Coach to Become a Lifestyle Brand – and Memories of My Very First Coach Handbag

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Coach Legacy Leather Handbag

Coach Legacy Leather Handbag

Coach, the venerable accessories brand, is transitioning to a lifestyle brand, says designer, president and creative director Reed Krakoff who announced the expansion of their footwear and handbag lines. In addition, the company is considering a ready to wear line of clothing, although this has yet to be confirmed.

What do you think? Would you like to see Coach apparel at a luxury department store near you in the future?

It is with terribly fond memories that I recall my first Coach handbag. I had just started working at Fairchild Publications (Women’s Wear Daily, W, Footwear News, among others) and I decided to treat myself to a handbag I considered worthy of my new employment status. Oh, how I loved that bag. It was butterscotch yellow and of the cushiest leather imaginable. I wore it to death and, because the leather became scratched, I gave it away. I will admit that I discarded it before its time. A Coach leather bag, circa the 1980s was built to last. Those scratch marks served to make the leather more beautiful – but I was very young and very into having to have the latest trend just before it peaked. Alas, my butterscotch Coach was no longer on that cutting edge so I let it go. Sigh. I wish I still had that bag.

Owning – and disowning – my Coach bag taught me a very valuable lesson. To this day, I am loathe to give away my handbags and often carry bags from the 1960s that were my mom’s. I get tons of compliments when I carry my grandmother’s alligator bag from the 1950s. (Thank you Artbag in NYC for restoring it to its former glory.) My daughters are going to get my Chanels and Judith Leibers as well as the beautiful vintage bags I’ve been given or have collected over the years.

But, try as I might to replace it, I’ve never been able to locate a bag similar to my first Coach bag.

When my daughters were young – perhaps too young, one might argue convincingly – I bought them Kate Spade handbags. At the time, owning a Kate Spade bag was a rite of passage for a young girl. All of their friends had one and, right or wrong, I made sure my girls did too. Mind you, when I presented these gifts to my daughters, I lectured each girl on the importance of taking care of it and respecting it. I taught them to admire its workmanship and design aesthetic and I noted with pride that my girls appreciated their handbags and treated them with great care. My daughters have since moved out of my house although they’ve left many things behind in their closets and drawers. Their Kate Spade handbags are among these treasures from their childhoods. Perhaps they’ll reclaim them one day.

I wonder if, when they look at their very first Kate Spades, they are flooded with happy memories of parties and celebrations when they had their bags on their arms. I must remember to ask them. In the meantime, their bags are here when, and if, they want them and at least I know my girls won’t have the same misgivings I have about my lost and beloved Coach bag.

Is there a handbag, article of clothing or other item from your youth that you wish you still owned? Share by leaving a comment in the section below.

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2 Comments on Coach to Become a Lifestyle Brand – and Memories of My Very First Coach Handbag

  1. Debra
    January 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm (2 years ago)

    I remember & still have my first Coach bag- the leather lasts so I kept it! I have several leathers from then but gave up when the prices started going up so much & then look went too trendy I stopped buying them. The one pictured is gorgeous but can not financially justify it at this time- maybe in a year when at the outlets !:) I have too many unloved Dooneys, Louis in the closet as it is.

  2. Melody Lesser
    January 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm (2 years ago)

    You’re so lucky – and smart! – to have kept your first Coach handbag. I’m jealous! Post a picture of it on EB’s FB page. I’d love to see it and bet other readers will too. (I agree that I did choose to illustrate my post with one of the most beautiful Coach bags in the line. Lol!) I have searched many vintage shops, online sellers like Ebay and garage sales for a Coach bag similar to my first one. And, I keep looking … Handbags do go out of style, of course, but once they’ve reached a certain age, they somehow look right, no matter how old they are. Well, I think so, anyway. xo!

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