Where are Prada bags made?
Since Prada is widely known as an Italian luxury fashion house, people expect its wide array of luxury products and accessories to be manufactured in Italy. But this is not always the case.
Various sources indicate that about a quarter of Prada’s products are made in China and other countries like Turkey, Vietnam, and Romania where labor is cheaper. This not only includes the manufacture of its high-end clothes and shoes but also bags.
In this article, we will talk about where most Prada bags are manufactured and why the company has turned to other countries for the production of its leather goods.
Where are Prada bags made?
Although this is not explicitly stated on their website, Prada bags are no longer made 100% in Italy as they used to be. A quest for low production costs and a wider market has led Prada to establish factories for their bags in countries such as China, Hungary, Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey, Cambodia, and even Romania.
Prada runs about 10 factories in Italy but about 80% of its items have been found to be made by external manufacturers as stated in its stock market debut. Out of this, 20% of the producers are situated abroad.
Prada’s temptation to move its production from Italy to other countries has grown over the years.
Wall Street Journal states that about 20% of products made by Prada including bags are produced in China. So it is not unusual to find a Prada bag that has a ‘Made in China’ tag.
Miu Miu bags for instance have the tag “Made in Turkey” which is a clear indication that they are manufactured in Turkey.
This, however, does not mean that the quality of the bags is lower than those manufactured in Italy. The company still ensures high-quality leather is used to make its products across all countries.
Prada bags in China and other countries
Most luxury brands including Prada have moved part of their production to other countries like china in order to maximize their profits.
This information is however kept out of the public eye due to a common perception that products made in Eastern European countries or China are of lower quality than those made in Italy or France.
Prada doesn’t seem so much concerned about it as some of its products proudly bear tags such as ‘Made in China or the country where the items were manufactured.
According to Prada, it does not matter where products are manufactured anymore.
Miuccia Prada, the lead designer of the handbag and fashion empire Prada stated that;
“Made in Italy’? Who cares? You have to embrace the world if you want to live now.”
Why produce in China?
There are several reasons why brands like Prada opt to move part of their production to China and other countries.
These include; low production costs, the presence of affordable raw materials, and taxes and duties, which enable them to increase their profits.
Low production costs
One possible reason why Prada opts to manufacture its products in China is due to the availability of lower-wage workers.
Also, labor laws in China especially regarding minimum wages are not as strict as in the West.
This means that the company is able to get more workers at low pay. This enables them to make more products and increase their profit margins.
However, it is important to point out that despite the use of cheap labor, Prada’s bags that are made in China still cost the same as those made in Italy.
This is because the company employs the same production processes and ensures high-quality materials are used across all its factories.
In one interview about Prada’s decision to move part of its production to China, Miuccia Prada confirmed that;
“Sooner or later, it will happen to everyone because [Chinese manufacturing] is so good,”
Taxes and duties
Some countries like China offer export tax rebates as a way to support foreign trade businesses.
Initially, they offered zero tax rates on exports but it has since been increased to 16%.
Despite the increase, producing goods in such countries enables the company to maximize profits since exporting the finished products tends to be much cheaper.
Affordable raw materials
The livestock sector in China is well established, which makes it the largest producer of leather in the world.
Every year, the country is estimated to produce more than 6.2 billion square feet of leather, which is over 25% of leather production globally.
Italy on the other hand is ranked 5th and produces about 1.5 billion square feet of leather annually.
The different types of leather produced in China are also considered to be of high quality and heavier since they are mostly obtained from bovine skin.
So, moving production to China means that Prada has easy access to more raw materials than in Italy for its leather bags.
The luxury leather goods industry is also growing in China. For instance, in 2021, luxury leather goods including bags and shoes were among the fastest-growing products in China with a growth rate of 60%.
Are Prada bags still made in Italy?
Since Prada is an Italian brand, it still maintains some of its production in Italy. So you can still find handbags with the ‘Made in Italy’ tag. While this is a good way to check the authenticity of Prada bags, it doesn’t mean that the bags are better and of high quality than those made in China or other countries. This is because the company ensures that the same high quality is maintained across all Prada factories.
Despite the fact that Prada was founded by an Italian designer and has its headquarters in Italy, the company has moved part of its production to countries like China, Vietnam, and Romania among others.
This could be attributed to factors such as the low cost of production due to cheap labor, availability of raw materials, and low taxes and duties.
According to Prada, the location where its goods are manufactured does not matter.
Over the years, they have assured their customers that all their products are of the same high quality whether they are made in China, Italy, or any other country.
So the next time you buy a Prada bag and notice that it is labeled ‘Made in China, rest assured that the bag is of high quality and that nothing was changed during the production process in China.