Prada bags are having their comeback, after a brief lull a couple of years ago. A ‘90s resurgence coupled with some brilliant new collections means that there are good reasons to plop a Prada handbag over your arm. Miuccia Prada is a designer known for her refusal to ever be stagnant. Every collection is different from the previous ones, with the same principle applying to Prada purses.
Whether your style is classy and upscale or alternative and casual, you will surely find multiple Prada bags that will appeal to your personal style. The signature materials for Prada handbags are luxurious Saffiano leather and durable nylon, proving the amazing duality of the brand.
We’ve selected the best Prada bags of all time, with the implicit understanding that a bag doesn’t have to be an old classic to be iconic. That’s why this list includes Prada bags with a long history as well as newer designs that had an instant impact.
We tell a bit about the history of Prada as a fashion label and of its bags in particular. Lastly, to make sure you don’t end up with a dud, we’ve included a guide to recognizing authentic Prada purses.
Most Iconic Prada Bags of All Time: Contents
- 31 Best Prada Bags to Add to Your Designer Bag Collection
- A Brief History of Prada Bags
- How to Spot a Fake Prada Bag and Buy an Authentic One
From the old-time classics to modern additions, here you have 31 of the most iconic Prada bags that will never lose their charm.
1. Prada Galleria Saffiano Leather Bag
The Galleria tote is the first bag that comes to mind when one thinks of Prada. This bag, often referred to as the Saffiano lux after the leather it is made of, is a tote that stands out for its clean design, minimal branding, and roomy interior.
It is fitted with a triangular appliqué of the Prada logo, a zipper closure, double handles, and a detachable shoulder strap. The Saffiano leather is extremely durable because it undergoes a coating process with a wax that is then stamped with the recognizable cross-hatch pattern.
Many designer bags tend to run small, but not this one. Even the medium and small sizes offer more internal space than other fashion houses’ iconic bags. You can expect to see this bag in every Prada show, as it is a true staple. For an easy go-to bag and a safe investment, get a medium-sized Galleria Prada purse in black directly from Prada, Nordstrom or Net-a-Porter!
2. Prada Re-Nylon Backpack
It’s not obvious to associate a durable nylon backpack with luxury, but that’s exactly what Miuccia Prada did. The first Prada nylon backpacks were released in the ’70s, with this particular design becoming a mark of luxury in 1984, as Prada stores were opening in all the fashion capitals of the world.
Miuccia herself loved the way these Prada bags combined industrial designs with high fashion. Prada backpacks endured well into the ‘90s, so it’s not surprising to see celebs like Khloe Kardashian carry them over their shoulder with this recent resurgence.
Whether you have a casual style or would like a backpack for weekends, a Prada nylon backpack is a good investment, because it’ll last you a while and it has serious resale value. The house is slowly transitioning to re-nylon, a version of the fabric made from recycled plastics taken from the ocean.
This comfy bag has two outer pockets, lots of space inside, and an attached coin purse. This is one of the first of what will surely be a big selection of eco-friendly bags. Be the first to rock them by picking up one of the originals directly from Prada or Farfetch!
3. Prada Small Sidonie Shoulder Bag
The Sidonie is a newer Prada purse design that was launched for the resort 2019 collection. However, the inspiration is taken straight from Prada’s spring/ summer 2000 collection, which included similar bags. The main design element of the Sidonie bag is a curved bottom that has a difficult-to-ignore resemblance to a particularly seductive human asset.
Everyone will notice should you choose to carry one of these, so you might as well choose one of the more daring variations on it. We’re loving this zip-top shoulder bag Sidonie in bright red, with silver accents on the sides, PRADA logo in silver letters, and a contrasting black shoulder strap. The best place to buy it is Prada, My Theresa or Farfetch.
4. Prada Odette Saffiano Leather Bag
The simple, rounded Odette is one of the more feminine Prada handbags released recently. Like the Galleria, it is also made of Saffiano leather. The bag has a zipper that goes all the way around, in a design inspired by vintage camera bags.
