Coach was founded in New York in 1941 with the mission to design leather goods with the same thoughtful craftsmanship as a baseball glove. The goal was to create bags and accessories that were tanned, supple, high-quality and featured excellent stitchwork and craftsmanship.
Six artisans created 12 handbags to much success. Coach later grew under the direction of Lillian and Miles Cahn to become one of the most iconic and successful handbag manufacturers in the U.S.
Designer Bonnie Cashin joined Coach in 1962 brought color, proportion and quirk to match the attitude of ‘60s New York. Cashin was credited with adding the brass toggle hardware to Coach bags as well as adding bold colors to simple designs. The striped madras cotton lining became her trademark.
When Coach entered the handbag market, American buyers could choose from European high-end designer bags or cheap knock-offs. Coach offered fashion something fresh, utilitarian, and unique.
In 1988, Coach launched a collection of watches and launched outerwear in 1992. Coach entered into the ready-to-wear market in 1993 with the hiring of Reed Krakoff, an American sportswear designer formerly of Tommy Hilfiger.
The iconic C-design logo pattern was introduced in 2001 to capitalize on the logo mania that swept the fashion industry in the late ‘90s and early aughts.
Some of Coach's most popular vintage designs that are still loved today are the Coach Duffle that was introduced in 1971, the Coach Saddle that debuted in 1972, and the Coach Dinky, designed by Cashin, that went to market in 1973 though its signature turnlock was invented by the designer nearly 10 years prior.