How to Tell if a Kate Spade Purse is Fake

Models shows off Kate Spade bags at the Kate Spade New York Fall 2011 presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Photo: Joe Corrigan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

At first glance, buying a fake Kate Spade bag may seem like a good deal -- it looks basically the same as the real thing, but for a fraction of the cost. So what's the harm? Here's the problem: Giving money to counterfeiters means you might actually be paying to support child labor, organized crime and even terrorism. This is fashion's dark side, and it isn't pretty. To avoid fakes, learn to spot the differences and use some common sense when purse shopping. Your conscience will thank you for it.


Inspect the purse's logo. Sarah Scroggins, assistant manager at Soho, New York's Kate Spade store, tells that a real-deal Kate Spade purse has the signature "Kate Spade New York" logo sewn on the front. Fakers often glue on the logo rather than stitching it on, so if you see paste you know it's a fake.


Look inside the bag for a label stating the country of origin. Real Kate Spade purses always have this inside. If you see "Made in China," duh, that's a phony. While you're in there, take a good strong whiff of the purse's interior. If you smell glue, that's a bad sign. Kate Spade handbags are seriously well-made; they're not glued together.


Peep out the straps and the sides of the purse. Scroggins says that the straps on real Kates are always either over-the-shoulder or hand-held length, whereas phony bags often have straps of different lengths. Next, look at the sides. Authentic Kate Spades have accordion-style folds on the sides, but knockoffs often have straight, flat sides.


Inspect the purse's stitching. When you're looking at a real Kate Spade purse, the level of craftsmanship is absolutely superb. That means no wobbly stitches, and no bunching or pulling. If stitches aren't as straight as an arrow, don't buy it.


Pay attention to who's trying to sell you this supposed designer purse. Are you buying from an authorized Kate Spade retailer, or are you shopping out of someone's trunk underneath an overpass? Kate Spade's official website says that you'll find only fakes at flea markets, mall kiosks, auction websites and Chinatown districts. Those "purse parties" held by fancy ladies in their homes are also awash in phony merchandise.

Tips & Tricks


Go to an authentic Kate Spade store and take a look at the real deal. Once you've seen and touched an authentic bag, you'll have an easier time spotting fakes.

Don't be fooled by aggressive sellers. Use your common sense and follow your gut.


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