Coach Designer Handbags
At its creation, in 1941 Coach was a family-run workshop in an atelier on 34th Street in New York (Manhattan). It started with a handful of leather artisans, making billfolds and wallets – all made by hand from scratch – fashion design at the time wasn’t a top priority, remember 1941 was wartime.
In 1946, Miles Cahn and his partner Lillian joined the business. Miles and Lillian have owned a leather bag production service and were experienced about leatherworks and organization.
By 1950, Cahn and Lillian took over the workshop. At that time, Miles realized that the leather used for baseball gloves had different and quite specific qualities.
With time and along with the use, baseball gloves leather became more flexible and softer. He successfully reproduced the manufacturing process, Cahn made a method to make the leather more resistant, softer, and more adaptable.
Considering that the leather also, absorbed color extremely well, this procedure has the advantage of offering a leather with deeper colors.
Soon after Cahn developed this new leather staining process, Lillian recommended to Miles that the company adds to the existing products by including women’s Coach Designer Handbags.
The newly developed colored leather bags were an immediate bestseller. In 1961, Miles and Lillian Cahn acquired the leatherware company.
Just after the acquisition, the Cahn’s hired Bonnie Cashin, a sports apparel designer, to create handbags for Coach. Cashin completly changes products’ design and was working as the creative executive from 1962 until 1974 – some of her timeless designs are being revisited by Coach.
Cashin also designed matching shoes, pens, essential accessories, and eyeglasses, and included hardware to both her accessories and clothing – especially the silver monogram that ended up being the Coach hallmark – declaring that she had actually been motivated by a memory of rapidly securing the top on her car 🙂
Richard Rose was hired by Coach in 1965, and he is the one who made Coach Designer Handbags a name by putting the handbags and accessories in department shops not only in the USA but also abroad. He retired in 1995.
In 1979, Lewis Frankfort signed up with the company as VP of Business development.
During this period, Coach increased its sales to $6 million a year, but products were “only” sold through wholesale, and mostly in the northeastern United States, it lacked the lust of a physical flagship store.
It’s only in 1981 that the leather company opened its first physical store in Midtown Manhattan, on Madison Avenue to be exact.
An interesting fact, in 1983 the Cahn’s created a goat farm in Gallatinville, New York. They named it the “Coach Farm” which still exists and does well as it won several prizes. Two years later the family sold Coach Leatherwear to Sara Lee, Corp. for $30 million so they could focus on the farm.
Sara Lee – yes, the food company – placed Coach under the Hanes Group which Sara Lee spun off in 2006.
During this period, additional Coach shops were built and other significant department stores started selling the brand.
Sara Lee Corporation divested itself of Coach initially, by offering about 20% of the shares of Coach during the Coach IPO in October 2000 through an exchange deal.
It’s in 1996 that Lew Frankfort was hired as chairman and CEO of Coach, under his management, Coach Designer Handbags hired Reed Krakoff, who made Coach products more practical, light-weight, and way more trendy.
Krakoff’s new concepts changed Coach from the small company that it remained since the 1980s into the worldwide known designer brand that it is today.
Coach Designer Handbags from 2013 – Present.
In 2013, Victor Luis became Chief Commercial Officer and later Coach announced that Victor would become the President in January 2014, while Mr. Frankfort remaining as Chairman of the board.
That year, Coach had over $5 billion in sales and operated around 1,000 operated stores internationally – very far from the no store and $6 million in sales of 1979!
In 2014, Coach replaced Reed Krakoff with Stuart Vevers as the Innovative Executive Director. Lew Frankfort retired as Chairman at the end of his term in November 2014.
In 2015, Coach acquired the Stuart Weitzman (shoemaker) for around $600 million in cash. That year, Coach also introduced “Coach 1941”, a new line, more expensive and more focussed on focused on ready-to-wear.
2016 was the 75th anniversary of Coach and it started a partnership with Selena Gomez, the famous singer.
In 2017, Coach acquired Kate Spade for $2.4 billion, that same year Coach announced that on October 31, Coach Inc would be rebranded as Tapestry Inc which includes Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman.
Since 2019, Coach stopped using fur from all its collection, the same year Jennifer Lopez became the face of Coach which now has over 1,000 physical stores worldwide.