It’s on the smaller side of things, consisting of just one compartment with two small inner pockets. We think it’d make for an exceptional option for parties or evening events, especially when carried by hand rather than over the shoulder with the detachable strap. It comes in 6 colors, but this vivid blue is our favorite. Buy it directly from Prada, My Theresa or Farfetch!
5. Prada Nylon Tote
One of Miuccia Prada’s first bag design contributions to the label were totes (as well as backpacks) made of waterproof tent nylon. Despite the use of the unconventional material, the bags themselves have a very classy look. This is mostly due to the leather detailing as well as the luxurious silver lettering on the triangle logo appliqué.
We’re especially fond of this recent iteration on the Nylon Tote, with its studded leather handles adding a punk edge to the bag. This Prada bag is large, so you’ll find it especially convenient for vacations and shopping trips. It also comes with a detachable fabric shoulder strap. Find it at Prada or Farfetch!
6. Prada Cahier Shoulder Bag
If your style is mostly classy but with a touch of whimsy, then you will love this Prada bag. The design is based on antique books, with a rectangular shape, a buckled strap closure, and a mixture of gold and leather detailing. Even the name, Cahier, means ‘notebook’ in French.
The style was first debuted on the fall 2016 runway and has shown up in nearly every collection since. Both because of the conceptual design and the small size of it, we gotta say this is a true statement Prada bag. We recommend choosing the white version of this shoulder bag because on the one hand it’ll stand out, and on the other hand the neutral color will go with everything. It is available directly through Prada, Net-a-Porter, Nordstrom, My Theresa or Farfetch.
7. Prada Panier Straw Bag
The Panier is an elongated tote with a youthful spirit. The sides of the bag are near equal, giving it a very square shape, and it has leather lining rather than the traditional fabric. This Prada bag has a single handle and a detachable shoulder strap, and it is fit with the triangular Prada appliqué and a leather name tag.
While the safe choice would be an all-Saffiano version of this bag, we’re really loving this straw and leather combination for summer. It’s one of very few Prada handbags that we think will go well with a lighter, more bohemian fashion sense. You’ll know it’s authentic if you buy it from Prada, My Theresa or Farfetch.
8. Prada Etiquette Bag
Did you know that in French the word ‘etiquette’ actually means label? This Prada bag has nothing to do with old-fashioned notions of decorum, and everything to do with that little blue tag that replaced the traditional triangle appliqué. This bag is different from other Prada purses in a few other ways, with a big one being that it is made of very soft leather rather than the more rigid Saffiano of other bags.
The soft, flap bag design is comfy and particularly ideal for short, casual excursions, since it is on the smaller side of things. Recently, we love the tie-dye versions that are available because they are playful and very on-trend. This pink one is our choice, but you can find lots of other options. Pick it up at Farfetch!
9. Prada Margit Bag
The Margit has been described as a quintessential Prada bag. It has all of the elegance and practicality that a classic Prada purse has, despite being a newer design. Like the Sidonie, it also has metal detailing on the side and a black handle that gives a nice contrast to the colorful bag. This Prada bag is technically a hobo, with a rounded bottom and an inner magnetic closure.
The bag has two compartments and one inner pocket, but the bottom is constructed with an accordion style to get wider should the bag be filled up with items, without taking away from the streamlined design. It is worth noting that the Prada logo shows up in monochrome lettering that blends into the leather of the bag. For summer we adore the small, yellow version of it, but it also comes in large sizes and a variety of colors at Nordstrom, Net-a-Porter and Farfetch.
10. Prada Re-Nylon Belt Bag
A Prada belt bag is a must-have if you’re embracing the ‘90s resurgence. The last time fanny packs were fashionable you can be certain that the most fashionable ones of all were created by Prada. This little belt bag is perfect for carrying cash and cards when you go out to run an errand. Rock it around your waist or carry it in your hand like Bella Hadid.
