Coach was founded in 1941, as a family-run workshop in a loft on Manhattan's 34th street, New York City,with six leatherworkers 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 business. 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 created a way of processing the leather to make it stronger, softer, and more flexible, along with being deeper-toned in color, since the leather absorbed the dye very well. Lillian Cahn suggested to Miles that the Coach Outlet 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 factory.Cashin "revolutionized the product's design," working as 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.
In 1979, Lewis Frankfort joined the company as vice-president of business development when the business was making $6 million in sales and products were being distributed through the domestic wholesale channel, primarily in the Northeast.He was mentored by the then Executive VP of Sales Richard Rose. Richard Rose is credited with making Coach a household name after putting the product in department stores across the United States and abroad. Richard was with Coach from 1965 to 1995 when he retired.
In 1981, under Frankfort's leadership, the Coach factory outlet company opened its first directly-operated retail location on Madison Avenue in Manhattan.
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 usa under its Hanes Group. In early 1986, new boutiques were opened in Macy's stores in New York and San Francisco. Additional Coach stores were under construction, and similar boutiques were to be opened in other major department stores later in the year. By November 1986, the company was operating 12 stores, along with nearly 50 boutiques within larger department stores.
In 1996, Lew Frankfort was named Chairman and CEO of Coach factory outlet online. 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.
In February 2013, Coach factory online named Victor Luis President and Chief Commercial Officer and announced that he would become 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 Coach boots, Japan, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea, and Europe.
In 2014, the company announced Stuart Vevers as the new Executive Creative Director, replacing Reed Krakoff.
In 2014, Coach announced that Lew Frankfort will 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.