Prada Vs Chanel: Which Fashion House Is Right For You?

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Prada and Chanel are two major luxury brands with a wide range of stunning clothes and accessories. If you are trying to decide which brand is right for you, this Prada vs Chanel article will help you out!

Small Prada triangle bag with crystals
© Andrea Astesiano |

If you love luxury fashion you will be well aware of Prada and Chanel – two iconic European fashion houses. Italian brand Prada is known for its minimalist aesthetic and famous triangular logo that appears as a motif across their clothing, accessories, and handbags.

Chanel is a classic brand that has been beloved by celebrities and fashion icons since its founding, making Chanel’s tweed suits and quilted handbags are world famous. It may seem that these two luxury brands are quite similar, with their expensive price tags and gorgeous ready-to-wear collections, but if you delve a little deeper, you will see significant differences between Prada and Chanel.

This article will take a look at the history of each brand, the differences between them, and best-selling pieces from both fashion houses, before coming to a conclusion on Prada vs Chanel!

Prada vs Chanel

The history of Prada

Prada is a top Italian fashion house that is a staple of Milan Fashion Week. The luxury brand was founded by Mario Prada and his brother Martino in 1913 and first began as a leather goods shop called Fratelli Prada.

Ironically, Mario Prada did not believe that women should be a part of his family business, but his son didn’t want to be a part of the company, and in the end, Mario’s daughter Luisa ended up running Prada for nearly twenty years. In 1970, Miuccia Prada joined the brand and took over from her mother Luisa in 1978.

Over the years, more and more of Miuccia Prada’s ideas were incorporated into the house of Prada, Miuccia began to have an increased impact on Prada bags and leather goods, which only make the brand more popular. In the 1980s, Prada expanded across the rest of Europe and the United States, having more of an impact on the fashion world and opening stores in Florence, Paris, New York City, and Madrid.

It wasn’t until 1988 that Miuccia Prada launched the very first women’s ready-to-wear collection, featuring classic designs, basic neutral colors, and plush fabrics. These womenswear collections proved popular throughout the 1990s and in 1994 a menswear range was launched.

Miuccia Prada’s signature style was the ugly chic style, which initially did not appeal to all customers, but quickly became seen as original and unique. Now, Prada is a beloved fashion brand offering handbags, men’s and women’s clothing, perfumes, shoes, and accessories with an effortlessly cool style that is totally irresistible.

The history of Chanel

The French designer brand, Chanel was founded by couturière Gabrielle Chanel, also known as Coco Chanel, in 1910. Chanel’s designs were revolutionary in the history of women’s fashion, as her clothing freed women from the corset and creates clothes that women were able to move in.

For example, Chanel’s ready-to-wear collection often included blouses and trousers, which were relatively new additions to women’s fashion in the 1910s.

Even the colors used in Chanel’s designs were unusual; most of her clothes were black, grey, and navy, which were traditionally menswear colors. This is how Chanel became known for her little black dress that was completely different from the vibrant designs of the 1920s but fitted in with the popular silhouette of short, loose dresses of the 1920s.

During the second world war, the house of Chanel was closed, only selling jewelry and perfumes. After the war, Chanel was inspired by Dior’s New Look and its silhouette of a full bust and skirt, with a narrow waist in the middle and started designing again in 1953.

Iconic bags were added to the collection during this time, featuring gold chain link straps that allowed women to carry their bags in their hands or on their shoulder. In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld became the chief designer, keeping some of the favorite elements of Chanel’s designs, but continuing to evolve and create modern staples.

Virginie Viard became the creative director of Chanel in 2019 and continued to create sublime ready-to-wear collections and classic handbags, shown all across the world in elaborate and memorable fashion shows that always catch the attention of fashion enthusiasts all over the world.

Differences between Prada vs Chanel

There are some significant differences between Prada and Chanel that are going to help you decide which brand is best for you – let’s get into it!

1. Price Range

The price range is a great place to begin so you can get an idea of the budget you need for each brand. The Prada prices for their handbags range between $795 and $7,500, depending on the material and size of the Prada bag.