There are plenty of larger nylon Prada belt bags, but we decided to feature this tiny one because it is made of recycled nylon, and even has a little round continent map logo with the recycling symbol over it. Other than that, the bag also has the classic triangle appliqué, some Saffiano leather detailing, and an adjustable fabric waist-belt. For maximum eco-friendly cohesion, choose the one with the green recycling logo. Find it at Saks Fifth Avenue!
11. Prada Double Bag
The Prada Double bag is named as such because it’s a tote with two compartments, separated by a sizable central pocket with flap closure. The bag itself stays shut with the help of a magnetic closure on the inside of the bag. There are no belts or flaps to disrupt the elegance of the outer part of the bag.
The Double bag design, which was released in 2014, was envisioned as a classic that would be very true to the Prada brand. We gotta admit that it’s extremely similar to the Galleria, with the main difference being the closure, which makes for easier access throughout the day.
This large iteration of the Double tote will hold everything you could possibly need for a long day out and about, and its creamy blush color is a particularly nice fit for a light-colored outfit. Get it from Farfetch or Nordstrom!
12. Prada Belle Bag
Though generally not known for ostentatious creations, Prada nevertheless sometimes releases items that are just a little over-the-top to please their more dramatic clientele. The Belle is exactly such a bag, with a design that is slightly similar to the Cahier but with a curvy flap.
While this Prada bag comes in a variety of colors and materials, we decided to stay true to the conspicuous spirit by showcasing this pink leather and snakeskin creation that is covered with gold studs. This is more of a party bag because it’s quite small and definitely too eccentric to take to work or formal occasions. As always, it’s best to buy it straight from Prada or Farfetch.
13. Prada Nylon Shoulder Bag
This lovely little flap bag can hold a surprising amount of stuff. It is a unique nylon creation that stays away from the more industrial origin of the material. The chain handles add an old-timey element we would normally expect from Chanel or Yves Saint Laurent, but here they are an unexpected touch that adds even more class to the nylon Prada bag. While a sober and timeless black option does exist at My Theresa, we’re really into this neon pink version from Farfetch because it is oh-so-current.
14. Prada Quilted Leather Mini Bag
If you’re historically more likely to carry a Chanel, this quilted mini Prada purse might be the way to ease in. This super small bag is just a touch bigger than an average designer wallet, with space for cards, cash, and maybe a smaller smartphone. It’s a great way of embracing the mini bag trend when worn over the shoulder with the chain strap, or you can detach the chain and carry it as a clutch. Naturally, Prada carries it in black, but you can find more colors at Farfetch.
15. Prada Sidonie Belt-Bag
As much as we enjoy the down-to-earth, ‘90s-inspired fanny packs that Prada is known for, we gotta admit the Sidonie belt bag also holds serious appeal. Made of leather with a flap and big buckle closure, it’s a truly elegant design that will work with a classier casual wardrobe. It comes in a really fantastic color range, but we like this brown and black option, especially for those who favor earth tones. Should you want to wear it in the evening, simply pull it off the belt and attach the included chain handle to it. It is best to purchase it from Prada, Farfetch or Net-a-Porter.
16. Prada Fabric Baby Bag
It might seem strange to opt for a designer baby bag, but we gotta hand it to Prada – this baby bag is classy, durable, and versatile. The hardcore fans of Prada bags are definitely at the age where they are starting to have children, so the baby bag offering is critical.
What true Prada fans will really appreciate is that unlike other baby bags, it’s not childish but very mature and streamlined. It can be hung on a stroller, or carried by the handle or with a detachable strap. It has multiple inner and outer pockets, as well as room for a changing pad. Get it directly from Prada, Saks Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus!
17. Prada Manuelle Shoulder Bag
A little Manuelle is practically irresistible. It’s a great tiny Prada handbag for those who gravitate towards architectural minimalism. The bag is constructed with clean lines in a long, triangular shape that will hold only the bare essentials. The triangle appliqué is only hinted at in the form of a triangular cut-out, and instead, the logo shows up on a silk-screened leather tag. Like quite a few other recent Prada bags, this purse has straps that dangle from the end of the handle. Keep things clean with this black one from Farfetch!
