Fancy treating yourself to a big handbag purchase? Before making an investment, read our in-depth guide on Prada vs Louis Vuitton, to make sure you’re buying from the right brand for you.
Everyone needs to treat themselves sometimes and this can include a trip to the spa, a solo trip to the mountains, or adding a new handbag to your collection. But when it comes to giving yourself a present in the form of a designer bag from luxury brands, you’ve got to do your research first as they aren’t cheap.
Designer bags from renowned fashion houses can cost thousands of dollars, which is why you need to make sure you’re making the right investment. Every designer brand has its own unique flair and expertise so the key is finding out which one aligns best with your preferences and personal style.
Remember, these are status symbols as well! Luxurious fashion really comes with steep price tags.
The resale value of luxury goods is another factor you need to consider when shopping as certain things really don’t hold their value, like clothing and small accessories.
However, the situation with designer bags is quite the opposite. A carefully chosen designer bag can live in your collection forever and even become a valuable heirloom to your kids or grandkids once you pass on (it’s kinda morbid, we know).
If buying and then selling handbags is your hobby, certain luxury products hold their value much better than others. A well-timed and thought through purchase and subsequent sale could really make you a wad of cash that can be spent on clothing or other bags.
Purchasing a luxury designer handbag is a major moment in your life and deserves to be celebrated. After making the wise decision to spend a substantial amount of money on a bag, you’ve got to find the designer and model that will best suit your lifestyle.
To help you embark on this new and exciting journey into the fashion world, we’ve compiled a list of everything you need to know about Prada Vs Louis Vuitton before selecting your bag (or any other item) from either brand.
Not only the devil wears Prada
The brand we know and love today, Prada, was founded in 1913 by Mario Prada who lived in Milan. The designer house started as a company for luxury leather goods but failed to make a huge impact on the fashion scene until his granddaughter, Miuccia Prada, took over the company in 1978.
Miuccia’s first success was creating a black nylon backpack that adorned a triangle-shaped silver label. After the backpack became incredibly popular, she started creating handbag and shoe designs that would become the focus of fashionistas living in Japan, the United States, and Europe.
In 1989, Prada introduced a collection of ready-to-wear clothing, landing spots in upper-class boutiques all across the world. Today, Prada competes against other luxury designers like Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Gucci, Hermes, and Versace.
When it comes to Prada’s design style, its pieces are said to be a combination of classic and eccentric, and frumpy yet hip. It sounds like quite the contradiction but it works.
Prada handbags draw on northern Italian traditions of elegance and funky fabrics that work together to create unique styles that remain relatively understated.
Miuccia Prada once said, “I make ugly clothes from ugly material. Simply bad taste. But they end up looking good anyway.” We really wish we had half of this confidence.
If you would consider your style to be sophisticated but love to mix in some unique elements here and there, Prada bags are a great option for you.
All About Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton is the second oldest luxury brand still on the market today, right behind Hermès. The founder, Louis Vuitton, launched the brand in 1854 in fashion hub Paris, France.
Louis Vuitton was once born into a farming family and was taught the effects of hard work and perseverance at a young age, which eventually extended into his fashion career. When he was 16, he decided to walk 400km from his home town to Paris where he would start a new life for himself, going on to become a successful luggagee maker.
Once he mastered the craftsmanship of making luggage trunks for the elite (including Napoleon III’s wife, Empress of France), Louis Vuitton opened his own boutique that was filled with similar items that had already become huge hits in the industry.
After years of making trunks, Louis Vuitton passed away and his company was passed onto his son George, who went on to change the print of their luggage and introduce the brand’s LV monogram. The iconic monogram garnered an impressive amount of fame among celebrities and elite clientele.
Like Prada, Louis Vuitton offers quite a lot of ready-to-wear clothing, and more recently, they have started to steer towards more street style pieces, especially when it comes to men’s ready-to-wear. Everything sold at Louis Vuitton is of exceptional design and craftsmanship, made with care and passion.
Many Louis Vuitton handbags can be sold for more than their purchase price and if you pick your items knowingly, you can even sell them for a profit in a couple of years’ time.
People in the luxury community often refer to Chanel, Hermès and Louis Vuitton as the holy trinity when it comes to picking bags that hold their value. If resale value is important to you, this is something to keep in mind!
Differences Between Prada vs Louis Vuitton
Several things set Louis Vuitton and Prada apart, including price, resale value, materials used in production, and style.
Prada’s merchandise is usually less expensive than Louis Vuitton’s, making it a good option for fashionistas who aren’t ready to drain their bank accounts.
Louis Vuitton is also more popular and sought after by celebrities and fashion influencers. Because Louis Vuitton is the most valuable luxury designer brand in the world, it’s allowed to charge a pretty penny for its accessories and handbags.
Another main difference between the two brands is the fabrics that they use to create their handbags. Prada usually uses saffiano leather and Louis Vuitton uses coated canvas that doesn’t wear easily, which is why LV bags hold their value.
In terms of style, Prada is more elegant, classic, and sophisticated whereas Louis Vuitton tries to incorporate current trends into their collections. Prada is also more popular among an older demographic while Louis Vuitton is popular with younger, budding fashion enthusiasts.
Because Louis Vuitton is so popular worldwide, there are tons of knock-offs in circulation so research the brand’s authenticating factors before buying one from someone on Facebook Marketplace or eBay.
