Excellent quality handbags

Soft leather feel

Affordable but hard-wearing and long-lasting


The only con is that there are a lot of fakes around

Full Review

Coach - Designer Handbags You Can Afford

Coach is one of the most well-known and popular of the designer handbag makers. It is an American company, that first saw the light of day in a loft in Manhattan in 1941. Its most famous prducts are its leather handbags, but Coach also produces luggage, wallets, briefcases, and other accessories (shoes, belts, umbrellas, silk scarves, key chains, sunglasses, etc.), watches, and even office furniture

Coach womens handbags are expensive but not ridiculously so, they are extremely well-made, using only high-quality leather and sturdy metal rivets. The leather is described as "glove-tanned" and burnishes over time, thus ensuring a rich, lustrous patina. Each style has special feature details such as distinctive hardware, double-needle stitching and bound edges.

With proper care Coach leather goods will last 15 years or more, there are some original Coach bags from the 1970s that are still intact despite being in regular use.

A feature of bags made by Coach is that the company will repair any of their products, you just need to ship it back to the home office for a nominal fee, and enclose a letter describing the problem.

Coach's original designer was Bonnie Cashin. In 1960, Miles and Lillian Cahn, who at the time owned a wholesale handbag manufacturing business, decided to brnahc out into the retail business. They contacted Bonnie Cashin to invite her to become their designer. She declined at the time as she was too busy, but the Cahns said they would not start the business without her. They therefore waited for two years until she finished the project she was working on. In 1962, Cashin started work as the designer for their new brand, Coach.

The Cahn's decision proved to be a wise one, as Cashin revolutionized the handbag industry. Her designs were described as being more like modern sculpture and instead of being brown or black her bags were were dyed to match the candy colours of pink, orange, yellow and green she like so much, and were lined with magnificent Belgian linens, Mexican cottons, or tweeds designed by Dorothy Liebes. After years of being offered only black and brown bags, clients were captivated by the new shapes, colors and textures, all of which were sold with convenient wide openings or exterior pockets or coin purses.

Bonnie Cashin also was the first to pioneer the use of hardware on her accessories, especially the brass toggle that was to become the Coach hallmark.

Coach is able to offer its bags at lower prices than other designers as they have exceptionally long production runs which allow them to take advantage of economies of scale, this in turn ensures higher profit margins. Coach also saves costs by manufacturing its goods in developing countries such as China and the Dominican Republic.

Another factor which explains the success of Coach designer bags is that it has built up a reputation for 'affordable luxury,' i.e. its bags are recognized as being luxury designer bags while being priced to be affordable for those for whom price is a consideration.

Overseas sales are particularly strong, especially in Japan. Coach's main competitor in Asia is Louis Vuitton, which is still the top seller of women's designer handbags ven though its bags are generally a lot more expensive than Coach bags.

In 1985 Coach was bought by the Sara Lee Corporation and in 2000, it became a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Since this time the company has expanded to include "fashion" items in its products.

In Closing

Coach bags are an excellent choice for women who like their designer bags to be stylish, well-made and affordable.