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Why Is Prada So Expensive. Is it worth the money in 2023?

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Check out the top reasons why Prada is so expensive and if it’s really worth buying in 2023

You might be wondering – why is Prada so expensive? The brand is definitely coveted, has some amazing designs and good quality but does it justify the price? Read our article to find out why is Prada so expensive.

Boasting a rich history and family lineage, Prada was destined to become an iconic brand from the beginning. Their use of top-quality materials from their earliest days helped establish their name amongst Italy’s finest designer goods manufacturers. 

why is prada so expensive

Prada’s History

The House of Prada was founded in 1913 by Mario Prada and his brother Martino, their first store opening in Milan on the well-known Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This store, which was run by Mario Prada, sold travel accessories, trunks, steamers and other leather products. 

In 1919 the house was awarded the honored title of Official Supplier of the Italian Royal House – the Italian Royal Family. This prestigious honor is how Prada got their logo. The distinct triangle that displays the House of Savoy coat of arms is an ode to the Italian aristocracy and has stayed with the brand through its one hundred plus years of business. 

Nada and Luisa Prada took over the family business upon the death of Luisa’s father, Mario, and ran if for almost 20 years. Mario did not believe women should have a role in business, but when his son had no interest in the business his daughter inherited it. 

Luisa’s daughter, Miuccia Prada, joined the company in 1970, eventually taking over in 1978. 

Miuccia met Patrizio Bertelli in 1977 and he joined the company shortly after. Bertelli had started his own leather goods business at the age of 24, and helped advice Miuccia on many important decisions. Miuccia began incorporating many of her designs into the business. The pair married in 1987. Together they turned Prada into the successful worldwide brand it is today.  

The fashion house is more than 100 years old, and its rich history is one of the reasons why Prada is so expensive. Heritage is not something that you can recreate and there are only a few luxury brands in the world with Prada’s history.

Prada’s Quality 

Prada made its mark as a producer of leather accessories. They patented their own materials, including Saffiano leather, their signature leather material, that’s scratch and water resistant. 

why is prada expensive
Prada Bag in Saffiano Leather via Prada.com

In 1984, Prada released a line of nylon handbags that took the fashion world by storm. Miuccia Prada had made nylon backpacks early on in her career from the same type of nylon her grandfather used as coverings for steamer trunks. The material, called Pocono, was also previously used in Italian military tents. 

The brand has now become synonymous with outstanding quality, unique designs made from soft, high-quality leather and tough durable synthetics. Their bags have an instantly recognizable look that is a mix of couture design and playfulness. 

Even though Prada is known for its quality, there are sometimes reports of quality issues for Prada bags such as uneven stitching. Even thought you’re buying an expensive brand, you should always carefully inspect your bags before purchase. If you’re buying it online make sure to have a good look at it before you wear it, to make sure you can still return it in case of an issue.

However, we would say that overall, Prada’s quality justifies its high price.

Resale Value : Does it justify the price?

If maintained well and taken good care of, a Prada handbag could last you a lifetime. There are many reputable resale sources online that give different variables for the resale value depending on the make, condition, and other factors. Unfortunately, Prada does not hold its value as well as other luxury brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermes. Depending on the exact piece, you might be lucky and recoup your investment, especially if it’s a classic Prada bag that is in pristine condition. We would say that looking at the resale value alone does not justify Prada’s high prices

Popularity – the reason why Prada is so expensive

Originally launched more than 30 years ago, Prada’s nylon handbags are still covetable in 2023, becoming the perfect accessory for a functional streetwear inspired wardrobe. In 2017, Kim Kardashian was photographed carrying one of the brand’s iconic messenger satchels. 

The re-edition 2000 and 2005 nylon bags with brighter colors along with the basic black, Saffiano leather handles and ruched detailing are gaining popularity because of Y2K trends and Noughties inspired fashion. The 2019 re-nylon campaign saw the evolution of Prada’s classic Pocono, where they switched the synthetic nylon material for the cleaner more sustainable Econyl, a nylon made from recycled materials such as fishing nets and industrial plastic waste. 

In an era of smart/casual dressing, Prada’s nylon has become coveted on the red carpet. Musician Frank Ocean wore a Prada anorak to the 2019 Met Gala, and actress Sarah Paulson carried a matching drawstring pouch to go along with her neon green Prada gown for the Ocean’s 8 premier. 

With over 30 million followers on Instagram alone, its clear that Prada has continued to grow during the age of social media. 

Exclusivity 

Prada, along with Dior, Saint Laurent, Chanel, and several others, is considered one of the top luxury brands in the world. Their name and iconic logo are known throughout the world. With a reputation for using premium quality leather and other high end materials their products are priced for the brand category they are in.

In other words, Prada creates exclusivity by having high prices and increasing them regularly.  This is perhaps one of the most important reasons why Prada is so expensive – their need to maintain exclusivity. If they would suddenly decrease their prices, they will simply not be seen as luxurious and exclusive anymore.

Warranty and bag care

According to Prada’s website, it has a warranty available if you purchase your goods through them directly or an authorized retailer only. That warranty covers against manufactures defects determined in their sole discretion for one year from the date of purchase. It does not cover wear and tear. 

They also offer clients after sale assistance with repairs both within and beyond warranty period to help maintain your goods. 

The after sale assistance can be a reason why Prada is so expensive – most lower end brand will not offer aftercare for your bags.

Manufacturing – does it justify the expensive price tag? 

While many of Prada’s items are made in Italy, they also manufacture items in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hungary, Romania and Turkey. 

It makes sense that the items manufactured in Europe are more expensive – the costs of manufacturing in Europe is much higher than in China or Vietnam for example.

Most people want their luxury items to be manufactured in France or Italy. The fact that Prada outsources its manufacturing in Asia does not justify its price tag.

Prada’s Popular Items

Looking into some of the brands more popular items, the Prada Cleo bag tops many lists, both with the flap and without. Other items that are often mentioned are the bowling bags and tote bags, along with the Sidonie in various colors and the nylon backpack. All these items feature their iconic logo, some more prominent than other designs. 

why is prada so expensive
Prada Cleo – Photo via Prada.com

Where can I buy a Prada for cheaper?

As we saw, there is many reasons why Prada is so expensive, but what if you don’t want to spend $2000 + for a Prada bag? Prada bags don’t hold their value as much as other luxury brands. This is bad news for those who prefer to buy brand new, but excellent news for the bargain hunters.

To buy a pre-loved Prada handbag we recommend you go with a trusted reseller that guarantees authenticity and offers free returns. This way, you can be sure you’re buying an authentic handbag that suits you.

Check out the selection of Prada bags here : some are under $1000 !

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Conclusion: Why is Prada so expensive?

Prada’s higher end price point is a result of their high-quality materials, classic but unique designs, and their status in the rankings of luxury brands. If you're looking to invest in your wardrobe, Prada is a great brand to have.

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