In 1941, Coach was founded as a family-owned business called the Gail Leather Products in New York City. In 1946, Lillian Cahn and her husband Miles joined the company. Miles noticed that with wear and tear, the leather used to make baseball gloves, became softer and more supple. Miles created a way of processing leather to make it stronger and more flexible.
In 1961, Bonnie Cashin joined Coach to design handbags from 1962 to 1974 and revolutionized the product’s design. Bonnie introduced brighter colors, coin purses and side pockets into the bags. Bonnie also added a silver toggle to her clothes and accessories, which became the Coach trademark.
In 1985, Miles and Lillian decided to sell Coach and dedicate more time into their goat farm and cheese production business. The company was sold to the Sara Lee Corporation for 30 million dollars. Lewis Frankfort took over the company as Cahn’s successor.
In 1996, Coach hired Reed Krakoff, who was responsible for Coach’s success. His design turned the small company that it was, into the worldwide known brand that it is today.