Kate Spade vs Michael Kors: Which One Is The Better Investment?

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Torn between two brands to buy from? If so, here’s an in-depth read on Kate Spade vs Michael Kors and which brand is the better investment.

Kate Spade and Michael Kors are two of the most popular designer brands hailing from America. Kate Spade is a more conservative, classic brand that sells designer bags and luxury goods for women, while Michael Kors is a modern, high-end fashion line that also sells accessories and other goods.

These two designer brands have taken the global fashion industry in recent years, along with other American brands like Tory Burch, Coach, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, and many more.

Kate Spade is known for its simple, clean designs that often feature a Kate Spade logo on the front or back. They appeal more to younger consumers for their classic designs and affordability.

On the other hand, Michael Kors is well-known for its more expensive products with bold colors and bolder styles. Kate Spade sells shoes, clothing, watches and handbags while Michael Kors sells shoes, clothing and accessories such as purses and wallets. 

This article will compare Kate Spade vs Michael Kors in three different categories: price point, quality of products offered by each company and style offerings from each company to help you decide which one would be the better investment the next time you’re at the department store!

The History of Kate Spade


Kate Spade New York has been around since 1993 and was founded by Kate Brosnahan Spade and her husband, Andy Spade who saw an opportunity in the market for affordable luxury items. This ultra-feminine brand also had a sibling brand called Jack Spade, which is the brand’s line for men, although this was closed down in 2015.

Kate Spade rose to fame in the 1990s with her rainbow collection of quirky handbags. Her designer handbags are well known for their sleek look, feminine designs, and classic styles. In 2017, the brand was purchased by Tapestry Inc, which also owns the Coach brand and Stuart Weitzman.

The History of Michael Kors


Michael Kors came on the scene in 1981 when the founder, Michael Kors left his position at a boutique called Lothar’s across from Bergdorf Goodman on 57th Street to pursue his own dream of putting up a luxury brand.

The brand went through some turmoil in its early years, before emerging back again in 1997 at a lower price point. This ultimately proved to be the right decision for the brand and helped to make it a household name.

Fast forward to July 2017, MKH Ltd bought Jimmy Choo for £897 million. In September 2018, they also took over Versace Ltd, which was valued at $2.1 billion.

Kate Spade vs Michael Kors Price Comparison

Kate Spade bags tend to be lower in price compared to Michael Kors bags, although this really depends on the style and the size of the bag.

While both are high-end brands, most Kate Spade bags can be yours for more or less $150-$300, while Michael Kors bags typically retail for $300-$500 or more.

Don’t fret though! Both KS and MK bags typically go on sale a few times a year, for example on Black Friday. Also, Kate Spade offers a generous 10% discount on its website for those who sign up to its newsletter.

Kate Spade vs Michael Kors Quality & Style Comparison

1. Materials and craftsmanship

In terms of quality, Kate Spade and Michael Kors both have glowing reviews when it comes to the materials and craftsmanship in their products.

Kate Spade bags are reliable everyday bags designed for the modern woman, and they are constructed with high-quality leather and other materials like nylon, canvas, fabric, pebbled leather, and Italian smooth leather. These bags are ideal for commuting women who need a reliable work bag.

Both Kate Spade and Michael Kors also use Saffiano leather, which is often considered the most durable leather type. Saffiano is scratch-resistant calf leather with a criss-cross pattern that can repel water and stains, making it easy to clean and take care of. In addition to MK and KS, many famous designers like Prada also use it for their bags.

As we mentioned, price-wise Michael Kors handbags are a bit on the higher end, but this isn’t due to any particular craftsmanship or use of proprietary materials: the prices are higher simply because they want them to be.

So, quality-wise we would say that Kate Spade and Michael Kors bags are equally durable and well-made.

2. Brand style

The main difference between the two is in the styles that they carry: Michael Kors is more famous for using monogram canvas and a distinguished, large MK logo, whereas Kate Spade bags are more subtle.

Both are beautiful, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide which style you prefer. Do you want everyone to know you’re carrying a brand-name bag, or do you want to lay low?

Our Favorite Picks From Kate Spade vs Michael Kors

1. Tote Bags

Pink Kate Spade Market Pebbled Leather Medium Tote
Get this bag at Kate Spade
Tan Michael Kors Marilyn Medium Saffiano Leather Tote Bag
Get this bag at Michael Kors

Both Kate Spade and Michael Kors are known for their practical and stylish bags, with tote bags often a particular favorite with customers.

There are lots of incredible tote bags available from both brands, made from high-quality, durable materials, with functional interiors so you can easily keep your busy daily life well organized.

We just love both of these totes – the Market Pebbled Leather Medium Tote from Kate Spade, available in pink or black for just $328, and the Michael Kors Marilyn Medium Saffiano Leather Tote Bag which retails for $228 and is available in 9 different colors to suit every personal style!

