How to Spot Fake Kate Spade Bags: 7 Ways to Tell Real Purses

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Since its inception in 1993, Kate Spade New York has maintained its reputation as one of the world’s most iconic fashion brands.

Best known and beloved for chic handbags, the label was founded by designer Kate Spade’s desire to create minimal and practical bags and purses for the modern woman.

Lindsay Ellingson and guests attend the Kate Spade S/S 20 Fashion ShowLindsay Ellingson and guests attend the Kate Spade S/S 20 Fashion Show at Elizabeth Street Gardens on September 7, 2019, in New York City

Kate Spade handbags have been frequently worn by celebrities and the fashion elite, including big names such as Taylor Swift and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Following the increase in popularity of Kate Spade purses, counterfeits and fakes quickly proliferated the market, seen everywhere from Manhattan’s infamous Canal Street to numerous online sellers.

Naomie Harris attends the Kate Spade New York Regent Street store opening on April 21, 2016 in London, England

In February 2019, KXLY-TV reported that a driver was caught attempting to cross the border from the United States to Canada with an estimated $32,000 worth of counterfeit merchandise, which included handbags from luxury brands such as Kate Spade, Gucci, Michael Kors, and Chanel.

Upon being questioned about his intentions, the driver admitted that he had planned to sell the fake purses in Canada.

Due to counterfeit bags becoming harder and harder to tell apart from authentic designs, make sure to do thorough research beforehand if you decide to purchase from a secondhand store or a third-party seller.

Where to buy Kate Spade bags

With plenty of options ranging from classic styles to vibrant designs, there’s definitely a Kate Spade bag to suit every lifestyle and personality.

If you’ve been wanting to own your very Kate Spade bag or add another piece to your collection, the retailers listed below are some of the most popular online stores for Kate Spade bags:

1. Macy’s
2. Saks Fifth Avenue
3. Nordstrom Rack (Discounted Bags)
4. Nordstrom
5. Amazon

In order to avoid the unfortunate instance of discovering that your Kate Spade handbag is a counterfeit piece, here are several ways to ensure that you’re able to get your hands on an authentic Kate Spade bag.

1. Purchase from reputable sellers

The main way to avoid being scammed into buying a counterfeit bag is to purchase from renowned and highly regarded sellers.

Kate Spade’s official website is a great start to browse through an extensive assortment of bag styles and designs, while department store giants like Saks Fifth Avenue provide a more curated range of Kate Spade bags. The same goes for online retailers such as Shopbop.

2. When it doubt, look at the label

Kate Spade handbags have two main types of labels: an embossed or stamped label and a fabric label. The embossed or stamped label appears mostly on leather handbags and can be found at the front side of the bag, usually located under the handle or at the top center area.

On the other hand, Kate Spade’s fabric label is directly stitched on the handbag. An easy way to tell apart a counterfeit version is to gently pull at the sides of the fabric label to see if it comes off or the sides peel away.

Authentic Kate Spade label on limited edition handbag made by a group of local artisans in Masoro, RwandaAuthentic Kate Spade label on limited edition handbag made by a group of local artisans in Masoro, Rwanda

Most fakes feature fabric labels that have been glued on or sewn on an original Kate Spade fabric label.

Leather bags will never have fabric labels on them, only stamped or embossed ones that are usually in gold-tone letters, while most nylon bags usually have the logo embossed on rectangular-shaped patches found at the front of the bag.

2. Check the font and lettering on the label

The authentic Kate Spade font should always appear in lowercase letters, with even spacing throughout. There is only one style of font for all Kate Spade handbags, so this can be one of the quickest ways to tell whether the piece if a counterfeit one.

Kate Spade's logo features the iconic spade and a combination of lowercase and uppercase serif nicely spacedKate Spade’s logo features the iconic spade and a combination of lowercase and uppercase serif nicely spaced

Please note that since 2000, all handbag labels should have the words ‘New York’ below ‘Kate Spade’ in uppercase letters. The ‘T’ in ‘Kate Spade’ should always align with the ‘N’ in New York, and the ‘K’ in New York should always be paralleled with the ‘A’ in ‘Spade.’

