Is Your Kate Spade Bag Fake?

 

Playful sophistication is the hallmark of Kate Spade New York, and since the brand’s launch in 1993, women on every continent have been splurging on its sleek, utilitarian and adorably colorful bags. But when a peek at the pricetag makes a fashionista grapple with style vs. smart spending, she might be likely to fall prey to a too-good-to-be-true deal. Of course, we all want to believe that a girl can find a Kate Spade bag for less than full price, and she can, but how does she know if it’s real? Here are 5 ways to tell.

1. Location, Location, Location

You can’t get authentic Kate Spade from a purse party, a flea market, or in shopping districts such as Chinatown or Santee Alley, nor can the bags be found at mall kiosks or auction sites (sorry). Kate Spade retailers are found in every state and every continent, but those are mainly department stores, luxury boutiques and Kate Spade stores. If you didn’t find your prospective purchase at one of these retailers, it’s safe to say it’s a fake.

2. The Label

On a real Kate Spade bag, a label with a country of origin will be sewn into the bag’s interior. There will also be a label sewn onto the front of the bag. With bags made since the year 2000, the label will say “Kate Spade New York,” unless it is part of a special collection, in which case it will say something such as “Decade” or  “Maira Kalman” below the name. If one of these labels is missing, it’s definitely a fraud.

3. Flip It Over

Look out for large metal feet on the bottom of Kate Spade purses. Big, pointy metal studs or ones wider than the size of a dime are signs that you’re not looking at a real Kate Spade purse.

4. Deja Vu?

Question any Kate Spade purse that looks like another designer’s work. Purses that seem similar to ones made by Dior, Burberry, Coach and other high end designers yet have a Kate Spade label are definite fakes. Kate Spade has a very distinct style and never copies her competitor’s lines.

5. An Eye For Design

Rule out color-block purses, bags with two small pockets in the front and backpacks. Kate Spade did these more than a decade ago and if you see one, it’s likely to be a fake. Even if it is real, it’s probably not worth the money. Also rule out purses with a single large black stripe on top, sunflower prints, toile, camouflage, tie-dye or prints with the faces of celebrities. Kate Spade has never designed bags in those prints.

Still not sure? The simplest way to be sure of a bag’s authenticity is to visit katespade.com and compare the bag in your hand with the ones on the website. Never splurge unless you’re absolutely positive it’s real. Even if the search takes time, at least you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve got the real thing.

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Comments

  1. Cheryl J says

    Thanks for the info, I am so against fake stuff. I don’t even buy real stuff sometimes because where I live it would be assumed to be a knock-off. Give me the real thing or nothing!

  2. says

    I have been waiting for the bag you pictured to hit the Kate Spade site since seeing it in a magazine months ago! I’ll probably keep waiting though, because I’ve found that the best way to get an authentic Kate Spade bag for much (much) less is to get on their e-mail list. They are always sending coupons for an additional amount off of sale items. I recently purchased an organizer and a necklace for less than half their original cost.

  3. Amanda says

    Good advice, except that you *can* buy kate spade (and lots of other designer bags) on eBay. There are lots of reputable sellers on the site. The rule about a price being to good to be true still holds. You can find discounts, but any bag that is super cheap is probably a fake. Always check the seller’s feedback and you can’t go wrong.

  4. Gwen says

    I beg to differ with you on your 1). Location, Location, Location – I went to a tag sale in my town about 8 years ago. Two older ladies were having an estate sale – I bought an authentic Coach satchel, black leather, tagged & numbered – brand new, carefully wrapped in a box. I bought it for $1.00. I had it checked out – it was real. I have also seen ladies, not too often though, selling their authentic Coach, Dooney & Bourke bags, with over $300 price tags. However, you do see the “boot-leg” Coaches and other brand name bags sold in masses at the other end of the Flea Markets. So don’t make claims you can’t back up. YES – you CAN find Coach, Kate Spade and other authentic bags at tag sales and flea markets. But you really have to look very closely. if your nose is up in the air and you can’t bear to purchase a used item – well, that’s your issue. My most recent find – a vintage (from the 70’s) navy blue Coach bag, mint condition, for 25 cents. My sister-in-law purchased a Judith Leiber clutch at a church rummage sale for 50 cents – sold it on Ebay for over $200. There are treasures out there!

    • Lanee says

      Soooo true! I purchased an authentic Kate Spade giraffe print Sam bag at my neighborhood thrift shop for $4.94! If was the third Kate Spade bag I found there. The staff has no clue who this designer is and I’m not inclined to clue them in!

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