Historic Italian fashion house Prada is known for its luxury and stylish handbags that will fit perfectly into any collection – but how do you tell if a Prada bag is real?
One of the top luxury brands, Prada, is a staple at Milan fashion week and consistently produces some of the most incredible ready-to-wear collections and stunning accessories that are an instant hit.
The brand was founded by Mario Prada in 1913, alongside his brother Martino, opening their first leather goods store in Milan selling trunks imported from England. Although Mario Prada did not want women to take on a role in his company, his daughter Luisa took over the brand and ran it successfully for twenty years.
Luisa’s daughter Miuccia Prada inherited the luxury brand in 1978 and has developed it to become a world-renowned luxury fashion house that is at the cutting edge of contemporary fashion.
With Miuccia Prada at the helm, everyone wants to get their hands on a Prada bag, but you want to be sure you have an authentic bag rather than a fake. We’ve created a list of the things you should look for on your Prada bag to help tell whether it is the real deal or a counterfeit.
How to tell if a prada bag is real
There are many ways that you can tell if your Prada bag is real or not, from small details like stitching, all the way to bigger giveaways like a dodgy logo.
While we have outlined all the things to look for below, it may be easier to see the authentication process and the differences between real and fake bags on video, which is why we’ve included the helpful tutorial from My Closet Rocks above.
If you are ever in doubt about the legitimacy of your Prada bag, we definitely recommend getting the bag’s authenticity checked by a qualified professional.
1. The Logo
All authentic Prada bags will have the Prada logo sitting on the front of the bag – most of the time this will be in the form of the iconic inverted triangle enameled Prada logo.
This logo plaque should clearly show the Prada name and feature the words ‘Milano’ and ‘Dal 1913’. The plaque should also be firmly attached to the fabric of the bag, while any stitching should be neat and even.
On some styles of Prada handbags, the hardware will instead read ‘Prada Milano’, with this logo directly attached to the fabric of the bag rather than being printed on any enameled hardware.
When looking at the logo on a Prada bag, it is crucial to check the spacing between the letters and look for the unique ‘R’ in the name ‘Prada’. The ‘R’ in Prada will have a small notch in it and the base of the ‘R’ should have a curved flick to it – if the ‘R’ is more of a block capital letter, this is a sign it is a fake bag.
2. Dust bag
The first thing you should be aware of is the fact that all Prada bags come with a dust bag – with newer styles, the dust bag will be made from a white soft flannel or silky material, while with an older bag, the dust bag will be navy.
The dust bag will also have the Prada name printed on it – you need to look closely at the font of this logo to check that the spacing between the letters is even and the printing is crisp and clear with no smudging or bleeding.
Some fake Prada bags will come with a dust bag but the quality of the materials will not be a high standard and the printing of the logo may be off. Inside this bag, you should also find a care booklet that will let you know what you can do to best protect your original Prada bag.
3. Authenticity card
All Prada handbags also come with a white plastic authenticity card; this will usually be found inside the dust bag. On the authenticity card, you should find the serial number of the bag you have bought and the correct style information (which will outline the style of the bag, the color, and the material).
Just to double-check this is legit, be sure to search for the serial number and style information online to make sure it corresponds to the bag you have bought.
Some of the counterfeit Prada bags will also come with an authenticity certificate card but the quality of the card and the printing will be much lower – there may be discoloration and uneven spacing which will tell you that this is a fake Prada bag.
They may also have bizarre serial numbers that don’t actually correspond to the way that Prada creates their serial numbers, so it’s worth looking it up if you suspect something is wrong.
4. The Interior label
Prada handbags will also have an interior plaque attached to the lining of the bag – these will often be slightly different depending on the style of bag you have. If you have an older vintage Prada bag, this interior plaque will read ‘Prada Milano Made in Italy’ on three separate lines.
Whereas if you have a newer Prada handbag, the plaque will read, ‘Prada Made in Italy’ across just two lines. Most of the time this will be a ceramic plaque or enameled plaque, however, it is worth noting that some of the non-leather bags will have a leather patch interior label instead.
Again, it is always worth checking the font of the Prada logo to make sure you haven’t got a fake Prada handbag.
