Prada is an iconic Italian luxury fashion house, and its bags are a must-have for anyone who loves a classic but eccentric style. However, an authentic Prada bag sells for thousands of dollars in retail, which not many can get. But thanks to a market of second-hand Prada bags, many everyday people with a love for high fashion can now get their hands on a quality Prada bag.
But given the risk of getting scammed with counterfeit goods, how can you compare an authentic Prada bag with a fake one? If you know what to look for, you can easily spot signs of authenticity (or counterfeits) just by examining a bag. Here’s what you should look out for.
Check for Signs of Authenticity
Counterfeit goods are getting more and more difficult for everyday people to spot. While some people settle for knock-offs, these fake bags degrade in quality faster and don’t offer the same long-term longevity that authentic Prada bags do.
Fortunately, there are some details that replica manufacturers fail to replicate. This is how you can tell the difference between an authentic Prada bag and a fake.
Most recently made Prada bags come in a soft flannel white dust bag with the Prada logo printed on the front in black. Dustbags for older or vintage bags may come in a navy dustbag or black dust bags with a gold dustbag print, and some dust bags may have a silky fabric.
When you turn the dustbag inside-out, you should find a tag that says the composition of the material (for flannel bags, it should say “100% Cotton”) as well as “Made in Italy.”
2) Authenticity Card
Aside from the dust bag, the Prada bag should also come with an authenticity card and a care booklet. The authenticity card comes in a black envelope with the Prada logo on the center. At the bottom center, the first line should say “Certificato di autenticita” while the second line should say “Authenticity certificate card," both in capitalized letters.
Inside the envelope, the white authenticity card is made of the same material as a credit card. On one side of the product card, you should see the logo and then “Certificato di autenticita ∙ Authenticity certificate card” at the bottom.
On the other side, you should find the bag’s serial number, material, color, the shop where the bag was purchased, and the date it was purchased. A missing date stamp doesn’t necessarily mean the bag is fake, as it’s possible for a sales associate to forget to stamp the date. Counterfeits can have low-quality prints, use a plastic card, and have stamps that don’t match the style of the date or which Prada shop where the bag was purchased.
3) Logo on the Outer Side
All Prada bags should have the iconic inverted triangle logo stitched onto the bag. The inverted triangle plaque should be the same color and material as the rest of the bag, and the logo should legibly and evenly say “Prada”, “Milano”, and “Dal 1913”.
Here’s an example of two outer logos on a leather patch, one from a real Prada bag and one from a fake:
On the real Prada bag, the “Dal 1913” is still readable, compared to the fake replica which is more difficult to read. The fake Prada’s logo is also crooked, with the first A in Prada slightly higher than the rest.
While looking at the outer side, look at the quality of the leather. Prada uses real calf leather which is soft and smooth to the touch, so you can tell it’s the real deal based on texture. Fake leather looks genuine from afar, but it can appear unnaturally shiny and can feel stiff to the touch.
4) Inner Logo
An authentic Prada bag would also have a rectangular plaque on the inner side. It’s usually a metal plaque for bags with fabric interiors, but it can also be an embossed logo especially if the inner lining is made of leather. The logo should say “Prada” and then beneath it in a smaller font, “Milano”, though older bags may have a third line that says “Made in Italy” in capital letters.
If it’s a metal plaque, the type of metal used should match the rest of the hardware. Fake Prada bags, on the other hand, tend to use leather plaques. No real Prada bag uses leather for the inner logo.
Hardware on Prada bags can either have gold-tone metal hardware or be made of stainless steel, but it can’t be both. Authentic Prada bags use either metal that matches the metal used in the outer logo plaque. Fake Prada bags tend to use plated metal that feels lighter and can chip, and its metal finish can tarnish with regular wear and tear. They may also use different types of metal for the hardware and the plaque.
Also check the hardware for engraving. Areas like the outer zippers, rope chain, metal feet, locks, and buttons will have “Prada” or both “Prada Milano” engraved in capital letters. These are quality zippers sourced from manufacturers like Lampo, YKK, Riri, Opti, and Ipi, and their logos may be found on the inner side of the zipper. These are good quality zippers that feel heavier and can run smoothly through the teeth.
6) Inner Lining
The inner linings of real Prada bags are made with either embossed jacquard nylon fabric or genuine leather (which can be Nappa leather or quality calf leather). The lining should have an embossed rope motif where “Prada” is embossed and upside-down every other line.
The color of the lining must also match the color of the outer side of the bag. Fake Prada bags tend to use a light neutral color that doesn’t match or complement the outer color of the bag.
Another thing to spot in real Prada bags are the tags. Try to find a tag inside the bag that says “Made in Italy”. Check the inside pockets for a second white tag that has a number on it – that’s the factory tag that should have a factor stamp number that indicates the factory code where the bag was made. This white tag isn’t present in smaller Prada bags and is printed or embossed somewhere in the interior leather of the bag.
The stitching lines of the seams at the top of a Prada bag are slightly angled. This angled stitch pattern can be difficult to replicate, as mass market replicas tend to use regular straight stitches for the top. Take a look at these two examples:
Fake Prada bags also tend to have sloppy and uneven stitching that’s prone to double stitches and glued stitching. Authentic Prada bags use strong thread that matches the color of the leather and have perfectly even stitching.
Don’t forget to check the stitching on the bag’s handles. The seams of the handles should be on the inner side of the handles facing each other. Counterfeit Prada bags have handle seams that face outwards.
Not Sure? Use a Designer Authentication Service
These signs to watch out for are a good way to spot real Prada bags from counterfeit ones. But if you don’t trust your gut or your authentication skills a hundred percent, try to check if the seller you’re buying from is a reliable and trustworthy seller. These are sellers that have been operating for years and have a strong following of clients that can vouch for their authentic luxury goods.
If you’re really not sure and want a professional to take a look, you can opt to get a third-party authentication service. These are online services where they can guarantee if a Prada bag (or any other luxury brand) is authentic or not based on photos and links to the seller’s page.
Visit HG Bags Online for New and Pre-Owned Prada Bags
Counterfeits are getting more difficult to differentiate from authentic luxury items like bags. But if you know what to look for, you’re less likely to get duped and more likely to buy genuine Prada bags that offer you the quality the brand is known for. Of course, if you’re unsure about the tiny details to look out for, buying from reliable sources is a smart option, too.
HG Bags Online has been selling authentic new and pre-owned luxury designer bags since 2002. We offer our customers the security and peace of mind that they’re getting exactly what they’re paying for. Browse through our online store today to find Prada and other designer brands today.
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