Better yet, only use a trusted reseller like Fashionphile if you’re looking to score a bag on the secondhand market.
Our Top Picks From Prada Vs Louis Vuitton
1. Shoulder Bags
A shoulder bag can be worn out to dinner, to the shopping mall, or while exploring the cobblestone streets in Italy. It’s an exceedingly functional bag and can also accessorize your outfit. Both brands sell iconic shoulder bags but the right one for you depends on your personal style.
The Cleo Shoulder Bag from Prada ($2,400) is an absolute classic that’s made from black leather, giving it the versatility that every bag should have. It features the triangular logo plaque, a single shoulder strap, magnetic fastening closure, and a spacious main compartment that can comfortably hold all of your most precious possessions.
Louis Vuitton’s Lambskin Embossed Monogram Pochette Coussin in Black ($2,570 on Fashionphile) is from the designer’s Spring 2021 collection and is made with soft, puffy lambskin. The chic bag has an adjustable and removable strap so it can be worn as a shoulder bag or carried as a clutch.
The bag’s front flap opens to reveal a pink interior with several patch and zipper-closure pockets. What a beauty!
2. Mini Bags
Rocking a mini bag can be a big statement at events or when you hit the town for a night out on the weekend. Before committing to a mini bag, be sure that it will fit your cell phone by comparing measurements.
Prada’s Mini Shoulder Bag ($1,500 on FarFetch) is a truly timeless crossbody or shoulder bag that’s made from black leather and suspended from a silver chain strap. The bag features traditional Milanese craftsmanship, a quilted pattern, the brand’s logo on the front, a sleek design, and an interior filled with slip pockets.
The Damier Ebene Alma BB by Louis Vuitton ($1,495) is covered in the designer’s signature brown Damier-covered canvas. The mini bowling-style bag has a dark brown cowhide trim, wrap-around zippers, top handles rolled in leather, a sturdy base, and a roomy interior with a patch pocket. This mini bag can be worn with both dressy and casual outfits.
3. Tote Bags
A tote bag is a durable, versatile, and stylish solution to all of your handbag problems. It can carry literally everything you’ll ever need to transport without snapping or breaking. Plus, they make fabulous gifts for your friends and loved ones on birthdays or holidays.
Prada’s Bow Detail Tote Bag ($1,470) screams sophistication and is perfect for taking into the office or to college classes. This tote bag is adorned with the designer’s signature triangle logo and has a bow detail on the front. It’s made with leather on the outside and durable nylon on the inside and has two top handles that are comfortable enough that you can carry the tote for hours.
The Empreinte Monogram Giant Onthego GM in Black ($3,095) from Louis Vuitton is almost too nice to even use. Maybe it should just be displayed in your living room?
The tote bag is made from monogram-embossed calfskin leather and has two top handles in addition to two longer strap handles. It features brass hardware and has a wildly spacious, orange interior that’s filled with patch and zipper-closure pockets.
Prada Vs Louis Vuitton Resale value
If you’re counting on reselling your Prada bag, don’t expect to turn a profit as their bags aren’t so popular within the preloved handbag market.
But Louis Vuitton on the other hand… depending on the style of bag and age, you can sell it for more than you paid. Even the Louis Vuitton bags that don’t appreciate in value will still likely sell at a price that’s extremely close to what you paid for it, making Louis Vuitton a very safe investment when it comes to timeless classic bags.
In addition to LV’s classic bags that keep going up in price year after year (like the Neverfull, Alma, Pochette Metis, etc.), their limited edition bags from various collaborations are usually the ones that skyrocket in value since they are in high demand, so keep that in mind when shopping for your next investment bags.
If you’ve got your heart set on using your Louis Vuitton bag for a few years and then selling it, you’ll need to treat it with the utmost care. Even though LV bags are made to last forever with high-quality materials and excellent craftsmanship, you still have to be mindful of the weather’s elements and how you store them.
Louis Vuitton bags should never be in direct sunlight and shouldn’t be used in the rain or kept in damp closets. If your LV bag does get wet, it’s important to wipe the moisture off as soon as possible to prevent any lasting damage that could affect its resale price.
You’ll also need to keep your Louis Vuitton handbag away from any grease, fragrances, or makeup so if you’re lugging around makeup items, make sure they are secured in a leak-proof cosmetics bag.
In order to guarantee a high resale value for your bag, store it in a dust bag when you’re not using it.
Conclusion On Prada Vs Louis Vuitton
The designer that’s right for you really depends on your personal clothing style and your intent with the handbag. Prada is most definitely the right choice for professional women who love timeless and modern styles that have a touch of quirkiness. Plus, Prada can be kinder on your wallet.
But if you’re a handbag fanatic and reselling your used bags brings you endless joy, splurging on Louis Vuitton is the way to go. The designer is also best suited for fashion enthusiasts that like to follow the current trends.
The only downside of purchasing a Louis Vuitton bag with the intent to sell it afterward is that you have to be incredibly careful with how you treat the bag. This means that you absolutely cannot sit it on the floor of the bathroom stall when you go out for drinks with your friends.
If you’re worried about your capability to care for such an expensive bag, you should maybe consider purchasing a handbag from an affordable designer. These include Tory Burch, Coach and Kate Spade. While these bags won’t appreciate in value, you don’t need to worry about ruining something that cost you a lot of money.
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