 
 
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2. Crossbody Bags

Black Kate Spade Knott Flap Crossbody
Get this at Kate Spade
White Michael Kors Parker Medium Logo Crossbody Bag
Get this at Michael Kors

Your wardrobe is definitely not complete without a crossbody bag. This type of bag is a good option if you’re a go-getter and you want to keep your hand’s free while also having your essentials with you.

The Kate Spade Knott Flap Crossbody is crafted from pebbled leather and has a sleek, minimalist look that will suit any outfit, while the interior is fitted with handy card slots, slip pockets, and zip pockets.

The Michael Kors Parker Medium Logo Crossbody Bag would make a great everyday handbag, since it is made from super durable coated canvas, decorated with the MK monogram, and finished with multiple pockets and an adjustable strap.

3. Wallets

Pink and brown Kate Spade Evelyn Quilted Zip-around Continental Wallet
Get this at Kate Spade
Brown Michael Kors Logo Stripe Continental Wristlet
Get this at Michael Kors

If you are looking for a chic and stylish new wallet, then Kate Spade and Michael Kors both have some fantastic options. Whether you are looking for a card case, coin purse, or larger continental wallet, like the ones pictured above, you are bound to find something you love from these brands.

The wallets are made from the same high-quality materials as the handbags from Kate Spade and Michael Kors so you know these wallets will stand the test of time.

The Kate Spade Evelyn Quilted Zip-around Continental Wallet retails for $228 and has a luxurious supple leather finish, while the Michael Kors Logo Stripe Continental Wristlet is available for $198 and has a gorgeous logo-printed design!

4. Shoes

Black Kate Spade slide sandals
Get this at Kate Spade
Michael Kors black leather sandals
Get this at Michael Kors

Not only are these brands notable for their bags and wallets, but they also have gorgeous footwear for a fairly affordable price! If you’re looking for a pair of stylish sandals, consider these two!

The Polished Slide Sandals from Kate Spade goes for $198, while Michael Kors’ Izzy Embellished Leather Sandals can be yours for $99.

5. Watches

Silver Kate Spade Monroe Pearl Bracelet Watch
Get this on Kate Spade
Silver and rose gold Michael Kors Mini Lauryn Pavé Two-Tone Watch
Get this on Michael Kors

If you want lots of watches to choose from, head to Michael Kors as they are known for their stylish watches, but Kate Spade also has some stunning options available at affordable prices.

There is a wide range of smartwatches, apple watch straps, and traditional watches on offer from Michael Kors in silver, gold, and rose gold tones to suit any style. At Kate Spade, you will find a great range of Apple watch straps and traditional watches in silver tones or black patterned leather.

We just love the bracelet-like design of the Kate Spade Monroe Pearl Bracelet Watch, which is available for just $228! The silver and rose gold design, as well as the pavé embellishments on the Mini Lauryn Pavé Two-Tone Watch from Michael Kors really give it a glamorous touch.

Conclusion

The debate between Kate Spade vs Michael Kors has been going on for quite some time now, and it’s easy to see why. Both brands offer gorgeous and chic bags, clothes, and accessories that appeal to both younger and older generations, and you don’t even have to pay much!

Their prices are relatively fair for the quality of materials that are used, and it’s also been proven that their bags and wallets really last for a long period of time, making them good investments.

While skimming through both brands’ websites earlier, it was pretty obvious that the Michael Kors brand has the upper hand when it comes to product offerings, as they have a vast selection of products for each category. You can also take your time in choosing products, as there is a lot to see.

With Kate Spade, the product offerings are less compared to MK’s website. Take accessories, for example. If you click on the “watch” page, KS only has less than 20 products listed while MK has more or less 40. This is also the same case if you check their “bags” category.

Don’t let this be a turn-off, though! In some cases, products aren’t listed on the website and are only available in their physical stores.

Ultimately, the main difference between the brands is in their style and price points. As we mentioned, both brands use similar materials, so the quality of the products is very similar, which is why we’d say that if you are strictly looking for a good quality bag, go for Kate Spade as the price points are lower.

However, the look of both brands is relatively different, with Kate Spade having a more understated look and MK being a bit more “loud”. If you like monogram canvases and big logos, Michael Kors will be a better fit for you.

We hope you found this article about Kate Spade vs Michael Kors helpful! If you’re still looking for more fashion inspiration, check the posts down below.

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3 Comments

  1. I own many items by each designer; In terms of the logos used, yes, Michael Kors’ displays his monogram more prominently on his items. However, in other regards I feel that Kate Spade offers more choices of fun, bold, cheeky color combinations and are more girly and exciting (such as her polka dot items, bow items, loud res and pink color-block items, lip designs etc.). Many Kate Spade items are luxurious AND eye-catching!

  2. Perhaps, at one time, Michael Kors was the more high end and luxury brand, but now people can buy MK items at TJ MAXX and Ross. I’m no longer impressed by MK as a luxury brand anymore. It has lost status.

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