An Honest, From The Heart, Rant About Coach Bags

My sister just took this photo with her phone and sent to me. We're in agreement on this one.

I do not like Coach bags. Never have; never will. My reason isn’t because they’re on the lower end of the designer bag totem poll, but because that “C” drives me batty. I am not one for monotonous prints that some people see as a status symbol. If Hermès started pulling that shit on their bags, I’d be anti-them, too. Coach bags covered in the letter “C” does not mean you have arrived, and if you’re carrying a fake one, it’s an even more upsetting state of affairs.

I will admit to having owned a hot pink Coach wallet in college, because I found it to be delightfully obnoxious. I am often drawn to pink as an accent color in my life, because I’m not a pink girl. When it was stolen out of my bag during the first week I was living in New York City, my sister replaced it with a bright turquoise one because, again, it was obnoxious and sort of funny to us.

I strongly feel that fashion doesn’t have to be advertised. When I see people walking up Broadway from Canal Street with their faux Louis Vuitton and Coach bags, while wearing a t-shirt with the two interlocking Chanel C’s across it, knowing full well that the shirt is about as Chanel as a Hanes tee, I cringe. I don’t think this makes me a snob; I think it makes me anti-faux, for starters, and aesthetically snobbish. There is no elitism involved.

However, I can forgive Louis Vuitton for the “LV.” I guess it has everything to do with the fact that the fashion house was started in 1854, whereas Coach didn’t come into the scene until 1941. The lettering thing had been done, it was made classic, then Coach and then the even more annoying, Dooney & Bourke showed up with their “DB,” and things just got messy. Too many letters make for an alphabet soup gone awry.

While I’ll never judge a friend for having a Coach bag, as I see it as them just simply being sucked into the world of consumerism and perhaps being slightly confused, I will judge the Coach brand for being boring and lacking luster. I’m well aware they have other bags that are not covered in their “C,” but I have a hard time getting past the C factor because I see it as unoriginal. Louis Vuitton made lettering iconic over a hundred years ago, but brands like Coach and the ones that followed made it look cheap. I do not care for cheap, and I especially don’t care for knock-offs. I respect fashion too much to tolerate sheep.

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    • Carmen

      I feel exactly the same way. I hate the tacky obviousness. I used to somewhat like them in college, so now people give me Coach bags that I don’t know what to do with, so I rarely use them. I have one tacky C covered bag that’s a good size though, so I use it as an everyday bag that I throw around all day. I still feel self conscious carrying it – lol.

    • Jen

      I have been ranting about the obnoxious over use of logos on the Coach bags for years as well! Some people think they are status symbols, but if you have to advertise the brand to such a degree it actually does the opposite. You are basically paying to carry a billboard promoting their brand all over town.

    • Kat

      This is fine as an opinion piece, but I don’t know…. it seems kind of arbitrary and subjective for a certain lettered logo to be ok and for another to be gauche. I definitely aesthetically prefer the coach bags that have a more subtle logo, but when people give these to me as gifts I’m going to put them to use unselfconsciously. Whatever – it’s just a bag that functions decently as a bag (and generally holds up longer than private label)for a lower price than other designer bags. On the other hand I live by a coach outlet so the lower than normal prices may factor into my perception that it’s a good value as well as contribute to me getting them as gifts semi regularly. Shrug.

    • porkchop

      What about their full grain leather classic bags? What about the old ones that were made in New York! Oh, those are nice !

    • Jo

      Well, this is why they’re trying to revive their classic styles like the Willis bag, right? Vintage coach bags are adorable and are also EXTREMELY popular. I agree with the “C”s and Coach’s bags in the past 15 years or so have definitely been less classy, but I hope that they will continue to focus more on reviving their old aesthetic because it truly is classic and tons of people are making money by reselling them, they might as well try to jump on that market.

    • Jessica

      I have to ask…have you seen the shoes?
      They’re about as garish as one could imagine.

      • Amanda Chatel

        YES. They make me feel not OK.

    • Shara

      What about the Coach Poppy bags? They usually don’t have the lettering and are really cute for younger girls. What’s your opinion on them, Amanda?

      • Amanda Chatel

        Totally agree — they are cute. They remind me of Chanel in a round about way. No C’s = a doable situation!

    • holleeta

      I own a Coach bag, but it’s leather of a gorgeous copper color – no C’s! It was a gift and I’ve been using it daily for 2.5 years. It still looks new and it goes with all of my every day outfits and more importantly, my hair and eye color.

      I typically despise anything with a logo on it. Even LV. I don’t care about the history. I just find the monogram ugly.

      For the past couple years I’ve gone back to my buying American roots, so when the time comes that I need a new bag, I’ll probably buy off of etsy or something similar.

    • Amy

      Ugh I agree about the one in the picture as I am not a fan of logo patterns, but I do have a grey patent leather Coach bag I got on super sale that is beautiful.