5. Zippers and hardware
The best way to check if you have a real Prada bag is to pay close attention to the hardware. All of the hardware on a Prada bag will have the name of the brand engraved onto it – this includes any buckles, metal feet, locks, or zippers (and always make sure to check the inside of the bag for any internal zippers).
Always check the quality of the engraving on the hardware, there should be even spacing between the letters of the Prada name and the quality of the engraving should be crisp and clear. If the hardware is blank, this is a sure-fire way to know you have a fake Prada bag.
The hardware on authentic Prada handbags it’s also very high quality, often it’ll be made from stainless steel or it will be gold-plated – there will be a perfect shine to the hardware with no discoloration.
Also, take a closer look at the zipper of your Prada bag. A zipper that is attached to a real Prada handbag will move smoothly with no sticking, whereas some of the more inexpensive zippers that are found on counterfeit bags may be prone to sticking and the zipper will be hard to open.
As a general rule, Prada always uses the same few companies to make their zippers – these include Lampo, Opti, Ykk, Ipi, and Riri. The zipper brand name will always be engraved onto the zip, often on the underside of the zipper.
6. Exterior and interior fabrics
Genuine Prada bags are known for their top-quality materials, this includes the exterior and the lining of the bag.
Always have a feel of the leather, if you have a leather Prada bag – authentic leather will feel soft and supple while fake leather that is used in counterfeit bags will be a little stiffer, not as luxurious to the touch, and may have a slight chemical or plastic-like smell.
For the lining, it will either be an embossed jacquard nylon fabric or genuine leather. On the jacquard lining, there will be a rope motif and the Prada name will be repeated, on every other line the Prada logo will be printed upside down so make sure do you look closely at the lining to make sure it is the real deal.
The jacquard nylon interior fabric will be in a color that matches the exterior of the Prada bag. Some of the newer, more modern Prada handbags will have a Nappa leather lining for a more luxurious finish.
Our top bag Picks
Prada is known for sleek, minimalist handbags that stand the test of time – when buying your new Prada bag always be sure to head to a reputable store such as Bergdorf Goodman, or a well-known resale site, such as Fashionphile to make sure you are getting a real Prada bag.
1. Re-Edition 2000 Zip Shoulder Bag
One of the hottest shoulder bags of the moment, the Prada re-edition 2000 zip shoulder bag is a timeless classic that will never go out of style.
For durability, the bag is made from nylon and has a canvas and leather trim, the flat shoulder strap ensures comfort, while the zip-top closure means you have easy access to all your essentials.
The only decoration on the front is the instantly recognizable inverted triangle Prada logo, while the outside of the bag also features a removable leather key chain that celebrates this handbag as one of Prada’s re-edition bags.
2. Vela Recycled Nylon Backpack
Another quintessentially Prada bag is the Vela Recycled nylon backpack.
This is perhaps one of the most loved backpacks out there and it’s clear to see why – it’s completely functional in its recycled nylon fabric and multiple buckled pockets, while also being totally stylish with the addition of calf leather trims and gleaming silver hardware.
Inside the drawstring closure is a luxuriously lined spacious interior with slip and zip pockets – all for a retail price of just $1,850.
3. Mini Triangle Logo Leather North-South Tote Bag
If you are looking for the perfect mini tote bag, then the Prada Triangle Logo Leather North-South tote bag is perfect for you.
Available in four different colors, this bag is made from buttery-soft calf leather and then is embossed with the inverted triangle Prada logo – giving the bag a gorgeously tactile finish. The rolled top handles are luxurious and attached to the bag with delicate silver hardware.
The roomy interior also features a slip pocket so you don’t lose your small essentials at the bottom of your bag.
4. Velvet Crocodile Micro Cahier Bag
For those of you after a more unique bag to add to your collection, the Prada Velvet Crocodile Micro Cahier bag is just what you need.
The bag is made from a combination of indulgent black velvet and crocodile leather for a luxurious finish. While the black of the bag is then accentuated by the aged brass hardware in the closure and chain-link strap. The strap is long enough to be worn on the shoulder or across the body making this bag totally versatile.
Resale sites such as Fashionphile are perfect for finding those one-of-a-kind bags that are just irresistible.
We hope you found this article on how to tell if a Prada bag real helpful and loved our bag recommendations! For more luxury fashion content, check out the posts below.