Chanel bags, on the other hand, are available for between $2,950 and $11,500, although there are some exotic leather bags that are much more expensive – as you can see Chanel handbags are significantly more pricey. Chanel has recently increased their prices significantly and it is likely there will more price increases in the future.

2. Resale Value

The resale value of these two brands also differs greatly. Since Prada bags are much more affordable, to begin with, their resale value is lower and their bags do not appreciate in value as well as Chanel bags do.

Since Chanel bags are more expensive, the price increases more steep, and the brand working towards making their expensive handbags more exclusive and difficult to get hold of, Chanel bags have a high resale value and often hold their value very well. Many classic Chanel bags can also be sold for a profit on the resale websites, thanks to the frequent price increases.

3. Materials

Prada and Chanel use a range of materials in the production of their designer handbags and some materials may be better suited to some styles more than others.

Prada primarily makes use of Nappa leather, saffiano leather, jacquard fabric, and nylon in their handbags – the leather is super luxurious but a little more delicate, while the nylon and jacquard options are better if you don’t want to have to baby your handbag.

Most Chanel bags are made from leather, this may be lambskin, calfskin, caviar leather, or goatskin – caviar and deerskin leathers are a little more durable while lambskin and goatskin are more likely to scratch and scuff.

4. Brand Aesthetic

Prada and Chanel both create sophisticated handbags, but the two fashion houses have different brand aesthetics, and one of these aesthetics may suit your style better, helping you to decide which brand is right for you.

Prada is known for its sleek and minimalist style – the silhouettes are clean and sharp and decoration is often kept to a minimum. You will often find the Prada logo on the front of a handbag, but there are few other features that make the bag instantly recognizable as Prada, which is great if you like a more paired-back look.

Chanel has a more striking brand aesthetic, in which logos and brand motifs are an important part of Chanel handbags and clothing. Tweed, diamond quilted leather, Camelia’s, and the CC logo are all recognizable motifs that are quintessentially Chanel.

Just like Prada, the silhouettes are kept to classic, timeless shapes with a strong structure and clean lines, but Chanel handbags are often eye-catching with the quilted leather and bold CC logo sitting on the front.

If you like more of a minimalist, chic look then Prada is perfect for you, but if you want a glamorous, more luxurious handbag, then Chanel is the right brand since their aesthetic is more striking and decorative.

5. Exclusivity

Over recent years, the exclusivity of certain luxury brands and their leather goods has changed, often making it more difficult to get your hands on your favorite bag. This is not the case for Prada, where you will find that most Prada bags are easily accessible in a Prada store, online, or in particular department stores.

Some of the most expensive Prada bags may be a little more difficult to buy online or will go out of stock faster, but the most popular bags are easy to buy.

However, Chanel has changed to make their bags more desirable and therefore more exclusive. There are now limits on the number of Chanel bags you are able to buy within a year, plus you may have to sign up to a waiting list in order to get the handbag in the right color and leather.

This means the resale market has become a popular place to buy a Chanel bag because you can easily find the color, style, and type of leather you want easily. The restrictions on new Chanel bags may have an impact on which brand you decide on and which handbag you can actually buy easily.

Best-selling bags from Prada Vs Chanel

There are so many gorgeous bags available from both Prada and Chanel, so we have narrowed it down to a few best-selling pieces that we think you will love – and perhaps inspire a future luxury purchase!

1. Shoulder bags
Black Prada Re-Edition 2005 Re-Nylon bag
Get this on Prada
Black Chanel Classic Caviar Jumbo Double Flap Bag
Browse Chanel Double Flap Bags on The RealReal

We love the versatility and adaptability of this Prada Re-Edition 2005 Re-Nylon bag, with the timeless black design and sparkling silver hardware. This bag is crafted from black nylon, to ensure durability, and is decorated with a triangular Prada logo, then finished calfskin leather trim.

This luxury handbag comes with a main shoulder bag, a hanging zip pouch, an adjustable shoulder strap, and a silver chain top handle – these elements can be removed so you can adapt the bag to suit you, making this bag ideal for both day and night wear!

The Chanel double flap bag is a classic designer handbag that is a must-have in any luxury bag collection. This bag is available in a range of sizes and colors, but the black caviar leather is a timeless choice and the jumbo size is spacious enough to fit all your essential items.

This stunning bag is finished with gleaming gold hardware on the chain shoulder strap, CC logo, and turn lock. The interior is lined with leather and fitted with 5 interior pockets so it’s easy to keep your handbag organized.

2. Top handle Bags
Black Prada Soft padded nappa leather mini-bag
Get this on Prada
Black Chanel Mini Chevron Coco Handle Bag
Browse Chanel Mini Coco Bags on The RealReal

How can you resist the plush and sumptuous look of this Prada Soft padded nappa leather mini-bag?! Crafted from supple nappa leather, this bag has a rounded silhouette with a cut-out top handle and then punctuated with the enameled Prada logo.

The zipper closure opens to reveal a compact interior lined with nappa leather, the perfect size for your phone, keys, and wallet. This bag also comes with a detachable strap so you can wear this bag across the body too!

The Mini Coco is a classic bag that has an elegant and chic look – just flawless! Crafted from dark blue caviar leather, this top handle bag features chevron quilting and sparkling silver hardware for the CC turn lock.

This bag features a structured leather top handle and a black chain strap with a leather shoulder pad to guarantee a comfortable feel. There is a rear exterior pocket and a partitioned interior, fitted with two pockets to help you stay organized!

3. Tote Bags
Black Prada Medium leather Prada Symbole bag with topstitching
Get this on Prada
Pink and white Chanel Large Deauville Tote
Browse Chanel Deauville Totes on The RealReal

The sleek design and clean lines of this Prada Symbole bag make it totally irresistible and the perfect work bag! This Prada tote is crafted from luxe leather and is available in black or white to suit your personal style.

The leather has been quilted in a triangular pattern, to reflect the shape of the iconic Prada logo, and then features looping leather top handles, a zipper pocket, and a slip pocket so your phone, wallet, and keys are always easy to find.

The Chanel Deauville tote is a beloved designer bag in the Chanel collection! The pink wool of this bag will add a wonderful pop of color to your look, while the white Chanel Rue Cambon logo really stands out in white on the front of the bag.

This tote is finished with pink top handles and a leather threaded gold chain shoulder strap for that classically Chanel look. The interior is lined with canvas and fitted with three pockets – just perfect!

4. Backpacks
Black Prada Small Re-Nylon backpack
Get this on Prada
Grey Chanel Lambskin Quilted Small Duma Drawstring Backpack
Browse Chanel Duma Backpacks on Fashionphile

This Prada Small Buckle Flap Nylon Backpack is one of the most popular luxury backpacks out there because of its timeless style, durable fabric, and fashionable aesthetic. The bag is made from nylon which has a shiny finish and is so durable so you don’t have to be too precious with this bag.

The front of the backpack is completed with two front pockets, a calf leather trim on the buckle closure, and a front flap embellished with the Prada logo. This backpack retails for $2,100 and is available in black, blue, or beige to suit any personal style!

If you are looking for a chic and stylish backpack, then this Chanel Lambskin Quilted Small Duma Drawstring Backpack is perfect for you!

This backpack is made from dark grey lambskin leather and embellished with gold hardware for the CC turn lock closure and chain link straps. The front of the bag is fitted with a handy little pocket, then the roomy interior, with a patch pocket, is secured with a drawstring closure – ideal for your daily essentials items.


Both Prada and Chanel create classic handbags that are so chic and timeless so whatever brand you choose, you know you are going to get an incredible handbag.

If you are looking for a designer bag that is a little more affordable and a bit more durable, then Prada is the brand for you – their minimalist aesthetic is so sophisticated and their bags will really stand the test of time, making them ideal as an everyday handbag.

If you have a little more money to spend and want an iconic handbag, then Chanel is the right brand for you – their bags are world famous and so desirable. Plus Chanel bags are available in lots of different sizes, colors, and leathers so you can adapt the bag to suit you.

We hope you found this article analyzing Prada vs Chanel helpful! For more luxury fashion content, check out the links below.

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