By  on September 26, 2011

1941: The company is founded in Manhattan as a small, family-run leather goods workshop.

1946: Miles Cahn joins the firm, known as Gail Leather Products.

1950s: Cahn begins running the factory for its owners. Inspired by the soft leather of a baseball glove, he develops a process to make leather supple and flexible yet strong. The Coach brand of sturdy cowhide purses would soon be introduced and become the company’s signature luxury trademark.

1959: The horse-and-carriage logo bows.

1961: Miles and Lillian Cahn buy out the factory’s owners, whose names have been lost with the passage of time.

1961: Coach hires American sportswear pioneer Bonnie Cashin — noted for her use of industrial hardware, leathers and wool — as its first creative director.

1962: Cashin’s first collection of fully coordinated handbags and accessories under the Coach brand, dubbed Cashin-Carry, makes its debut. She innovates with brass toggle hardware on bags, side pockets, colorful leathers and other accessories. She also introduces sportswear pieces under the Coach brand.

1964: The Coach Turnlock is used for the first time on handbags.

1973: The Duffle, which would become a brand hallmark, is introduced.

1974: The Coach lozenge hangtag first appears across the entire line.

1979: Lew Frankfort joins the firm as vice president of business development.

1980: The brand publishes its first catalogue and begins a mail-order business.

1981: Coach opens its first store, a 450-square-foot shop on Madison Avenue and 64th Street in New York.

1985: The Cahns sell Coach to Sara Lee Corp. for a reported $30 million; the brand’s sales are about $19 million at the time. Frankfort takes over as president.

To continue reading this article...

To Read the Full Article

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus