My first real introduction to Coach purses was through my friend Leigh. She has carried the Willis bag for as long as I've known her. Every few years she replaces it with another Willis bag. I like the Willis bag -- in fact, I own one. It's the perfect bag for job interviews and baby showers at The Swan House -- classic and understated. Since the Willis, I've added a butter-soft tan Soho bag (no link, as they don't seem to have my exact model any more) and a black leather book tote, as well as a couple of wristlets.
To me, Coach symbolized class -- leather bags that said, "I spend money on my bags because I value well-made, high-quality items." When they started making bags with the Signature jacquard fabric (like this one, which I love with the red stripe) I still liked them. I remember a conversation I had with Leigh at this time. She said she thought the signature bags were "too flashy" but I was okay with them -- until the knockoffs started appearing and everyone had a signature bag. However, I appreciated the attempts to update their look, which is when I got my Soho bag. It's beautiful -- I ended up with a matching wristlet.
The last couple of years I have watched as Coach's bags have become more and more gaudy. Two days ago I checked out their site and have come to an appalling conclusion: the designers at Coach have lost their fucking minds.
Moving on to the Amanda line. I have two words for you: Paris. Hilton. Satin? Seriously? Hundreds of dollars on a satin purse? Do you know how many times you can actually carry a satin bag before you snag it and it makes you look like a $5 whore? Three. Three times.
The Soho collection. This absolutely breaks my heart. While they still have a few beautiful, classic items like the satchel (in red -- isn't that gorgeous?) and I can even wrap my brain around the classy/funky purple patent satchel, there are some sins here that simply cannot be forgiven. This monstrosity is begging for a priest and some holy water. Sateen? SATEEN? Dear God in heaven.
This brings us to the Madison line, which holds horrors previously reserved for freak shows. If anyone I know ever spends $500 on a nylon (yes -- nylon -- like windbreakers!) bag with a photoprint on it, I'll kill them. Oh, hey, here's another one! And this right here? That's $1,000 worth of ugly, baby. Also found in this line is quite possibly the most hideous thing I've seen yet. What the FUCK? Are the people at Coach colorblind? And this one looks like an ad for 'The O.C.'
The Boutique line? Claire's Boutique at the mall, maybe.
Now it's not all bad news -- the Zoe and Legacy lines have some cute things (particularly this one) and if I had $800 to kick around I could probably talk myself into a couple of items from the Peyton collection. Except for that hideous turquoise color. :::shudders::: The Hamptons collection still has a couple of my favorites, the Leather Carryall (except, again, what the fuck is up with that teal color?) and the Leather medium Madeline (love the kicky little scarf). The new capacity wristlets are intriguing to me, being the wristlet fan that I am. I need to go see them in person. The Bleecker and Ergo lines aren't my cup of tea, but they don't make me want to gouge out my eyes with a spork, either. The Patchwork collection looks cheap but the Carly collection is okay -- this one is a knockout.
Compared with some of the newer horrors, the Signature Stripe line looks positively staid. However, I stand by my "everyone has one now" feeling -- the market is glutted with fakes.
Coach, I implore you -- look up the word 'standards' in the dictionary. I know you're trying to be hip and trendy and shit, but seriously -- take off your sunglasses when choosing your colors. I'm guessing you tried to get 'noticed' with the new celebutantes: Paris, Lindsay, the Olsens. But they are fickle, Coach people, they will carry your bag once and disappear. There are thousands of us out here who will be here for you when they are gone. Think carefully before you trade us in for a newer model. Change things now and I'll ignore your shoes.