While they come with hefty price tags, these purses are well worth the investment. Prada clutches usually start at around $300 while regular handbags usually cost more than $1,000.
Cahier Leather Shoulder Bag, $2,950 at Farfetch
Unfortunately, counterfeiters make a lot of money by creating fake Prada bags. In November 2019, Prada handbags and other luxury purses worth over $2.2 million were seized at Washington Dulles International Airport.
If you’re thinking of ordering a bag from a third-party site, make sure you know you’re getting the real thing.
Where to buy Prada bags
If you have been wanting to get your hands on an authentic bag from the Italian luxury fashion house, the websites below are the most popular stores to buy them online.
1. Check the dust bag and authenticity card
Most Prada bags come in a soft flannel or silky dust bag with the Prada logo printed on the front, though there are very few exceptions.
The font used on the dustbag print should be consistent with the Prada fonts used all throughout the bag.
Lily Allen exits a Prada store in London on December 19, 2008 (Credit: WENN)
Your bag should also come with care booklets and a sealed authenticity card showing the bag’s serial number and style information.
Some counterfeiters can also replicate the dust bag and authenticity card, but fake replicas will typically have low-quality prints with uneven spacing and discoloration.
2. Logo kerning and spacing should be even
Prada’s logo, which includes the inverted triangle, is one of the most distinguishable designer logos. Genuine Prada bags should have logo plaques that are clearly readable, evenly placed, and secured on the leather.
Prada’s logo includes an inverted triangle
The color of the plaque should match the color of the bag’s leather. Some styles do not have the inverted triangle logo but instead have the words Prada Milano displayed.
The logo plaque should be easy to read
Check that the kerning or spacing is consistent and the font used is the same in all the other brand markings all over the bag.
3. The inside should have an interior plaque
Aside from the exterior logo plaque, Prada bags also have an interior plaque, which design may differ depending on the bag’s style.
Newer bags display Prada Made In Italy
Older styles display “Prada Milano Made in Italy” done in three lines. Newer styles, however, will have only two lines that read “Prada Made in Italy.”
Some non-leather styles feature the leather patch on the interior instead of the ceramic plaque.
4. Hardware and zippers are of high quality
The hardware is critical in determining the authenticity of a Prada bag. Some counterfeited purses use cheap zippers and hardware that are prone to discoloration.
The hardware is critical in determining the authenticity of a Prada bag
Genuine bags will display high-quality hardware that can be gold-plated or stainless steel. These should have brand name engravings that are properly spaced and readable.
The engraved brand name, always in bold and capitalized letters, is placed on hardware like buckles, zippers, metal feet, locks, and buttons. Authentic Prada bags use zippers from Lampo, Ykk, Riri, Opti, and Ipi. These brands should be engraved somewhere on the back of the hardware.
5. The lining is embossed fabric or genuine leather
The interior of a genuine Prada bag typically has as much detail as its exterior. Also, the bag’s lining showcases a pattern that displays the Prada name horizontally.
Check the interior details and lining
The color of the printed lining should match or complement the bag’s exterior color. However, not all styles have this printed lining.
Some bags feature Nappa leather lining, which exhibits a more modern finish.
The printed lining should match or complement the bag’s exterior color
6. The leather should feel luxurious
Authentic Pradas are made from the highest quality calf leather, which should feel soft to the touch. Fake leather may look real from afar but it feels rigid and stiff to the touch.
Prada purses are made from the highest quality calf leather
Regardless of the style — classic, ruched, printed, or studded — the leather used on these purses is distinctly rich and supple.
Prada clutches will not display excessively bright and shiny hues
Pay close attention to the colors in printed styles. Fake Prada bags will display excessively bright and shiny hues while original ones would have smooth and even coloration.
Because of the cheap materials used, counterfeit designer bags also tend to feel heavier than originals. Be mindful of the texture and weight of the bags you purchase.
7. The stitching should be neat and even
One of the telltale signs of a counterfeit Prada bag is messy, uneven stitching. Original Prada purses showcase perfect, even stitches done with a sturdy thread which should be the same color as the bag’s leather.
The topstitching on most Prada bags is slightly angled
Notice that the topstitching on most of Prada’s bag styles is slightly angled. This is hard to replicate, and most counterfeiters just use a normal straight stitch.
Prada’s topstitching is hard to replicate
Be on the lookout for uneven stitching that looks like it’s about to come off – a clear sign of poorly made counterfeit Pradas.
Prada Questions and Answers
Where are authentic Prada handbags made?
According to The Wall Street Journal, “about 20% of Prada’s collections—which range from bags and shoes to clothes for men and women—are made in China.”
“Sooner or later, it will happen to everyone because [Chinese manufacturing] is so good,” Italian billionaire fashion designer Miuccia Prada said in an interview.
Prada also manufactures products outside Italy in other cheaper countries such as Vietnam, Turkey, and Romania.
A prime example of traditional Milanese craftsmanship is this black Saffiano leather logo suitcase from Prada featuring top handles, a two-way zip fastening, a front logo plaque, gold-tone hardware, multiple interior compartments, a hanging leather tag, and a sleep mask with pouch
Prada’s Arezzo factory in Tuscany, which is responsible for producing much of the leather goods, apparel, and footwear, also employs a lot of Chinese workers.
The New Yorker writes that Italian luxury labels are “using inexpensive immigrant labor to manufacture handbags that bear the coveted “Made in Italy” label.”
What does Prada mean?
The Italian luxury fashion house was founded in 1913 by Mario Prada and his brother Martino as Fratelli Prada (English: Prada Brothers). Prada is a habitational name, meaning that the name derives from the inhabited location associated with the person given that name.
Most likely the surname originally derives from Prada de Conflent, the Catalan name for Prades, a commune and a sub-prefecture of the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France. Its inhabitants are called Pradéens/Pradéennes in French, and Pradencs/Pradenques in Catalan.
Do Prada bags ever go on sale?
Is Prada an expensive luxury brand?
Celebrity Fans of Prada Handbags
The Milan-based brand is well-loved by many fashionistas and celebrities including the Kardashians, Taylor Swift, and Lily Collins. It’s a normal sight to see A-listers using Prada totes to complete their outfits.
Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Selena Gomez are only some of the Hollywood A-listers who love their Prada bags (Credit: WENN)
Sisters Kourtney Kardashian and Kendall Jenner are fans of vintage Prada (Credit: WENN)
Emily Ratajkowski enjoys an afternoon out with her Prada “Cahier” bag (Credit: Emily Ratajkowski’s Instagram)
Fashion icon Alexa Chung and model Miranda Kerr go for the top handle Prada totes (Credit: WENN)
Even Hollywood youngins Lily Collins and Emma Roberts love Prada (Credit: WENN)
For more tips on spotting a fake from an original Prada bag, you can watch the video below: