How To Authenticate Prada

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As Catherine Travers is working on new posts on authenticating designer handbags, I will be sharing past articles she collaborated on with different bloggers. This post was originally written by Sarah Garden at the Short List Dubai. You can read the original article or more of Sarah’s work here.

Prada are the masters of leather. The luxury Italian fashion house was founded in 1913 by Mario Prada, with a focus on accessories including bags and shoes. Although the brand has gone through many changes, mainly under the creative direction of Muiccia Prada during the 80’s, they are still known for their leather goods.

It can be more difficult to distinguish a fake Prada tote than the likes of Louis Vuitton, because the fashion house have always tried to be more subtle in their branding. This “reverse status” ethos means that most Prada bags only have one logo visible, much like the classic Prada Saffiano Lux Double Zip Tote. We asked our go-to authenticity expert from InSeller, Catherine Travers, to give us the inside knowledge on spotting a fake.

Materials
The leather used in the Lux totes is a special kind of leather called Saffiano. It gets its name from the cross hatched pattern that is pressed into the leather. The pattern should be very detailed and set to a small scale. Some fakes will often have a larger pattern pressed much deeper into the leather than the authentic counterpart.
Left: Authentic Prada bag. Right: Fake Prada bag.

Hardware
As a rule, Prada uses high-quality Italian branded zippers, the most common being Riri or Lampo. On the two zip compartments of the bag, the zipper teeth should lie straight and zip smoothly, exhibiting the quality hardware used in the construction. But be careful! Many counterfeit manufacturers have begun using these branded zippers as well, so examine more than the zip. The snaps engraved with the Prada insignia should be written clear and be easy to read.
Left: Authentic Prada bag. Right: Fake Prada bag.

Exterior Logo
On newer styles, the logo on the front of the bag should be placed on top of an inverted triangular piece of matching saffiano leather. The logo letter plates should have a flat, not curved surface, and all worlds and phrases should be spelled correctly. The lettering should be clear, concise and easy to read.
Left: Authentic Prada bag. Right: Fake Prada bag.

Interior Logo
The interior logo should be in the form of a rectangular enamel nameplate affixed to the single open pocket in the main compartment of the bag.
Left: Authentic Prada bag. Right: Fake Prada bag.

Construction
The panels and piping of the bag should reflect the quality craftsmanship of the Prada brand heritage. Seams should be free of gaps and material should not pucker. In authentic Prada bags, a small square white tab with a number should be affixed to an interior seam. Another tip about the construction is the measurement. The Saffiano Lux tote comes in three sizes, Large, Small and Mini. The one in particular that we are examining is the medium with a standard size of 25.4cm x 33cm.
Left: Authentic Prada bag. Right: Fake Prada bag.

Stitching
A tell-tale sign of a fake Prada bag can also be the stitching. Prada utilizes the highest quality standards when it comes to manufacturing, so the stitching should be perfect and expertly aligned. The individual stitches on authentic Prada bags are done at an angle, whereas stitches on a fake bag are completely straight.
Left: Authentic Prada bag. Right: Fake Prada bag.

I’ll be posting more of Catherine’s past articles on authenticating designer handbags along with her new posts which will be coming soon! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

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