18. Prada Ouverture Bag
There is something distinctly masculine about these Prada bags. The Ouverture totes are spacious, with a minimalist design that eschews conspicuous hardware. We think they’d be a great fit for anyone with a clean, androgynous wardrobe that leans a little towards more modern and urban.
This single-compartment tote is made primarily of durable nylon, but leather detailing and handles give it an elegant touch. The logo shows up on a silk-printed leather tag, with the triangle appliqué beneath it totally bare. The double handles add the most unique touch, as they have straps hanging down the body of the bag, providing a bit of texture and sway.
The Ouverture comes in a variety of colors and sizes, and in addition to nylon and leather, there are also all-leather variations and suede and leather options. However, we want to keep it classy with this small, all-black leather and nylon variation. Get it from Farfetch or My Theresa!
19. Prada Leather Bucket Bag
We think the best way to describe this gorgeous Prada purse is funky – in particular, because of the lovely fabric strap that gives wonderful contrast to the stark whiteness of the bag. This bucket bag is perfectly slouchy in a way that is ideal for casual wear, although if you were to remove the strap it’d immediately become office appropriate. The bag is decorated with gold hardware, including beautiful Prada lettering. Prada also offers a version of this bag in black at Farfetch, but we definitely prefer this lighter option.
20. Prada Matinee Handbag
If you find most iconic Prada bags are a little too sleek and would prefer something classy in a more traditional way, then the Matinee is your bag. It is made of Saffiano like every iconic offering from the label, and it is a serious bag that can accompany you from the office to after-work drinks. It has a leather strap closure, so it is definitely more of a tote, with one inner pocket and a detachable shoulder strap that will allow for crossbody carrying. Get it in tan to go with your autumn outfits! Find it at Neiman Marcus or Barneys!
21. Prada Printed Fabric and Mesh Pouch
Prada is absolutely capable of working outside of her go-to nylon and leather, as proven by this cheeky mesh and fabric bag. The fabric is printed with an abstract lip pattern that is then layered with mesh, which gives an edgy, seductive feel. The pouch closes with a drawstring over the fabric, while the mesh part comes together into two woven handles at the top. This bag is on the smaller side of medium and is decorated with a triangular Prada appliqué. Make sure to get it from Farfetch!
22. Prada Pionnière Bag
This Prada bag harkens back to the label’s high society beginnings as a supplier of leather goods to the Royal House. It is a saddle bag inspired by the rural hunting that the old and affluent European families were once so fond of. It is an elegant and sophisticated bag made of smooth, baby blue calf leather with textured navy Saffiano accents.
This is a small-sized Prada bag that will work beautifully for daily essentials. It comes with a detachable shoulder strap, and has gold Prada hardware that cements the luxurious feel of it. We don’t know when Prada will release a saddle bag again, so snatch it up! The best place to find it right now is My Theresa, Net-a-Porter or Farfetch.
23. Prada Elektra Bag
This flap bag has quite a bit of attitude, thanks to the shiny calf leather it’s made of and the pyramid-shaped metal studs that decorate the front buckle and detachable strap. The design is almost like a punk version of the Cahier. If you tend to shy away from conspicuous branding, then this is the best Prada bag to try. There is no visible hardware in sight, and instead you’ll have to rely on inner labeling to know that it’s a real Prada. It comes in a variety of colors, but we think this black one is the most striking. Get it from Farfetch or My Theresa!
24. Prada Promenade Bag
This austere bag will interject a bit of seriousness into your life. It’s a great bag-choice for sober, professional settings, but it can also create a nice counterpoint to a very lively outfit. It has a rounded top that lends it a retro charm, with rounded handles and a detachable longer strap. It’s medium-sized with two secure inner pockets, as well as a two-way zipper closure. Buy it directly from Prada or Farfetch!
