The devil may wear Prada, but so do many of us
Ebay and other auction sites, plus street traders and market vendors carry some real bargains but also a lot of imitations. Before you rush to buy because the price is so good, carry out these five basic checks. It is not only important to avoid replicas from a legal standpoint, discouraging the illegal manufacture which often supports less savory activities. It is also vital for your feet. Counterfeits wont be made to the same quality standards and may not last.
Look at the outside of the box. This brand does not display their logo on top, only discretely on the side with the size and price information, white text on a red strip. The lid should be completely blank. Feel the box itself. If it is cardboard, it is definitely counterfeit. The real item will be made of corrugated plastic, with no expense spared.
Open it up. This brand of footwear is enclosed in a silver dust or sleeper bag with silver drawstring, too. This will never be mesh or plastic. The recognizable red stripe logo will stretch from left to right, reaching to the middle of the bag. The bag may well look quite crumpled, not rigid. It is amazing how many cheap imitations can be identified just by looking at the packaging.
Now and only now, you can start to examine the shoes. Start with the instep. There should be the red strip logo running almost from the heel to the center, with reversed-out white text, capitalized and right aligned.
Then you can lift the insole. It should be easily removable and, below near the heel there should be an engraved logo clearly visible. It should also say Made in Italy beneath the logo, also stamped in. And this manufacturer was founded in 1913, printed underneath the trademark, not 1931. An easy mistake for the forgers to make.
Turn the shoe over and look at the sole. There will be a logo here, either in an ellipse or a triangle. There will never be logos on the sides of shoes, this would be far too showy for Prada. Zips and toggles however should always bear the trademark. Zips should be hard-wearing and of exceptional quality.
So you do not even need to try on cheap Prada shoes to discover whether they are genuine. But when you do, they should fit comfortably. They are made by master craftsmen. All stitching and finishing should be neat and regular. The materials should feel soft and high quality, obviously with real leather. Sniffing them is an easy way to identify genuine leather. Hopefully you will find an absolute bargain of affordable Prada shoes using this simple guide.