With its ever growing and world-wide following, Prada purses have been one of the most commonly copied and reproduced designer bags in the industry. While there are some bag manufacturers that publicly admit their products are replicas, many sellers claim their purses are authentic and sell them for retail prices.
Unless you are part of the elite group who can afford to buy these bags by the bundle, a Prada purse is not just bag but an investment. Having a keen eye and an informed mind is your most valuable weapon against being short-changed by these knockoffs. The wisest way to spot a fake Prada purse is to familiarize yourself with the unchanging elements of the original, designer piece.
Note the “R” in the PRADA logo. All original Prada pieces carry the logo with a notch at the top of the right leg the “R”. If this minute but very telling detail is not present in the logo of that bag, don’t buy it. The purse is definitely a counterfeit.
Look at the inside label of the purse. Open the purse, or if you are buying online, ask for a close-up photo of the inside label. The label should indicate “Prada Made in Italy”, no more and no less. Most knockoffs often fail to put “Made in Italy” or include additional details such a “Milano, Italy”. Labels on fake purses also usually indicate that they are made in a country other than Italy. Also note that in authentic Prada purses, the inside label is always made of leather or metal – whether it be gold, silver, bronze or blackened metal – but never with fabric or plastic. Inside labels should be sewn, not glued, into the lining.
Inspect the lining and the hardware of the bag. An authentic Prada bag’s lining can be made from one of these three materials – the Prada signature fabric, vitello or a smooth calf leather and raso or satin. The lining is usually black or a complement of the bag’s color scheme. The Prada logo is always imprinted horizontally throughout the lining, each logo separated by a sideways letter “S” (i.e. PRADA~PRADA~PRADA). The hardware of Prada bags, which include zippers, closures, chains, buckles or clasps, are always made of antique brass. These can be either silver-toned, rose-color gold-toned or simply gold-toned. An original Prada purse always has the Prada logo engraved on its hardware. A skewed, misprinted or altogether missing logo is a tell tale sign that a Prada purse is fake.
Check for the authenticity card. Every original Prada purse comes with a printed control number inside the bag. The same number can also be found inside a small black envelope included in your purchase. Both numbers should be a perfect match and any discrepancy is an indication that the bag is not authentic.
Take time to inspect the dustbag. All Prada purses are packaged using a white dustbag with a black Prada logo imprinted on its front face. The dustbag may vary in style and sizes but the material used is always the same white cloth. If the dustbag is not present or is of a different color and material, then that Prada purse is a fake.
With more advanced technology available, manufacturers of knockoff designer bags are becoming more and more adept at producing very good replicas. However, these replicas are still far from perfect. Following the tips above can guide you in making sure that when you’ve finally decided to invest in one of Prada’s designer purses, you are getting full value for you money.