Michael Kors vs Kate Spade: The Ultimate Showdown You Can’t Afford to Miss!

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Are you trying to decide which brand is worth the splurge: Michael Kors vs Kate Spade? We have the answer, just keep on reading.

Michael Kors vs Kate Spade – History

Michael Kors History

The iconic brand was founded in 1981 by none other than Michael Kors himself, a visionary designer who recognized the need for high-quality, beautifully crafted clothing that was accessible to all.

Kors got his start in the fashion industry at a young age, working as a design assistant for the fashion house, Lothar’s. It was here that he honed his craft and developed an eye for detail and a passion for creating stunning, contemporary clothing that spoke to the modern woman.

In 1981, Kors launched his eponymous label, which quickly gained a reputation for its clean lines, classic cuts, and luxurious fabrics. He described the brands’ style as a mix between Jackie Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor.

In 2017, Michael Kors acquired Jimmy Choo and in the following year, the corporation acquired Versace.

In 2019, Michael Kors Holdings changed its name to Capri Holdings which is a parent company to Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo and Versace.

Read also:

Is Michael Kors A Designer Brand? The Definitive Answer in 2023

Kate Spade History

Kate Spade is a brand that has become synonymous with classic American style, whimsy, and playful sophistication. The label’s namesake, Kate Spade, was a visionary designer who launched her eponymous label in 1993 with the goal of creating sleek, modern handbags that were both functional and fashionable.

From the beginning, Kate Spade’s designs stood out for their vibrant colors, bold patterns, and quirky details, which quickly made them a favorite of fashion insiders and style-savvy consumers alike. Spade’s iconic nylon bags, which came in an array of colors and prints, quickly became a must-have accessory for the modern woman on-the-go.

Over the years, Kate Spade expanded beyond handbags, launching clothing, shoes, jewelry, and home décor lines that embodied the brand’s signature playful yet sophisticated aesthetic.

In 2017 Kate Spade was acquired by Tapestry, Inc., a company that also owns Coach and Stuart Weitzman.

Despite the tragic loss of Kate Spade in 2018, the label’s legacy lives on. Today, Kate Spade continues to create fresh and innovative designs that celebrate the joy and excitement of life. With its timeless yet modern pieces, the Kate Spade brand remains a beloved staple of the fashion industry and a testament to the power of a great design.

Conclusion: Heritage differences between Kate Spade and Michael Kors

Both brands are contemporary, American brands. Michael Kors was founded in 1981 while KS was founded in 1993, thus MK is the ‘older’ brand. Both brands are now a part of parent companies, MK is a part of Capri Holdings and KS is a part of Tapestry, Inc.

Michael Kors vs Kate Spade – Style

Michael Kors Aesthetic

While Michael Kors bags may not be for everyone, there is no denying that the brand offers a diverse range of aesthetics to suit a variety of tastes.

Some might argue that the designer’s reliance on the canvas MK monogram can be overwhelming.

While some bags may feature the iconic MK monogram, there are also plenty of sleek and understated options available. These designs exude a sophisticated and timeless appeal, making them perfect for those who prefer a more subtle look.

MK also have some bags that are inspired from other designers such as Dior and Louis Vuitton – this is controversial. On one hand people dislike the lack of originality in those specific design, on another hand, it’s great to have some decently priced alternatives.

Kate Spade Aesthetic

kate spade dog bag Michael Kors vs Kate Spade: The Ultimate Showdown You Can't Afford to Miss!
Kate Spade Dog Bag

Buy it on Nordstrom

Kate Spade’s designs exude a playful and whimsical aesthetic, with a penchant for object-shaped bags such as clouds, hearts, etc., making a statement wherever they go.

KS often uses bold colors and playful prints (like this adorable flamingo print), making it easy to add personality to any outfit.

However, while Kate Spade is known for its fun designs, some may argue that the brand has become too reliant on their playful aesthetic. Not many people have room in their collection for their super whimsical pieces.

Despite this, Kate Spade has still managed to provide a range of wearable designs, including classic totes and chic crossbody bags that are not too adorned, thus everyone can wear them.

Conclusion: Differences between MK & KS Style

Both brands offer a good selection of bags, and both certainly can offer a simple, classic tote or crossbody bag.

