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If the high cost of haute couture is stomping on your budget, it can be tempting to reach for the discount "designer fakes" available online and in flea markets -- but wouldn't you rather have the real thing? Not only do fakes hurt your rep, they hurt the designer too -- someone else is getting paid for Prada's work. Learn how to spot the real deal and try to save money in other ways, such as getting your designer duds secondhand.
Examine the box. Prada shoe boxes are made of plastic, not cardboard, and the top should be blank with no logos. Look for a Prada logo on one side of the box; underneath, you should see the words "Made in Italy." Imposters are likely made in China or elsewhere and cannot legally claim they are made in Italy if they weren't, so this is an easy way to spot the real deal.
Check out the sleeper bag. It should be made of silver plastic with a silver cord drawstring. A red (or black) drawstring is a red flag, as is a cloth bag.
Investigate the insole. Impostors glue their insoles to the shoe, but the insoles on real Pradas are removable. There should be a Prada logo on the insole and another logo underneath it in the heel area.
Question the quality. Real Pradas are made to last; look for high-quality materials, construction and stitching. They're also built for comfort; real Pradas should fit snugly and cause your feet no pain. If the threads look loose, uneven, nicked or frayed, you may have an impostor on your hands. Fakes are made of cheap materials that fall apart easily and won't feel as comfortable -- that's what makes investing in the real thing worth it!