25. Prada Diagramme Bag
This Prada bag is a unique take on quilted leather designs. The quilted pattern on the flap is a stripey one, while for the best of the bag it is rounded. This leads to a lovely symmetrical, geometric design that is anything but mundane. This small Prada bag comes with an even smaller coin pocket that you can slide over the gold chain shoulder strap. Keep things cheerful by choosing this bag in white from Net-a-Porter! Find it in more colors at Farfetch and My Theresa!
26. Prada Sybille Bag
The little Sybille handbag is a great Prada bag for anyone who’s embracing the youthful school girl or boy look that has been so ubiquitous in the last few seasons. This bag, thanks to the light brown shade of the calf leather from which it is made, the rounded handle, and a golden top clasp, really looks like a retro student handbag, albeit much smaller. There is an androgynous sensibility about it that will surely please many millennials. It comes with a chain strap for crossbody carrying, which helps to reinforce that it is a high-end choice. Get it directly from Prada or Farfetch!
27. Prada Wicker and Canvas Handbag
This is the bag to choose if your aesthetic is (or if you’d like it to be) “girl who is always ready for a cute picnic.” The wicker bag looks like a small picnic basket, though in reality its fabric lining is ideal for typical daily items like your wallet and phone. It comes with a name tag embellishment that is fit with a small mirror, and it has a shoulder strap that can be removed. The red leather handles and detailing cement its romantic charm perfectly. Buy it from Prada, Farfetch or My Theresa!
28. Prada Padded Nylon Tote
This padded nylon tote is actually a staple Prada bag, with the original design released as a resort bag more than a decade ago. The comforting bag is made of thick, soft padded nylon that really looks like a cushion. This bag is perfect for Prada’s older clientele, who may find themselves wanting a chic vacation bag that can truly protect what’s inside it from damage, and can also be resistant to water or child-induced spills.
Black leather handles keep this sunny Prada purse from looking too pedestrian. It comes in a variety of colors, but for the summer vacation, we think yellow is ideal. Pick it up at Farfetch!
29. Prada Monochrome Saffiano Leather Bag
This minimalistically elegant bag is a great choice for anyone who likes to keep things striking yet understated. It is made of Saffiano leather and is quite similar in design to both the Galleria and the Panier, with the main difference being that it has monochromatic metal lettering that blends subtly into the leather of the bag. It has two leather handles that also match the bag in shade, as well as a detachable matching shoulder strap. Get it directly from Prada, Nordstrom or Farfetch, preferably in red!
30. Prada Fabric Handbag
Prada tote bags have a distinctly European feel that we absolutely adore. This gorgeous bag has a romantic basket-like silhouette that begs for a cobblestone backdrop. It is large enough to carry quite a bit of stuff, although since it is a tote it doesn’t have compartments – just a removable fabric pouch. It comes in a variety of colors, but the white is the most elegant in our opinion. Find it at Net-a-Porter, My Theresa or Farfetch!
31. Prada Fabric and Plexiglas Handbag
This see-through Prada bag is the perfect beach tote. It has a round shape with a wide opening that creates a vase-like silhouette. It can be carried by the handles, or over the shoulder with a detachable strap. The hemp detailing is in an upbeat yellow color that will add cheer to any outfit. The bag also comes with an inner fabric pouch in which you can place smaller items and ensure separation. Get it straight from Prada, Farfetch or My Theresa!
Like many iconic Italian fashion houses, the house of Prada was just a leather goods shop in Milan once upon a time. The leather goods origin of the house, however, means that we’re talking about decades of bag-making tradition.
The first shop, Fratelli Prada (‘Brothers Prada’) was opened by siblings Mario and Martino Prada, who kept things modest selling trunks, luggage, the bulk of which were imported from England. Okay, maybe not too modest, as in 1919 their store was recognized as an Official Supplier of the Italian Royal House.
Miuccia Prada’s mother, Luisa, inherited the shop from her father Mario, and in 1970 she brought her daughter into the company. Miuccia started out by taking responsibility on the designer side of things and working on accessories.
