coach, founded in 1941, has long been a mainstay in the handbag and accessories realm, and the company has always had a reputation as a maker of quality leathergoods. after reed krakoff, fresh off stints at polo and tommy hilfiger stepped in, he took the brand to the next level by adding product categories, non-leather bags, fragrances, and more. now that brands like michael michael kors, tory burch, even j. crew have encroached into coach’s sandbox, the company has decided to evolve once again. the first step, according to wwd, is an increased of amount of footwear, watches, jewelry and outerwear, which can be seen in the spring lookbook. later you’ll see redesigned stores and in-store shoe salons, plus ready to wear.
personally i love the idea of coach expanding into more of a lifestyle brand. based off the designs they’ve been offering already (mainly modern takes on pieces from the archives) plus the fact that the new women’s designer sandra hill worked for paul smith for years bodes well. however, i did see in the article that while the current average price for a bag is $460, the company is planning to release more and more bags between $500 and $800, with comparable priced footwear. as krakoff told to wwd, “it’s really expanding the attitude…you can’t go in
thinking about price. it has to start with whether it’s something you
really love.” what i always loved about coach is that you could get a well-made bag for an affordable price, but with brands like the row, victoria beckham, celine, and proenza schouler making bags for well over $2k, paying $800 doesn’t seem so bad. but will coach’s core customers think so? what do you think about the new direction for coach?
all images from coach.com