Take a peek at the price tag. This is your first clue in determining if the bag is a fake. For fashion mavens, the sticker price won't be a shock. For the rest of us -- cha-ching! If the Prada Fairy retails for $2,200 to $3,000, it's the real deal. If the bag seems like a steal, it just might be. Step away from the merchandise. Stat!
Handle the bag. Not too rough, just a gentle caress. You'll notice the difference between an authentic bag and a fake immediately. Is the bag real leather or faux? If the material appears stiff or feels rugged to the touch like elephant hide, look who's faking it. A Prada Fairy bag is crafted from deerskin leather. It feels soft and supple, like a well-made pair of gloves or Italian shoes.
Take bag style into account. Don't be fooled if you see a tote, shoulder bag or anything in-between with the Prada fairy design. The only two types of Prada Fairy bags produced are the satchel, which has a squared-shape and the bowler with softer rounded edges.
Examine the delicate fairy design. Against a woodland backdrop, an authentic satchel highlights two wood nymphs on one side and a solitary fairy on the other. The bowler bag presents only one fairy. Both have delicate flowers. If the bag has other woodland elements, put it down. Take the real thing or nothing at all.
Check the colors. The predominate color of the bag is ivory with a rich mauve interior; the color of raspberry sorbet. If you're looking at a bag with a mustard-yellow background and greens, it screams, "Fake!" The actual design colors include sepia and black detailing with complementary plum accents.
Scrutinize the hardware. Prada's gold-toned metal has a polished, almost reflective appearance, not a matte finish. It should be oh, so shiny from its handle attachments to its protective feet underneath. If it's not -- fake, hello! Be alert for flaws such as nicks or loose metal flecks. The Prada logo on the side has raised black-filled gold lettering. "Prada" is followed below by "Milano" and then the company's emblem. The zipper, decorative lock and the feet will also state "Prada."
Check the stitching. The interior leather Prada patch features mauve stitching to match the interior.
If the bag is not accompanied by a Prada gift box, an authenticity card, dust bag and booklet, the fashion police are on their way.