When it comes to personal style, aesthetics are generally what separates one gentleman from the next. The common ground that any two luxury-minded gentlemen might have, however, is the question of quality.
Appreciating the value – not just financially – of well-made products is important. The heritage of a product is often overlooked, when the effort that goes into making luxury garments is often what sets them apart from other, lesser brands.
But quality comes at a price, so it pays to read up on the origins of whichever brand you may be about to buy. And, if you’re interested in a brand with such a strong and rich history as Coach, then you will not only find yourself comforted by their long legacy of quality craftsmanship and refinement, but you will enjoy reading up on the journey that has led them to where they are today.
The brand’s New York beginnings within a tiny, family-run studio secured the city as the stomping ground for Coach back when it was founded, and its legacy has very much lived on throughout the entirety of America for the last 75 years. Often defined as the modern American brand, Coach has carved out a name for itself as being the very thing that defines the general ease, coolness and sophistication of New York.
Its introduction into Europe less than a decade ago was founded upon these incredibly stylish New York roots. America trusted the brand, so we knew we could trust the brand.
Coach has a legacy in leather; a strong line of products that started the brand off on the right foot and have maintained their pole position in the industry for 75 years. Even when there were still just six dedicated artisans, there was one uncompromising goal – to use the finest leathers and the most modern, pioneering designs to make some of the most stylish and functional pieces that the market had ever seen.
Back in New York in the early days, one of Coach’s founding members, Miles Cahn, happened upon a tired and worn baseball glove. Immediately, the inspiration to innovate in leather struck him and, by1958, Coach’s first tanned cowhide glove was born. Almost indestructible, and undeniably one of the most stylish the industry had seen, sales soared and this simple accessory secured Coach as the Godfather of leather.
Leathercraft was not only in safe hands, but those hands were also safe inside meticulously-made Coach gloves.
Next came bags, briefcases, more gloves and other accessories, but the quality of each and every one of Coach’s subsequent products has been produced to the same high standards. Using almost the exact process as the artisans back in 1958, Coach’s craftsmen work tirelessly to stay ahead of the curve to this day.
Each leather bag goes through over 100 steps to assemble, and can take up to a day and a half to complete. It goes without saying that attention to detail sits at the centre of the brand; each piece is finished by hand and is tried and tested again and again for its durability and strength.
Each product is the result of Coach’s unique seven-step process: from beginning as raw hide from core tanneries around the world, through a top-grade leather selection during the splitting process, and ending with a supple finishing process and final inspection. No detail is overlooked, and any imperfection – no matter how small – is identified and cast aside.
Coach’s Fall/Winter collection is no exception to this wonderful and well-established process. The leather, from backpacks to boots and everything in-between, is as breathtaking now as it was when the company began in its small Manhattan loft – and we can’t imagine that changing anytime soon.
All images were taken exclusively for our Coach x Gentleman’s Journal collaboration. Model: George at Select Model Managements, photography by Adam Fussell, styling by Holly Macnaghten, grooming by Sergio Alvarez, hair by Sven Bayerbach.
This article was written in association with Coach. For more information about the brand, see here.