Prada’s iconic ‘ripstop’ nylon fabric began to come to fruition after Miuccia Prada joined the luxury fashion house in 1977. Miuccia found that traditional leather bags were too ‘boring’ and ‘bourgeois’, so she decided to reinvent designer bags by creating them with military-grade nylon. The nylon in question came from a company making parachutes for the military with very fine thread on machines from the 19th century. In 1984, Miuccia designed her now-famous backpack with the iconic nylon that would become a best seller and sold for the same price as a classic leather bag. The decision to price the nylon bags at the same price point as a leather bag faced a lot of backlash, however, Miuccia retaliated that the nylon was specialised and took three to four years of developing to get just right. All these years later, Prada’s nylon bags remain desirable and are a timeless accessory that remain iconic to the fashion house. This guide will highlight significant features of the nylon Prada bag to ensure and identify their authenticity.
- Prada’s ripstop nylon has gradually become thicker as time has gone on, therefore some older bags will be made from a thinner nylon than the newer bags. Regardless of this, every authentic nylon Prada bag should be extremely durable and water resistant.
- The nylon should not be slippery or crunchy and if it features a monogrammed lining, this should be recognisable by touch. Often, however, these bags are unlined.
- Most Prada nylon bags are either known as Tessuto or Vela. Generally, Tessuto nylon is used on the bags of higher value and with more features such as backpacks and satchels. Vela nylon is more often used on the lower value products like pouches and cosmetic bags.
- If your nylon Prada bag does feature a lining, part of it will resemble a rope and the lines in-between will feature a repeated ‘PRADA’ text.
- The lining will either be made from jacquard nylon or nappa leather.
- The A’s in ‘Prada’ should be wide and both should be identical. They will be different to the triangle plaque logo A’s due to the fact they are woven.
- The ‘Prada’ branding should be upside down on every other line.
- On the inside of any authentic Prada bag, there should be a small, square white label, featuring the bag’s factory number.
- The plaque should be on straight and not askew.
- There should be even spacing between each letter.
- The corners of the triangular plaque should all be rounded, rather than pointed.
- Each point of the triangle should also feature a silver rivet – sometimes hollow, sometimes filled in. It is worth noting, however, that some newer models do not feature these rivets.
- The enamel of the plaque should be flat and smooth and the colour should match the colour of the nylon (although some of Prada’s newer models have mismatched plaques).
- Beneath the ‘PRADA’ logo, the plaque should read ‘MILANO’ (not ‘MILAN’) and then ‘DAL 1913’.
- The ‘R’ should feature a slight notch between the right leg and the rounded upper of the letter. This is not always the case, however, as some models feature no notch (particularly some pieces from the late 90’s/early 2000’s).
- The ‘A’s’ should have a thicker right leg that overhangs the left leg at the top.
- If the bag features a web strap, it should be thick and of high quality. If there is any unravelling, this could be a sign that the bag is fake.
- An authentic Prada bag should have some interior branding like a second plaque.
- Things like hardware will be sturdy and of high quality. Sometimes, if the surface area is big enough, the hardware will have ‘PRADA’ embossed on it. Make sure that the lettering is equal in size.
- Unlike Louis Vuitton, authentic Prada bags can come with an authenticity card, however, it is not uncommon for this to have been lost over time.