    • Kat G

      Amen. I find the drive for status in logo-drenched consumer goods so offensive and degenerate that it makes me feel queasy whenever I see it around me. Scottsdale, Az, I’m looking at you. I will say that Coach leather bags are well sewn, particularly the older ones before they were churning them out and offering them in a boutique section of Dillard’s. Give me a custom leather handbag sewn beautifully and I’ll show you how to rock subtle luxury over garish displays of excess.

    • Madeline

      So, I work at Coach, and nothing drives me crazier than when I suggest a customer buy a stunning leather bag and he or she’s is all “BUT IT DOESN’T SAY COACH! What’s the point if no one knows what it is?”

      Those are the people buying the obnoxious, signature print bags and wallets.

      Some signature bags are better than others, that’s for sure, but I don’t think I’d ever buy a fabric Coach bag. When the first Coach studio opened in 1941, they were producing remarkably high-quality leather bags, and that’s why they became famous. Those leather goods almost entirely why they are the brand they are today. It’s just such a shame that now, when people hear the name, they immediately associate it with that stupid “C” rather than the gorgeous, incredibly high-quality leather goods they’ve been perfecting for more than 70 years. I mean, our bags carry a lifetime guarantee for a reason!

      • Kimberly

        The author must be too young to know COACH! See my comment…

    • diane kaston

      just buy a botegga veneta, my own initials are enough, i am not paid to be an advert for some company luxury or otherwise, that being said my grandmother left me a few hermes scarves and i love them to this day because i loved her, so, i to am guilty, ah the vagaries of fashion

    • Katie

      Completely agreed – and even worse when it’s on other things – shoes, random items Coach did or did not make, etc. This is quickly becoming a “thing” with Tiffany blue – showers themed with it and the like, printing things in the same font, etc. I don’t even care that the lettering isn’t all that interesting or good looking, I hate that people take something they think is “expensive” and put it on anything to make it “fancy”.

      I don’t wear anything with a logo other than a ballcap or a jersey for the teams I actually support. There are only some “brands” I am loyal to! I do carry a coach bag – a gift for my 25th birthay – which I took a year to work up the nerve to carry because I couldn’t return it without having to explain that I was uncomfortable carrying something that cost half a month’s rent. It’s garnered a ton of compliments but I still admit it’s Coach with a boatload of chagrin because it’s not like that… really.

    • rebecca

      You are stating truth, but all designers do it. Tori Burch is the worst, and her double Ts make everything ugly to me. Coach leather bags that do not have the Cs are actually nice quality. But you’re right about people who wear/use items with the logos on them just to show the world they’re “fashionable”… not.

    • angie

      I dont like coach either but the author seems like a snob.

    • SarahKatharine

      I couldn’t agree more. I have NEVER liked Coach. Not even as a 13 year old girl when it was “hot” and I was young and didn’t know better. Coach is tacky. I have always thought so. The designs are not at all aesthetically pleasing to my eyes. Maybe some of the simple leather bags I can handle. I did see one bright leather bag that I did like once. But to me, it’s not worth it. I have a couple Louis Vuitton bags that I stick with. I am by no means rich. I’m 21 years old and an esthetician. But around Christmas I will treat myself to a nice purse. I am willing to drop over $1,000. I can wear my basics, mix textures, and experiment with layers. I can rock my drugstore makeup and give myself a free blow out. But a cheap purse can ruin a look. A poorly made purse will crash down on your entire well thought out ensemble. But a beautiful, thoughtfully made purse will give your look polish and luster.

    • citizenlen

      Although I am not a fan of logo bags incl LV no matter how long the company has been around, there is a market for it. It’s consumerism at its best. But I feel you are not doing your article justice my over looking at the fact Coach has many high quality leather bags without the logos. This is what Coach was always know for.

      I find LV bags off putting. 1st they’re made of canvas (I don’t care how much you tell me their high quality canvas)! 2nd, many of the LV carriers are snobs thinking their high fashionista. I always tell people buy good quality leather brand name or not. Because leather bags will not go out of fashion where as monogram bags like LV, Coach with C’s. Or Michaekl kors are only trends. And LV is now becoming just a trend instead of the old days when they were considerd luxe and exclusive. Consumers are now looking for leather. Hence LV has broadened their line to include leather albeit with the nauseating monograms.

    • Kimberly

      The author is obviously too young to have known Coach when it was classic, fine leather only and gift worthy. I agree that the logo is obnoxious and knocked off and oversold now at outlet malls, but by the looks of their new campaign and efforts- that is gone now. Coach is BACK! Luxury / Utility. I will never buy a designer bag that is only seen as a status symbol rather than quite luxury that I am happy to hold, not show off. I am anti- faux as well, but I know old Coach and I am embarrassed for the author that he/she disses a brand so American and rooted in understated luxury.