If you’re looking for a very fun clutch or bag, you might want to look at Kate Spade, as for this price point, are the best you can get.

For totes or top handle bags, especially if you love the easiness of canvas, Michael Kors offers some great options.

Michael Kors vs Kate Spade – Pricing

Michael Kors Pricing

Mk at luxury department stores

The vast majority of Michael Kors bags are between $200- $400 USD, with many sales and discounts sprinkled through the year. You can easily buy a MK bag under $200 especially if you wait for a sale or you visit an outlet store.

Kate Spade Pricing

There are more KS bags that are between $300 – $500 USD, probably because a lot of their designs are more intricate. Kate Spade also has sales throughout the year and outlets where you can easily buy a bag for less than $200USD.

Conclusion: Pricing difference between MK and KS

The pricing for Michael Kors and Kate Spade bags is quite similar, with Michael Kors being on average less expensive. Since KS often has very intricate designs, it does make sense that those bags are priced higher.

Michael Kors or Kate Spade – Manufacturing & Distribution

Michael Kors Distribution

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The majority of MK bags and accessories are made in China. You can buy a Michael Kors bag directly on their website: michaelkors.com, from a MK boutique, from numerous online stockists such as Nordstrom or Macys and even from Amazon.

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Kate Spade Distribution

Kate Spade bags are made in China or in other south east Asian countries. You can by a Kate Spade bag from their website: katespade.com, their boutiques, online stockists such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. You can also buy some bags and lots of home accessories from Amazon.

There’s not much difference between Michael Kors and Kate Spade in terms of where the bags are made or from where you can buy them. Buying either brand is really easy and you have a lot of options for both online and in-store.

mk vs kate spade
Michael Kors Vs Kate Spade

Michael Kors vs Kate Spade – Resale Value

Michael Kors Resale Value

Unfortunately, the resale value of Michael Kors is not great. Due to the abundance of their bags on the secondary market, the fact that they do sales often and the trendiness of some items the second hand prices are very low.

Kate Spade Resale Value

Kate Spade’s resale value is also not great. However, some of the brands’ more unique bags tend to hold their value well. Some bags can even increase in value, especially for some really quirky piece that can mean a lot for certain collectors.

Conclusion: Differences between MK & KS Resale Value

For their “regular” bags, both Michael Kors and Kate Spade have very low resale value. However, Kate Spade has a good resale value for some unique pieces. So, if you’re only looking at how much a bag can fetch pre-loved, go with KS as it has a higher chance of holding its value.

Michael Kors or Kate Spade – Quality

is michael kors a luxury brand
Credit @aagata_a

Michael Kors Quality

When it comes to Michael Kors bags, quality is a mixed bag. While some may argue that the brand’s quality has declined in recent years, there are still plenty of well-made bags on offer.

The leather used in Michael Kors bags is of good quality, with a variety of textures and finishes to choose from. However, some customers have reported issues with the hardware, such as zippers and clasps, that have broken or become faulty over time.

Despite this, for the price point, Michael Kors bags offer good quality and durability.

Kate Spade Quality

kate spade or michael kors
Credit @silksweetboutique

Some people have also complained about Kate Spade’s longevity and quality. However, overall the brand has good quality and craftsmanship for the price. Some of their more special pieces are works for arts for a relatively low price point.

Conclusion: Quality MK vs KS

Both brands have people that complained about their quality, however for the price point, both brands are durable enough and of good quality. We would say that because of their special pieces, KS tends to have better quality. However let’s not forget about the premium Michael Kors line that is of incredible quality (but usually more than $1000 USD).

Which one is better : Michael Kors or Kate Spade?

Michael Kors and Kate Spade are two American brands that have become synonymous with contemporary fashion and accessible luxury.

While Michael Kors was founded earlier in 1981, Kate Spade quickly gained popularity for its playful and whimsical designs when it launched in 1993.

Both brands offer a diverse range of bags, but Michael Kors is known for its clean lines and MK monogram designs, while Kate Spade is celebrated for its bold use of color and playful prints.

Pricing is quite similar for both brands, with Michael Kors being slightly less expensive on average.

Ultimately, the choice between Michael Kors and Kate Spade comes down to personal style and preference, but both brands offer a great selection of bags at accessible price points.


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