The History Behind Coach Handbags

Have you ever wondered about the companies behind designer handbags? Does it really matter if you know who makes those bags? Maybe I just have too much time on my hands. But I decided that I wanted to know something about some of the companies behind those high priced bags. Because Coach bags are so popular I decided to learn more about the Coach Company.

After some research on the internet, of course, I discovered that Coach was founded in 1941 and was and still is based out of New York City. American made handbags, awesome. I am still confused on Coach’s original name because in one search the company was called Manhattan Leather Bags and another search the company was called Gail Leather Products. However, all the stories agree that it began as a family-owned business, with six leather workers who hand-made leather wallets and billfolds.

In 1946, Miles Cahn and his wife Lillian joined the company. They were owners of a leather handbag manufacturing business and with their knowledge about leather works were a great fit. Within 4 short years, Cahn had all but taken over the business. Creative, curious, and one whose business was leather, he noticed the longer a baseball glove was used, the softer and more supple the leather became. In his attempt to duplicate the same process used for the baseball gloves, he created a way of processing the leather that made it stronger, softer, and more flexible. An added benefit of this process was that the leather absorbed the dye better resulting in a deeper and richer color.

In 1961, Miles and Lillian Cahn bought the company and Lillian suggested that the company start making women’s leather handbags. Miles was against the idea because there were a lot of handbag companies in New York and stores were buying knock-offs from Europe. However, Lillian prevailed and she designed the first Coach Bag. It was a tote modeled after a paper shopping bag she had used as a girl in Wilkes-Barre, PA. It became a classic. Miles went on to make a dozen other handbag designs that became the first generation of the Coach Line and Lillian became the spokesperson for the company. She established a strong rapport with fashion writers and editors and put Coach bags in the fashion circles.

Miles hired Bonnie Cashin, a sportswear pioneer, to design handbags for Coach and she revolutionized the product’s design. During that time, Cashin instituted the inclusion of side pockets, coin purses, and brighter colors (as opposed to the usual hues of browns and tans) onto the bags. She added hardware to her handbags, specifically the silver toggle that became the Coach hallmark. Cashin remained with the company until 1974. Around the mid-1970s, the company changed its name to Coach Products, Inc and in 1980, the company changed its name again to Coach Leatherware Company, Inc.

In 1979, Lewis Frankfort joined Coach as the Vice President of New Business Development. He spearheaded the development of Coach Stores and introduced Coach to the international markets. In 1985, Sara Lee Corporation bought Coach and Frankfort was appointed President of Coach. Ten years later, Frankfort was appointed Chairman and CEO of Coach and he branched out opening specialty stores and mail catalogs. Sales significantly increased and because the demand was greater than the supply, Coach had to restrict sales to hand-selected vendors.

Coach handbags are handcrafted from the finest American and European hides and textiles and continues to innovate each season, turning out new colors, styles and designs.

A good friend of mine told me that when her husband asks her what she wants for Christmas or her birthday, she asks for the latest Coach Handbag. Coach Handbags are not only beautiful but are so well made that they can last a lifetime, at least according to my good friend. Buy a Coach Handbag and let me know what you think. I believe you will be just as impressed as my friend.

The History of Fashion Jewelry

Jewelry has made significant impressions on society dating back to ancient times. In ancient civilizations, gold was considered a preferred luxury metal because did not tarnish and was shapeable. Jewelry personified natural forms such as shells, plant life, and animals. Significant advances in style became increasingly evident with the setting of pearls and gemstones in shiny metals. Jewelry was worn in the form of necklaces, bracelets, pendants, earrings, and wreathes.

During Medieval Times, jewelry was widely adorned and worn by various levels of society. Brooches, pendants and pins with religious motifs were very popular during this period. Jewelry became so popular, sumptuary laws were created to limit lower levels of society from wearing gold and silver jewelry.

15th – 17th Centuries

Fake pearls and enamels became increasingly acceptable and were mass produced. These items were typically worn during the daytime as substitute for finer jewelry. Fine jewelry was kept for evening wear. Diamonds increased in popularity as well. The invention of the prong setting enhanced the brilliance of the diamond; therefore, expanding its allure with the upper-classes.

