Lett’s dive in to the deep end of the history of this well known American household brand. I think I can explain my obsession for this brand because it originally had such a strong connection with sports. And I think that this connection just makes me not see it only as a luxury brand. It’s luxury but it’s strong. It’s luxury but it’s tough. It’s luxury but it has a drive. And, it’s luxury but it’s also the girl next door that drives to her baseball game on Sunday. Basically, Jen Aniston in a baseball cap, J Lo on her down time in at leisure. These are all images that come to mind when I think of Coach. For me, although Coach handbags are feminine and classy, that first connection the brand had with baseball will always make me think of the brand as the brand of bags for the tomboy, the girl you can’t mess with, the girls in a league of their own ( referring of course to the Geena Davis, Madonna film). It’s just about that little extra flair you can’t putt in to words, and Coach definitely has it. The fact that the brand also has a foundation to educate children and to empower women, is just the icing on the cake on my statements made about why I love Coach, like I love Jen Aniston.
Coach was founded in 1941 in a family run workshop in a loft on 34th Street in Manhattan. It was a 6 people workshop at the time that solely focussed on designing sturdy leather wallets. In 1946 Miles Cahn and his wife Lillian joined the company. The couple eventually buys the brand just a few years later. Miles, a baseball coach, noticed that the leather used for baseball gloves was very soft, very strong, and had a nice cognac colour that only got better with the use of the glove. Et voila, signature gloved leather by Coach was born there and then. It was only a matter of time that Lilian urged her husband to change his focus towards leather handbags for women. Out of all the coach bags, the vintage Coach bags, made in New York, are really the ultimate bags for me. I’d never dream of selling my true blue NYC Coach bags, as they are getting to be a real rarity and harder and harder to find.
In 1961 Bonnie Cashin, a sports pioneer, joined the brand. He made sure the bags got side pockets, a place for coins and he redesigned the bags in brighter, fun colours opposed to only the baseball tan.
In 1979 Lewis Frankfort made sure the brand got sold in big department stores while focussing on opening more Coach stores.
In 1985 Miles and Lilian Cahn decide to focus on their goat farm and making their own goat cheese. Crazy plot twist, I know. They sell the business to Sara Lee- that places Coach under their Hanes branch.
In 1996 : Reed Krakoff takes the lead as creative at Coach, thanks to Krakoff’s innovative designs Coach grows into a world known luxury brand. To be honest I do like the real vintage bags better to Reeds designs.
In 2016 Brit Stuart Vevers takes over from Krakoff. Vevers, previously creative at Loewe, Mulberry, Calvin Klein, Bottega Veneta, Marc Jacobs…transforms Coach on a whole new level. The brand also gets Selena Gomez and later Jennifer Lopez as ambassadors to speak to a younger and broader audience. Jay Shetty, former Monk, has a spot at the Coach YouTube channel since this January, speaking as a Coach, on purpose and other life related topics.
As for Vevers. I love the fact that he didn’t eliminate the cc logo, rather giving Coach a more mature, serious look by making the logo smaller ( and nicer looking in my humble opinion). He reinvented the vintage classics bags. These have a simple but evergreen design, making the vintage classics real classics to stand the test of time. He also has added some humor to the brand, launching bags with rockets, or adding Snoopy designs. I feel like some of the bags are seriously winking at the Marc Jacobs brand. And that’s a very good thing, we are all in desperate need of a little humor and playfulness these days.
Here are some amazing designs by Stuart Vevers. Available at Coach.com
Hearting all of the below styles but I seriously pick the Champion X Coach belt bag as my valentine.
To my fellow Europeans, it’s a UK site, I don’t know what the deal is with Brexit customs right now. So…better check before you buy!