Jewelry Department at Phillips, an international auction house headquartered in New York where she was instrumental in executing $6,000,000 in sales per year. Brittany is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she majored in both Art History and French. She also holds a Master’s in the History of Decorative Arts and Design from the Parsons School of Design.
Patrick Regan brings over 15 years of art and curatorial experience to The RealReal team. A sculptor himself, Patrick instructed university-level studio arts and art history for over five years. He studied international art markets at the University of Michigan, and in conjunction, lived in China from 2005-2006 where he gained conversational fluency in Chinese. It was in cities like Beijing and Hong Kong that he cultivated long lasting relationships with top artists, powerful dealers and well-connected clients on the exploding scene of Chinese Contemporary art. Patrick returned to the US and took on the position of Assistant Director at Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, where he held the role for the next five years. Subsequently, Patrick accepted the position of Director at Crossing Art Gallery in New York, where he became increasingly interested in the revolutionary new wave of internet-based art markets. He eventually made the jump to Artnet Worldwide's auction division, where he served as a Senior Specialist, concentrating in Asian Contemporary art. Patrick is a USPAP certified appraiser in the area of Fine Art, as well as an adjunct professor at New York University for the University's graduate Arts Business Program. He is also the father of two young, exhausting, wonderful children.