In the instances that a bag is part of a special collection, the collection’s name will be found below ‘Kate Spade’ instead.

3. Look at the hardware of the bag

Most Kate Spade handbags don’t feature any feet at the bottom. For bag styles that do come with feet, they are often small and usually circular or flat and can be located at the four corners of the base.

Luxurious hardware on Kate Spade New York's Cameron Convertible crossbody bagLuxurious hardware on Kate Spade New York’s Cameron Convertible crossbody bag

Always remember that the shape of the feet should not be triangular or cone-like. The rest of the bag’s hardware should either be in gold or silver tones and should never tarnish or rust.

4. Materials and stitching

While different materials are used for Kate Spade handbags, the most popular types include leather, nylon, canvas, and suede. Upon inspection, you should be able to tell whether the material is on par with Kate Spade’s reputation for high-quality products.

Perfect stitching on a genuine Kate Spade satchel handbagPerfect stitching on a genuine Kate Spade satchel handbag

The same goes for the handbag’s stitching quality, which should be even and should not snag or become loose over time. The stitching is also usually the same color as the handbag, though this is dependent on the bag style.

5. Note the tags that come with the bag

Brand new and authentic Kate Spade handbags have green retail tags with ‘Kate Spade New York’ on it. The retail card should state the name of the bag style, with the style number in small letters and a barcode.

Care cards should also be included with every Kate Spade bag, with instructions on how to properly care for the item. Another important tag is the Country of Origin tag, which can usually be found in the bag’s interior seam pocket.

All Kate Spade bags made after 1996 should have a Country of Origin tag. Kate Spade bags have only been produced in the following counties: USA, Italy, China, Taiwan, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Vietnam, Rwanda, Philippines.

6. If you’re still unsure, check the Kate Spade website

If you’re still hesitant about the bag in question, a great idea is to check out the official Kate Spade website and compare the bags there to your bag’s features.

Kate Spade’s website also has information about how to authenticate your bag, including a dedicated page to report counterfeit items.

Kate Spade Questions and Answers

How did Kate Spade die?

On June 5, 2018, Kate Spade was found dead in her apartment by her housekeeper. Her death was ruled a suicide by hanging and she had left a note addressed to her daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade.

According to unconfirmed sources, Katherine Noel Valentine Brosnahan (known professionally as Kate Spade) hung herself with a scarf tied to a doorknob.

New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled fashion designer Kate Spade’s death a suicide by hangingNew York City’s chief medical examiner ruled fashion designer Kate Spade’s death a suicide by hanging

Why did Kate Spade commit suicide?

Andy Spade, who co-founded the fashion brand Kate Spade New York with his wife, released a statement indicating that her suicide was caused by a combination of depression and anxiety.

“Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was actively seeking help and working closely with doctors to treat her disorder. … There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.”

Prior to her death, the couple had been living separately for 10 months.

“Our daughter was our priority,” he said. “We were not legally separated, and never even discussed divorce. We were best friends trying to work through our problems in the best way we knew how.

Andy Spade with his wife Kate SpadeAndy Spade with his wife Kate Spade at the RxArt Ball on October 25, 2007, in New York City

“We were together for 35 years. We loved each other very much and simply needed a break.”

“This is the truth,” he added. “Anything else that is out there right now is false.”

Andy Spade, who has a net worth of $200 million, emphasized that his wife had not been abusing alcohol or drugs.

“I have yet to see any note left behind and am appalled that a private message to my daughter has been so heartlessly shared with the media,” he said.

“My main concern is Bea and protecting her privacy as she deals with the unimaginable grief of losing her mother. Kate loved Bea so very much.”

Who owns Kate Spade?

According to Forbes, Kate Spade was acquired by Coach in 2017 for $2.4 billion. However, the original founders Kate and Andy Spade did not get anything from the sale. They sold a 56% stake of the company to Neiman Marcus in 1999 for $34 million.

In 2006, Neiman Marcus Group acquired the remaining 44% stake for $59.4 million. According to CNN, Kate and Andy Spade left the company in 2007.

Credit: WENN / Instar / Joseph Marzullo / Flashpoint

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