by Valerie Davenport Photography
Unless you live under a rock in the USA, you’ve probably heard of Coach. They’ve been around since the 1940’s, starting out as a humble shop in New York where six leatherworkers crafted billfolds and wallets by hand. In the 1960’s, Lillian Cahn, who co-founded the shop with her husband Miles, convinced him to start creating women’s handbags. He scoffed in the beginning, but their first design, inspired by the paper tote bags she carried as a youth during the Depression – delivering her family’s handmade pasta noodles to customers! – became an instant classic, amassing loyal customers and propelling Coach into the Luxury goods arena.
Over the years those loyal customers have grown with the company, collecting classic bags with a deep appreciation for their workmanship (still handstitched, after all these years!), beautiful style, and lifetime warranty.
But in 2014 Coach veered into new territory, hiring Stuart Vevers as their creative director, a younger and more urban designer than Coach fans are accustomed to. The classic styles are still available, but Vevers has added a plethora of fashion-forward designs that push the boundaries of the typical customer’s comfort zone. Will fan loyalty hold fast, with this evolution of edgy, gritty, rocker flavor on handbags, couture clothing collections, and a newly-acquired shoe line (Stuart Weitzman)?
Time will tell. But I for one find this new Coach fascinating!
Now, I have a confession to make: I’m a fairly recent fan of Coach. Late to the party, I know… Seriously, they weren’t really much on my radar, until a couple years ago when a friend gave me a little gold handbag with the Op-Art C’s embossed on it. Cute! Then this last fall Coach’s Fall 2014 runway collection burst onto my Instagram feed. Swoon! Shearling-trimmed wedge booties, capes, metal tassles, plaid, and dark moody colors dominated the runway. And I fell in love!
When you see a handbag that makes you gasp, you form an instant emotional connection with it. It can’t be helped! And that’s the connection Stuart Vevers brings to this brand.
This Spring, COACH has turned up the wattage even more (Watch the runway video here, or click the photo below), with neons, edgy shapes, striking lines, and metal trim morphing onto classic Coach shapes. The expansion of their clothing line is another brilliant move, and the results are no less than stunning. I found myself going through the slideshows, thinking “I want that, and that, and that, and I’d totally wear that…” on almost every piece. The colors, the shapes… Everything about this collection is sheer delight! Stuart Vevers has done something few designers can pull off: nailing the perfect balance of Classic and Urban.
Personally, I like to think my own style is a mix of Classic and Urban, so the “New” Coach resonates with me! I adore structured lines with a flair for retro, like their newly-launched Swagger bag, available in large, mini, pebble leather, and metallic – 24 colors & sizes total!!! I love them ALL, but for this shoot I chose a classic Tote (in very un-classic neon!), because seriously, a bright yellow handbag is the perfect cheery go-to for a grey day! Just looking at it makes me smile. 🙂
Keep rocking what you’re doing, Coach – the fashion world just sat up and took notice!
Taxi Zip Top Tote, $325 online and at Boise Towne Square Mall / Hot pink Rainboots, $19.99 TJ Maxx / Polkadot Dress, $24.90 Forever 21 (Sold out, but something similar here) / Transparent Raincoat, $17.20 Amazon.com / White Fuzzy Knit Beanie, $4.00 Forever 21 online and at Boise Towne Square Mall
P.S., This post was not paid for, asked for, or sponsored in any way by Coach. I’m just a fan, with an honest opinion! 🙂
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4 thoughts on “How Coach is Becoming an Iconic American Brand”
Becoming? Coach has been an iconic American brand for many, many years.
Thanks for your comment, C! I feel like Coach has been a “Classic” brand for many years, but with their newest fashion director, edgy-yet-classy styles, and as always their top-notch materials & workmanship, they’ve risen to true “Fashion Icon” status in the last couple of years. I’m excited to see continued growth and expansion of their clothing & ready-to-wear lines; their Fall 2015 preview is to die for! 😀
I love Coach! I have 4 handbags and a wallet…and I never pay full price, and always shop the Coach outlet store to save major bucks! I hit the outlet every time I travel 😉
Good tip, Colleen! I love them, too. They’re expensive, but I’m very picky, and select a bag I absolutely LOVE, and know I’ll wear my money’s worth out of it. 🙂