Coach markets itself as affordable luxury and if you happen to own a few Coach Handbags you would know that a hallmark of its products is the soft and supple leather used. But how many of you know about the evolution of the company itself and how they came upon this new technique of processing leather?
1941 saw the humble beginning of the company as a family business and their first products were hand-made leather wallets. Their company had only 6 workers to start with and the company that was to evolve into Coach was known as Gail Leather Products with their setup in New York City. Miles Cahn and his wife Lillian joined the business in 1946 bringing with them the knowledge and experience of manufacturing leather handbags. 4 years down the road they had taken over the business.
Cahn with his innovative and curious mind observed the softness and suppleness of a used leather baseball glove and duplicated the process for his products. He managed to create leather that was softer, stronger, more flexible and better absorbed the dye for richer color.
It was in the 50s that the company changed its name to Coach and the design of the horse and carriage logo was developed. The couple bought the company in 1961, and Lillian suggested that they delve into the market of leather handbags for women. It took some convincing to win over her husband for this idea as he thought that they could not compete with the companies that bought cheap bags from Europe. But Lillian not only convinced her husband but also designed the first Coach handbags.
In the early 60s Bonnie Cashin was recruited who designed her first collection of Coach Handbags called Cashin-Carry in 1962. Her designs were revolutionary and she included more pockets to organize contents better. The Duffle sac was designed and came into the market in 1973 and to this day is very popular.
Lewis Frankfort joined the business as Vice President of New Business development in 1979 and managed to elevate Coach into an international force. Frankfort was made President of the company when Sara Lee Corporation bought the company in 1985 and a decade later became Chairman and CEO. He opened specialty stores which saw an increase in sales.
Coach launched their website in 1999 and also branched off into manufacturing other products like outerwear, footwear and watches. In the next ten years the company opened up its flagship stores in Taiwan, Japan, Korea and China. Not only this, but they also stepped into the European market by opening a flagship store in London in 2011. Their innovative Coach handbags are now available worldwide.
Today Coach Handbags come in different styles, designs and colors from carryalls to satchels, clutches to totes and hobos to shoulder bags. They are available online for purchase from many websites which also give good discounts to their customers on authentic Coach products. Understanding the history of the bags makes you appreciate more highly the products that you buy from Coach.