Coach is an American company specializing in luxury accessories such as bags and shoes. Don’t miss our guide that explains how you can tell if a Coach purse is real.
The company was founded under the name Manhattan Leather Bags in 1941 as a family-run workshop in a loft on 34th Street in Manhattan, with six leatherworkers who made wallets and billfolds by hand.
Who is Coach owned by?
In October 2017, The Chicago Tribune reported that the storied Coach company was changing its name to Tapestry.
The History of Coach
Coach New York – commonly referred to as just Coach – began in 1941 as a family-run workshop in Manhattan.
Their early products were handmade leather wallets and billfolds. Five years later, Miles and Lillian Cahn joined the company. They were owners of a leather handbag manufacturing business and took over Coach in 1950.
Coach was founded in 1941 under the name Manhattan Leather Bags (Credit: Jon Kraft / Shutterstock)
What made Coach famous was its soft and flexible, but resilient leather. It was only inspired by the leather used in baseball gloves before being incorporated into the brand’s leather handbags and men’s accessories.
In 1961, Bonnie Cashin was brought onboard to design handbags for Coach. She revolutionized their designs, adopting a brighter color scheme and including coin purses and side pockets.
By 1965, Coach hit department stores and became a household name. It took until 1981 for the brand to open its Madison Avenue store as its first direct retail store.
In the 1980s, it was sold to Sara Lee Corporations for $30 million, leading to boutiques being opened in Macy’s stores and other major boutiques.
The Coach boutique in Macy’s flagship department store in Herald Square in New York (Credit: Rblfmr / Shutterstock)
The next change for Coach came in 1997 when Reed Krakoff was hired. He pivoted the brand towards lightweight and functional designs that won Coach a captivated audience.
In 2000, it was rebranded as ‘Coach, Inc’. During the 2010s, the brand acquired Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade, with the parent company eventually being renamed as ‘Tapestry Inc.’
With the establishment of Tapestry, Coach once again found its feet as a mid-tier designer brand at an accessible price point.
In 2019, Jennifer Lopez became its global ambassador. Several collaborations with household brands like Disney helped to boost the brand’s profile amongst a younger audience.
Coach has recently started selling more expensive handbags to compete with established European luxury brands.
Is Coach owned by Louis Vuitton?
No, Coach is owned by Tapestry, which is an American luxury conglomerate competing with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE and Kering SA.
Is Coach owned by Sara Lee?
Not anymore. The founders sold the company to Sara Lee Corporation for a reported $30 million in 1985, but Sara Lee Corporation divested itself shortly after the Coach IPO in October 2000.