Every designer has its tells – little tricks and minor details that will indicate whether or not the handbag is authentic. Some lines within each brand will have even more specific focal points to analyze. Ultimately, the best way to guarantee authenticity is to buy from a trusted reseller with a product guarantee, but educating yourself prior to purchase is always a good idea.
Prada, the long standing Italian luxury fashion house, is famed for posh designs blending clean lines with edgy details and unexpected textiles. The Prada name commands fashion respect with its supreme construction – one of the easiest giveaways of an inauthentic Prada will be poor construction. For a more detailed consideration into whether or not your handbag is real, check out our detailed rundown below.
As mentioned above, a Prada bag will always look worthy of the Prada name. The stitching should be consistent throughout, the color should be even without patches (excluding wear that comes over time), and the overall feeling should be premium.
Prada handbags will feature a small white tag, usually inside the interior pocket, that will display two or three numbers in black indicating the factory number. This tag is referred to as the Factory Tag or the Quality Assurance Tag.
Also inside the bag will be a branded ceramic lacquered plaque matching the color of the bag or a stitched-on leather patch which says ‘Milano’ or ‘Made in Italy’. While this is the general rule, there are some exceptions. For example, some of the smaller bags will simply have the brand markings on the material directly or feature the same wording on a simple internal label.
When examining the exterior of the bag, make sure that any branded plaques are completely secured and centered.
One of the signatures of Prada, counter to other designers, is the refusal to mix metals on their bag hardware. The handbags may feature either silver or gold hardware, but will never include the two together on an authentic bag.
Each piece of true Prada hardware will be engraved, including the zippers, locks, metal, feet, etc… Make sure the engraved PRADA is evenly spaced out and not too narrow or thin in size.
When analyzing the zipper, you should look out for much more than just the famous Prada logo. The fashion house only uses specific brands of zippers with the factory stamps clearly embossed on the underside of the zipper. Such brands include Lampo, Opti, Ipi, Ykk, and Riri.
The Prada logo is also very telling with details that can help in authenticating your bag. The R should have a noticeable indent on the leg. The left leg of both A’s is thin, whereas the right legs are thicker. Finally, the thicker right leg of the A’s extends over the top of the letter into a serif.
The Prada signature rope motif lining is the only exception to their otherwise strict logo rules—there is no indent on the leg of the R, nor does the A overhang on one side and have legs of different size. This lining has other important pieces to pay attention to. The Prada name should be turned upside-down on every other line between the rope motifs. Usually, this print is made from embossed jacquard nylon fabric in black. In the absence of this iconic lining, the bag will be lined in leather (as seen on some of their larger Saffiano bags).
All Prada bags initially come with an authentication card and product card. While these may no longer be available by the time they get to the secondhand market, be sure to assess them if they are provided.
The authenticity card is white plastic, similar to a credit card, with the Prada logo, and is labeled with “Authenticity certificate card” in both English and Italian. While it isn’t mandatory, there are fields on the back to be filled out by the Prada Sales Associate upon the purchase of the item. Often, these are actually left blank, so do not take that to be any sort of red flag one way or another.
The product card is done on a black cardboard in a rectangular shape with the logo embossed in front. This card displays a white sticker on the back with information on the item itself. This information will usually include the product name, the article code (product style), the color, the group name (materials used), and the product number, which will always begin with the article code. Sometimes an added MFSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price) presents in the corner at the bottom right. The aforementioned logo rules will apply on these cards.
Once you’ve done your due diligence, the only thing left to do is shop!
Love that Bag etc is not affiliated with Prada. We guarantee our products to be authentic Prada. Prada is a registered trademark of Prada.