Kate Spade Authentic Labels
Much confusion surrounds the issue of Kate Spade labels. Sometimes examining the label is the only way you can tell (at least from a picture) whether a KS bag is authentic or not. With that in mind, here is a primer on the labels that Kate Spade uses, as well as labels that you will commonly see on counterfeits.
Basic Fabric Bag Labels:
First, there is your basic "Kate Spade New York" label. Most of the fabric bags will have this label on it. Memorize the stitching, font, size and spacing of these letters.
Many bags from the older (1994-1996) collections have a similar label, but the label itself is larger and the lettering is larger.
Nylon items (and other items made in China) from 2002 on have a slightly smaller label with letters that are closer together.
Since 2002, many fabric bags have also been made with leather labels sewn only on the sides, with an embossed solid letter logo. This is from a fall, 2002 Pony Halley bag:
Leather Bag Labels
With regard to leather bags, it is very difficult to determine authenticity from the label alone. In general, the labels on leather bags will either be embossed:
The logo might also be stamped or embossed on the strap, as was the case with this hair-calf leopard bag from fall, 2001:
There are so many specialty labels, it is practically impossible to get them all here. Here are the most common specialty labels you will see on authentic Kate Spade bags:
A ribbon label from a straw bag, date unknown:
From the Kate Spade for Lilly Pulitzer collection, circa 1996:
"kate spade" labels from evening bags, 1998-1999:
Evening Bag embroidery:
From the 1999 Kate Spade Texas denim collection:
A leather label on a linen bag, circa 1999:
From a canvas bag, circa 2000 (stitched with white thread):
From the 2000 Spazzolato leather collection:
Metal label from the Summer, 2001 Palm Beach Linen collection:
Green lettering from the 2001 Park Stripe collection:
Gold-stamped label, from the spring 2001 printemps silk collection:
Fabric label from small collection of silk faille accessories, summer 2001:
Birdseye Goldstamp, from fall 2001:
Metal tag from nylon/leather collection, circa 2002-2003:
From the 2003 Maira Kalman for Kate Spade bags:
From the Kate Spade Decade Noel collection, summer/fall 2003:
From the Kate Spade Haagen Daas totes, summer/fall 2003:
From fall, 2003 canvas accessories, made to match:
Country of Origin Labels
Now, let's talk about country of origin labels. In case you didn't read the FAQ page, please note that not EVERY Kate Spade bag has a country of origin label. Many of the bags produced in the earliest collections, up until 1996, had no country of origin label. I have *4* older bags with no country of origin label, including my Kate Spade for Lilly Pulitzer.
That said, any bag made after 1996 should have a country of origin label. Sometimes they are very hard to find. For example, they are often hidden in the interior pocket of a bag, sewn onto the seam. You have to pull the pocket lining all the way out in order to find them.
Many bags, from 1996 - 2002, were made in the USA. If your bag was made in the USA, the tag MUST look like this:
See the pictures below, under "counterfeit labels" for pictures of fake made in USA tags.
All of Kate's leather, suede, and hair calf bags were made in Italy. Many other collections were made in Italy as well, such as the Italian nylon and some other faille and silk collections. Here are examples of Made in Italy labels. Unlike the Made in USA flag tag, there really aren't any rules when it comes to the made in Italy tags. I will say this. In all of my years of doing this, I have seen *one* fake with a made in Italy label. Just one.
For a couple of years, 1997 - 1999 I believe, some of Kate's nylon line was produced in Taiwan. The interior label will be something like this:
Here's another Made in Taiwan label, from a 1997 canvas bucket bag:
Prior to 2002, only some of the nylon bags and nylon accessories were made in China. Until 2002, the China label simply looked like the little made in Taiwan label or like this:
Now it is big and looks like this:
You will also see the large made in China label in leather on some bags. Here's one with gold-stamp lettering:
Here's one without gold-stamp lettering:
Many straw and wicker bags are made in the Phillipines. Shown here are the pre-2002 and post-2002 Phillipines labels:
Although Kate Spade does not normally manufacture in the Dominican Republic, a few collections have been made there:
~*New for 2004! Kate Spade bags are now made in Indonesia. The new interior labels just say "Kate Spade New York" on them, and then there's a teeny "Made in Indonesia" tag sewn in the seam, just like the old Taiwan and China labels. Here are the interior tags on my 2004 pink nylon messenger bag:
Fake Kate Spade Labels
All of these labels are fake. They all have some problems; some serious, some not so serious. Sometimes you have to look very carefully to be able to tell why a label is fake!