Color confusion- Anthracite F/W 2013

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  1. I have a dilemma that is causing me confusion on a newly acquired City bag. I have been doing tons of research on Bal bags, and am learning more and more as I go. For example, I recently discovered that 1202 is the color code of Anthracite, which is how I identified my bag color. HOWEVER, my bag has a letter code of 'I'- F/W 2013, and I was told in the 'authenticate this bal' thread that 'the color on your bag wasn't found in the f/w '13 color chart, therefore I cannot authenticate'.
    But based on my research, it was. There are several threads on this site discussing users Bal 2013 anthracite bags, and this thread by 'Ceejay' confirms 'anthracite was a part of 2013-

    Can someone please help me sort this color issue/season/year out??? Here are pics of the tag on my bag for reference, and the bag color itself--
  2. I've never seen any sort of list of colour codes, have you found one? Everything I've read seems to say that, with the exception of style code, year and season, nobody really knows what the other numbers stand for on a tag, could be colour, could be leather batch, who knows? Having said that, I too have read the threads where people were discussing the 2013 anthra, yet haven't seen it listed on any of the charts I can find as a 2013 colour. Have you asked saira in the identify this thread?
  3. Your bag is anthracite, but it could be the victim of a "gray gap" (gray area?) in the Balenciaga universe. To start though, I wouldn't stress too much whether the color swatch was included in the color charts or not, the charts are solid but where commonly produced colors are concerned, not necessarily exhaustive--if a swatch is missing from a season it doesn't mean the color didn't exist. Like black, anthracite is a color that was produced pretty much every year from 2007 forward - in f/w 2007 there was plomb, which sometimes had blue/ greenish undertones and can be mistaken for anthracite or even black, and in s/s 2008 there was a gray that was called either charcoal or anthracite depending on who you asked. From there on out it was anthra all the way until in f/w 2012 Bal introduced gris tarmac, which was supposedly the "replacement" for Anthracite, but I don't think anyone ever confirmed that if it was actually a "replacement" or an interruption... maybe Bal just didnt get the results it wanted from that dye lot of leather for it to qualify as "anthracite", so they called it gris tarmac instead for a season. Since your bag is the year after gris tarmac, it could be that the question "is gris tarmac a replacement for anthra, or a single season change and then they went back to anthra?" is why there is no swatch in the chart for f/w 2013, but I've never seen bags outside of f/w 2012 referred to as gris tarmac. And then it wasn't until gris fossile came around in (I think) late 2014 or early 2015 that there was, once again, another officially named, "other-than-anthracite" dark gray. I'm doing all of this from memory so I could be a little off on seasons, but for the most part anthracite was Balenciaga's "standard, go-to dark gray" for quite a long and mostly uninterrupted run from 07-14. To only authenticate based on color swatches in the color charts, especially with a color as common as Anthracite, is a tad short sighted IMO. You haven't posted all pics for authentication above here, but I'd put my money on anthra and authentic.
    sunshinesash likes this.
  4. I will have to post in that thread and ask! Thank you for letting me know about it :smile: I've also never seen an 'official' color code list, so nothing can be definitive, however what got me searching for color ID was when I first posted in the 'authenticate my bal' thread, I had bought this bag thinking it was BLACK [picture lighting turned out to be dark]. I mentioned it as black, and an authenticator told me, 'no the tag does not read as 'black'. I took this to mean that the 4 digits must have some meaning...searched google for 'balenciaga 1202 color', and multiple links came up listing 1202 as 'anthracite'. I looked at several authentic tags of anthracite bags, and they read as 1202. Black seemed to read as 1000.

    Anyway, this is all speculation, as both of us have searched and never been able to find an official color-code list...but I figure it is something to go on, when I see it in many bags.

    Thanks again for your response and your informative contribution to this thread!
  6. are certainly a BAL aficionado! I am so appreciate of your in-depth response and your willingness and candidness in sharing all of this information. As a long lover of Bal, but admittedly an eager beginner looking to learn, this is so helpful and I can't believe how much detail goes into the history of Balenciaga and their bags. It is truly an art!

    When trying to pinpoint the actual color of my bag, I originally thought it was for sure gris tarmac, but the issue was that there was no gris tarmac made in my letter code , only in the season previous. So I was stumped, because I had [and still do have] a gut feeling my bag is 100% authentic...I studied hours upon hours of pictures, side by sides of super-replica Bals to real Bals...and I was astounded that I couldn't find any grey made in F/W 2013, even though every detail on my bag has checked out!

    I then was determined to discover this color, and that's when I discovered several threads on TPF of users discussing their anthracite Bals from 2013! And Ceejay's thread really sealed the deal for me...I also read in my research that they don't always include the 'classic' colors in their swatches, but it's so nice to hear it reiterated by you.

    You know, when I purchased this bag, the lighting actually led me to believe this bag was black, but it showed up as a beautiful dark grey with blue tones, and I honestly couldn't be happier! It is such a dimensional color...

    Here are more pics of the bag for your viewing...Thanks a million for your input and gracious help!!! You are the real MVP :biggrin:
  7. #7 Jul 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
    You're very welcome, I'm happy to help :smile: And your bag is authentic, do not fret about it anymore. I have the same bag from the s/s 2012 collection (L tag... the season BEFORE gris tarmac threw a wrench in the system). I bought it on a lark thinking it was a darker gray because the online photos looked pure charcoal and I loooooove me some charcoal.... kind of like yours looked black in photos (anthra is so hard to photograph accurately). Funny thing is, prior to buying the bag I had seen anthra IRL and didn't like it! I really dislike certain iterations of teal, and thought, "I'd never buy that teal-ish bag." But when mine arrived and I carried it, it became one of my favorite bags and now I would never part with it. I was and still am thrilled by how versatile the color is. Enjoy your bag! The leather looks wonderful!

    P.S. The code for black is indeed 1000. I'm not sure when color codes began being used on the back of the tags, but I am under the impression it is a fairly recent phenomenon-within the last several years... I have to believe that if it was a known thing for any amount of time there would be a list in the reference section like there are color charts and a list for serial numbers....
    sunshinesash likes this.
  8. Ahhh you are the bee's knees!! Thanks so much for your informative post and definitive confirmation. I can sleep at night, lol!
    I do agree that gris tarmac really did throw confusion into the post-seasons following its introduction, because I had orig read posts saying Bal had replaced anthra with GT, which obviously didn't turn out to be the case, but I had to research at length to discover out that anthra WAS made consecutively after GT, and GT was not* its 'dark grey' replacement, but a color of its own entirely.
    The thing I love about Bal is that each batch of color is so different...yearly but also within the batch itself. I have looked at so many anthra bags and GTs, and not one is identical to the other! The shades are a true array of grey.

    Interesting note about the codes and colors. I agree with you...based on the tags I've seen, if there is color-coding, based on those last four digits on the top row of the backside of the tag, it must be more recent because older tags don't appear to have this same distinction.

    I totally agree with your thoughts and feelings regarding anthra! I never thought I'd be the one who would pick a dark grey/blue undertone bag, but I feel it's absolutely meant to be as I love this color so much more than I would've liked a plain black! I can get black in any brand, but Bal is known for its colored leathers and we really should take advantage of their craftsmanship in that arena! The fact that we BOTH originally thought we were getting something much closer to black, and ended up with a wonderfully dimensional [yet classic] anthra colored bag which we fell in love is a testament to the gorgeousness of this color.

    Bravo Bal! and thank you again, so much, for your amazingly informative posts! You have helped me so much and passed on awesome knowledge regarding this incredible brand.
  9. My pleasure!