In 1978, Miuccia Prada became the head of the company, and she turned things around significantly. She stopped imports altogether and switched the store’s focus towards in-house bag designs. She released the first series of nylon Prada backpacks and totes, which would go on to become a major hit in the mid-’80s and well into the ‘90s.
In 1983, Prada would open their first international stores in London, New York, Paris, Madrid, and Tokyo, making those first nylon bags as well as signature leather bags available to customers in all of the world’s fashion capitals.
Another part of the reason for the rise of Prada bags in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s is that finally consumers could pair their bags with outfits, since Miuccia Prada presented her first runway collection in 1988. In other words, she turned Prada from a brand making bags to a brand that sells a whole image. From then on Miuccia would become known for her eclectic and constantly changing style, since no two runway shows have every been the same.
An authentic Prada bag can be a lifetime fashion investment, and you always want to stay away from those luxury dupes. Make sure you take all of these aspects into account when shopping for an authentic Prada handbag:
• Buying from a reputable source is the surest way to ensure that your Prada purse is authentic. Going straight to Prada.com, a Prada shop or any other authorized Prada retailer for your purchase will guarantee beyond a shadow of a doubt that your Prada bag is authentic. You can check out Net-a-Porter, My Theresa, Farfetch or Nordstrom for authentic Prada bags.
• A first-hand Prada should come with a dust bag printed with the logo, but it is possible for resellers to lose the dust bag should you be buying a gently used one. Your authentic Prada bag’s dust bag should be authentic too – with a drawstring, with the Prada logo printed on it in the same font as the one on the bag itself, and with a label stitched on it that reads ‘100% Cotton Made in Italy’.
• All authentic Prada bags come with a sealed authenticity card, which will feature a unique serial number and details about the purse you have purchased. The card will come in a black envelope with the Prada logo embossed (not printed) on it. Any letters and numbers on your authenticity card should come with even spacing and with no slanted lines or poor-quality printing. You can easily check your bag’s serial number on Prada’s website or in-store.
• In addition to the dust bag and the authenticity card, your genuine Prada bag should also feature a small white tag in the interior with the purse factory number.
• Once you have the bag in your hands or photos from the seller, have a look anywhere where the Prada logo shows up. The R in the modern Prada logo is very distinct, with a little curve in the right leg of the letter that creates a unique negative space between the leg and the circle that makes up the top half of it. If there is no gap, or if the gap is too sharp, then you’re dealing with a fake Prada bag.
• Note that if you have a vintage Prada bag, then the leg of the R will be smooth.
• Make sure that the bag has an inner logo plaque that says ‘Prada’ on the first line and ‘Made in Italy’ on the second line. Older Prada bags will have three lines: ‘Prada’, ‘Milano’, and ‘Made in Italy’.
• If anywhere on the bag, it is spelled Milan or it says the bag was made somewhere other than Italy, then the bag is a sure fake.
• Look for markers of high-quality construction, like consistent stitches, no loose threads, appliqués that are attached straight and centered. Faded metal signals a likely counterfeit, as Prada purses are always made with solid metals that won’t chip or fade.
• Prada bags always have metal zippers from one of the following brands: Lampo, Ykk, Riri, Opti, or Ipi. You’ll have to open the bag to look for the brand name on the bottom of the zipper, while the top part of it will say Prada. Plastic zippers or zippers from other brands are a sign of a fake.
• Speaking of, the Prada logo should show up on every piece of the metal hardware on the bag, and in the correct font. Get familiar with the Prada font before examining a bag.
• If you’re examining a leather bag that has a triangular logo appliqué, the color of the leather should be the same color as the background of the appliqué.
• Have a professional authenticator authenticate your bag, or reach out to authenticators on the PurseBlog forum.
• If you can turn out the lining of the bag, you will usually find a small quality assurance tag with a number on it.
• Also, examine the lining itself. For Prada bags that are lined with fabric, the lining has a stripey pattern with a rope row followed by a Prada row. The word ‘Prada’ in the lining has a slightly different font than elsewhere on the bag.
Photos via Instagram