Victorian Era

The Victorian Era was an important advancement for Jewelry as an art form. Artistic expression became more apparent in fashion and jewelry. The early Victorian years were referred to as the Romantic period. The Romantic period emphasized dreams and emotions as inspiration for artistic expression. Morning brooches were a staple of this period. The hair of a loved one was intertwined within a pin, pendant, or brooch to make a sentimental piece of jewelry.

Mass production of jewelry lowered its luster with Victorians as importation of jewelry began from North America to Europe; thus, the beginning of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Arts and Crafts guilds were smaller jeweler associations, but provided higher quality jewelry and intricate artwork in design.

Early 20th Century

The Art Nouveau Movement was derived from the Arts and Crafts movement. It started in Paris and spread to North America. Asymmetrical and flowing lines inspired natural designs. Among these natural designs, floral and female forms were very popular. This period has a continuous influence on Jewelry design.

1930 to 1940

The reinstatement of mass produced jewelry followed the Art Nouveau Movement. This type of jewelry was meant to be worn selectively as an accessory to specific outfits. Two designers, Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli masterminded accessorizing fine and costume jewelry with day to day fashion. Vermeil jewelry was popular, but in short supply from war efforts. Rhinestones popularity increased.

1950’s

Hollywood’s flamboyance and glamour influence spread across continents. Engrained with it was costume jewelry on the silver screen. The styles and look of the stars quickly spread and was widely accepted across the world. The emergence of the middle class in America increased the demand for costume jewelry. This encouraged technical advances in mass production methods.

Today’s era has brought a creative culmination of styles to fashion jewelry, both timeless and trendy. Many celebrities have caught the wave by designing their own lines. Tori Spelling and Suzanne Somers are among a few. The fashion Jewelry industry is now a multi-billion dollar industry.

Jewelry is much more eclectic in today’s era. Pieces are made by many different stones, textures, colors, various lengths, or metals. Jewelry is sold in large department stores, restaurants, gift shops, jewelry parties, and boutiques.

Fashion jewelry adds a splash of pizazz to attire no matter the occasion. Most importantly, fashion jewelry is fun! It is fun to shop for jewelry, sell jewelry, collect jewelry, and of course, show it off.

The History of Kangaroos Shoes and Sneakers

If you grew up in the eighties you probably remember having a pair of Kangaroos shoes. I had a pink pair and back then they featured a little Velcro pouch on the side of each shoe where you could store your secret treasure. Today the pouch remains but has been replaced with a zipper instead of Velcro. Nike says, “Just do it” but Kangaroos wants to know, “What’s in your pocket?”

The Kangaroos brand began in 1979 when an avid runner named Bob Gamm decided he needed a place to store his house key and a small amount of money while he went out for his daily run. No glamorous or fab story here. These simple and fun shoes may have grown from small beginnings but their popularity has lasted for 30 years. In the 1908s Kangaroos shoes began to increase in popularity as professional athletes like Walter Payton, Clyde Drexler, and Ozzie Smith began to endorse the shoes. As sales increased, Gamm was able to reinvest some of the money to make his running shoes even better. He even partnered with NASA to develop a shoe technology knows as Dynacoil, a patented energy system that involves an improvement in the suspension and cushion located in the sole of the shoe. Many other shoe companies have begun using this technology in their own shoe lines.

For a few years in the late 1908s Kangaroos disappeared from the market after their popularity diminished but reappeared in the late 1990s. During this time the shoes became very popular in other countries, especially those in Europe. Even during these tough times Gamm remained dedicated to making Kangaroos synonymous with serious athletic footwear and worked on developing his shoes in a testing facility located at the University of Illinois. During this time he was able to refine his shoes for use in many different sports including basketball, tennis, track, and American football.

Now Kangaroos shoes are more known for their role in fashion and lifestyle footwear rather than serious performance sports. Today they are sold in over sixty countries around the world. You’ll probably find Kangaroos shoes in all types of styles, forms, and colors. Most still have pockets and others have a larger side pouch going up the ankle that can hold a small wallet.