Founded in 1941 as a family-run workshop in a Manhattan loft, Coach has grown into a leading American fashion brand for women and men around the world. Under license since 2012, the Coach eyewear collection perfectly expresses the effortless New York style and the authentic American heritage.
Coach IP Holdings LLC (also known as Coach New York and simply Coach) is an American company specializing in luxury accessories such as handbags.
History 1941–1985 190 Post St in San Francisco, CA King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, PA Coach was founded in 1941 as a family-run workshop in a loft on 34th Street in Manhattan, with six leather-workers who made wallets and billfolds by hand. In 1946, Miles Cahn and his wife Lillian joined the company.
Miles and Lillian Cahn were owners of a leather handbag manufacturing business and were knowledgeable about leatherworks and business. By 1950, Cahn had taken over the company. During the early years, Cahn noticed the distinctive properties and qualities of the leather used to make baseball gloves. With wear and use, the leather in a glove became softer and suppler. Attempting to mimic this process, Cahn made a way of processing the leather to make it stronger, softer, and more flexible. Since the leather absorbed dye very well, this process also created a richer, deeper color in the leather.
Soon after Cahn developed this new process, Lillian Cahn suggested to Miles that the company supplement the factory’s men’s accessories business by adding women’s leather handbags. The “sturdy cowhide bags were an immediate hit.” Miles and Lillian Cahn bought the company through a leveraged buyout in 1961.
In 1961, Cahn hired Bonnie Cashin, a sportswear pioneer, to design handbags for Coach. Cashin “revolutionized the product’s design,” working as a creative head for Coach from 1962 through 1974. Cashin instituted the inclusion of side pockets, coin purses, and brighter colors (as opposed to the usual hues of browns and tans) in the products. Cashin also designed matching shoes, pens, key fobs, and eyewear, and added hardware to both her clothes and accessories–particularly the silver toggle that became the Coach hallmark–declaring that she had been inspired by a memory of quickly fastening the top on her convertible sports car.
Richard Rose joined Coach in 1965, and he is responsible for making Coach a household name after putting the product in department stores across the United States and abroad. In 1979, Lewis Frankfort joined the company as vice-president of business development. During this time, Coach was making $6 million in sales, and products were being distributed through the domestic wholesale channel, primarily in the northeastern United States.
Mr. Rose, then executive VP of sales, mentored Frankfort, before retiring from his position in the company in 1995. In 1981 the company opened its first directly operated retail location on Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.
1985: Sale to Sara Lee. In 1985, the Cahns decided to sell Coach Leatherware after determining they wanted to “devote more time to their growing goat farm and cheese production business called Coach Farm in Gallatinville, New York, which they began in 1983”. Coach was then sold to Sara Lee Corporation for a reported $30 million. Lew Frankfort succeeded Cahn as president. Sara Lee structured Coach under its Hanes Group. In early 1986, the company opened new boutiques in Macy’s stores in New York City and San Francisco. Additional Coach stores were under construction, and similar boutiques were to be opened in other major department stores later that year.
By November 1986, the company was operating 12 stores, along with nearly 50 boutiques within larger department stores. Sara Lee Corporation divested itself of Coach first, by selling 19.5% of their shares of Coach at the Coach IPO in October 2000, followed in April 2001, with the distribution of their remaining shares to Sara Lee’s stockholders through an exchange offer.
1996: Reed Krakoff leads design In 1996, Lew Frankfort was named chairman and CEO of Coach. The following year, under Frankfort’s leadership, Coach hired Reed Krakoff, whose creative and commercials instincts aimed to make Coach products functional, lightweight, and stylish. Krakoff’s design transformed Coach from the relatively small company that it was in 1985 into the worldwide-known brand that it is today. On June 1, 2000, the company changed its name to Coach, Inc. 2013–present In February 2013, Coach named Victor Luis president and chief commercial officer and announced that he would become a chief executive officer in January 2014, with Lew Frankfort continuing as executive chairman.
In 2013, Coach generated $5 billion in sales and operated approximately 1,000 directly operated locations globally, including North America, Japan, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea, and Europe. In 2014, the company announced Stuart Vevers as the new executive creative director, replacing Reed Krakoff. During 2014, Coach also announced that Lew Frankfort would retire as executive chairman at the expiration of his term in November 2014. In January 2015, Coach agreed to buy shoemaker Stuart Weitzman for up to $574 million in cash.
In the same year, Coach also launched Coach 1941, “a new, higher-priced line centered on ready-to-wear.”  Coach marked its 75th anniversary in 2016 with the announcement of its partnership with Selena Gomez. In July 2017, Coach purchased Kate Spade for $2.4 billion.
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. had previously expressed interest in buying Kate Spade. On October 10, 2017, Victor Luis (CEO) announced that on October 31, Coach Inc would be renamed and rebranded as Tapestry Inc. The company’s ticker symbol on the NYSE changed from COH to TPR effective October 31, 2017. As of 2019, Coach dropped the use of fur from its collection. In September 2019, Coach named Jide J. Zeitlin, Chairman of the Board, as new CEO of Tapestry (Parent Company of Coach New York), replacing former Chief Executive Officer Victor Luis.
In November 2019, Jennifer Lopez became the new global face of the company.