When it comes to bags, Prada needs no introduction. After all, the Italian powerhouse has established itself as one of the fashion world’s heaviest hitters, renowned for its ability to challenge fashion conventions.
Since the opening of the first Prada store in 1913 (founded by Mario Prada, Miuccia Prada’s grandfather), leather luxury bags have been a Prada staple. Ready-to-wear would arrive later under Miuccia Prada in 1988 and reinvent what luxury fashion looks like.
Since then, Prada bags have become synonymous with the house’s signature Saffiano leather and iconic nylon bags – the latter becoming so successful that it’s being relaunched as Prada Re-Edition bags.
From its iconic bowler bags during the height of the It bag craze to its work-friendly, ultra-spacious tote bags, we look at the 5 best Prada bags you should buy.
1. The Iconic It Bag: Prada Bowler Bag
Always ahead of the curve, the Prada Bowler Bag foresaw the athleisure trend some 15 years earlier when it debuted on the Prada Spring/Summer 2000 runway. It became an instant cult classic that heralded the start of the new millennium and has since been reissued on the Resort 2020 runway.
The Prada Bowler Bag’s curved lines and rounded shape take inspiration from 1950s bowler bags, which were used to transport bowling balls. We dig the Prada Cervo Antik Bowler Bag, here featured in light brown calfskin leather. Sling its detachable strap across your shoulders or dangle its top handles from your wrist.
2. The Return of the Prada Nylon Bag
Prada’s first nylon bag in 1984 – naturally, a backpack – shook up the fashion world for its usage for nylon in luxury fashion and was even labelled “anti-luxury”. But the Prada nylon bag ushered in a new era of utilitarian chic and became a calling card for the house’s forward-thinking innovation.
Costing more than leather bags, Miuccia Prada explained back in 2004 that the specific type of nylon Prada used was more expensive than silk due to its thin weave.
Since then, Prada has reissued its nylon bags over and over again, including the sustainable Re-Nylon range which employs a “regenerated nylon” made from waste.
If there’s one bag we’d be toting this season, it’ll be the Prada Nylon Zip Shoulder Bag Black with Front Pocket, which comes in the Y2K baguette silhouette that’s especially trendy right now. For a messenger bag option, the Prada Tessuto Nylon and Saffiano Bandoliera Messenger Black comes with added flexibility and can be worn cross-body.
3. The Prada Tote Bag
If you can’t decide which Prada bag to invest in, you can’t go wrong with a capacious Prada tote bag. And you won’t even have to sacrifice all that extra space for style. Thankfully, the minimalistic design of Prada tote bags makes them versatile for any occasion, evoking timeless appeal with the discreet Prada triangle on the front of every bag.
Opt for classic shapes with minimal embellishments so that your Prada tote bag will remain a wardrobe staple for years to come. The Prada Soft Calf Shopping Tote Granato is meticulously crafted in soft calfskin leather in a wine-red hue, while the Prada Large Saffiano Lux Double Zip Tote is large enough to hold A4-sized documents and more.
4. The Prada Shoulder Bag:
Nothing quite rivals the shoulder bag when it comes to practicality and style. Perfect for work and play, Prada shoulder bags come in a wide variety of styles. Go for a larger shoulder satchel that will take you from day to night, or opt for a smaller yet equally chic purse style that you can tuck tightly underneath your arm.
The luxurious nappa gaufré leather that Prada is well-known for gets an update in the Prada Ombre Nappa Gaufre Satchel Brown in its subtle gradient ombre design. Its ruched pattern adds a feminine touch to its large frame, which makes this a stylish work-friendly option.
On the weekends, switch over to the Prada Vitello Daino Pleated Hobo Bianco which comes in a creamy white hue that we can’t get enough of. Its softly structured baguette silhouette and gathered folds call to mind this season’s It bags: Bottega Veneta’s Pouch clutch and Prada’s sleek Cleo bag.
5. The Trusty Prada Wallet
For many luxury fashion lovers, a Prada wallet was likely their first Prada purchase or even their first luxury purchase. What does your ideal wallet look like? Ours would include an easy-to-open flap, a roomy interior compartment with multiple card slots, and good water resistance for durability – much like this Prada Saffiano Metal Continental Flap Wallet Peonia.
Apart from its eye-catching pink shade, this Prada wallet is also made from the house’s trademark saffiano leather. Originally patented by Prada, saffiano leather has seen widespread adoption for its cross-hatch design and waxy finish, which help to repel water, withstand scratches and is easy to clean. Just what you need for your next Prada investment.
Ready to invest in these popular Prada bag styles? Shop our carefully selected range of preloved Prada bags at Style Theory Second Edit now.