The counterfeit industry hurts sales of genuine items and damages the reputation of these brands. Prada is one of many high-end handbags that are favorites of the counterfeit industry. However, as with any finely made product, getting a fake exactly right often proves difficult. When shopping for your new Prada, look for certain tells or indicators that what you are considering is the real article.
Pay attention to where the bag is being sold. Getting Prada bags or clutches from Prada boutiques or authorized department stores is a virtual guarantee the item is real. On the other hand, online auction houses and even second-hand sellers can’t always guarantee the authenticity of an item. Buy high-end items from reputable locations.
Look at the offering price. Prada bags in general hover north of $1,000, with smaller clutches running a little less. If the item you’re examining is far lower than recommended retail, that is a red flag. This holds true with any luxury item, not just Prada.
Look closely at the interior tag. It should say “Prada Made In Italy.” Any variance of this, including rearrangement of the words, added punctuation or misspellings, indicates a bootleg item. The lone exception to this are wallets, which say “Prada Milano Made In Italy” on one side and the traditional plaque on the other.
Examine the “R” in the “Prada” logo on the bag’s clasp. Most fakes stamp this letter incorrectly. Real Prada bags have the “R” with a slight curve, with counterfeit items stamping it overly straight. Zippers and snaps on authentic pieces are stamped with “Prada,” “IPI,” “Opti,” “Lampo,” “YKK” or “riri.” Messy printing or no printing at all is a tell. All hardware is either silver, gold or rose-toned. Authentic Prada bags never mix and match metal colors.
Examine the outer plaque. It should be riveted firmly on all three corners, and you should be able to feel the raised — not recessed — lettering. Additionally, the enamel should match or be extremely close in color to the leather. The rim matches the rest of the hardware, such as zippers and rivets. Make sure all the letters are the same size and not off-center.
Check the liner. All Prada products feature a satin or calfskin liner with a slightly elongated “Prada” embossing. Between the logo is a sideways filigree-style spacer. Fake liners often feel like polyester or rip-stop material. Similarly, the flannel-like bag surrounding the piece inside the box should not shed, and should feature accurate printing. Bags are white with black raised lettering, with older dark blue bags featuring gold lettering. Some Prada accessories use a plastic bag with logo. All three versions should feature a drawstring closure.
Verify that the authenticity cards actually match the description of the item. Tells are inaccurate color descriptions or messy bar code printing. Envelopes and card covers should be dark purple, with matching purple glossy embossed lettering.
References and ResourcesMy Perfect Designer Handbag: Spot a Fake Prada Handbag
eBay Guides: Authentic Prada Purse Buying Guide
eBay Guides: Knowing Fake Prada from Real Prada Explained!
Only Designer Handbags: Authentic Prada Handbag