You may own a few Coach purses but do you know the history behind their making? Did you know how they came up with soft and supple leather products that have now become their hallmark?
Coach started out in 1941 as a family business making hand-made leather wallets and other small products with a total of 6 workers. They were based out of New York City and were originally called Gail Leather Products. In 1946, the company saw the addition of Miles Cahnandhis wife Lillian Cahn. They had knowledge and experience in manufacturing of leather handbags and within 4 years Cahn had taken over the business.
Cahn was innovative and creative and one day he noticed how soft and supple the leather of a baseball glove became after use. He tried to duplicate the process for his leather products and created leather that was softer, more flexible and stronger. He also noticed that the leather better absorbed the dye for a richer color. During this time in the 50s the company became known as Coach and the horse and carriage logos began to emerge.
In 1961, the couple bought the company and Lillian came up with the suggestion to start manufacturing leather purses for women, but her husband was not as convinced as there were a lot of companies at that time buying cheap copies from Europe. Lillian however managed to convince her husband and designed the first Coach purse which was a tote. The company soon made many other designs as well.
Bonnie Cashin joined the Company in the 60s and her first collection of Coach purses called Cashin-Carry debuted in 1962. She came up with innovative designs using brighter colors in her bags and including coin purses and side pockets. She also added the silver toggle that has become the hallmark of their handbags.
In 1973 the Duffle sac was introduced which became an instant hit and is still very popular today. 1979 saw the induction of Lewis Frankfort who joined as the Vice President of New Business development and catapulted Coach into the international market. Sara Lee Corporation bought the business in 1985 and made Frankfort the President of the company. A decade later Frankfort became Chairman and CEO of Coach and he opened specialty stores which greatly increased sales for the business. In 1999 Coach.com was launched online and the 90s also saw the company growing from manufacturing Coach purses to outerwear, watches and footwear.
The 2000s saw the company opening up its flagship stores in Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China as well as its first launch in Europe with its flagship store in London in 2011. From its first innovative design of Coach purses, the company has never looked back and has grown in leaps and bounds with a strong international presence.
Coach designs many types of handbags from satchels to carryalls, totes to clutches and shoulder bags to hobos. Coach purses are available online for purchase from their official site or from other outlet stores which offer good discounts on their products.