Coach vs. Michael Kors – Which brand is better? As two accessible designer brands, Coach and Michael Kors are often contrasted and compared. So, if you’re trying to decide between Coach vs. Michael Kors once and for all, we’ve got just the right guide for you.
When it comes to luxury handbags and accessories, Coach and Michael Kors are two of the most popular American brands. Both offer a wide range of stylish and high-quality products designed with the modern fashionista in mind. But which one is the best choice for you? To help you decide, I put together this article that will compare Coach vs. Michael Kors, looking at their product range, price points, customer service, and overall brand reputation.
By understanding each company’s strengths and weaknesses, you can decide which brand best fits your needs regarding luxury handbags and accessories. Let’s compare these two brands, and by the end of this post, you will better understand which one you should invest your money in.
Coach vs. Michael Kors – Which brand is better?
Going where no designer brand had dared to go, Coach and Michael Kors stepped into the overlap between high street and designer. However, the two American brands always maintained just enough luxury edge to keep the designer prefix to their names. With their quality products available at affordable prices, it was only a matter of time before their popularity soared to iconic status.
Specializing in the same domain – handbags, accessories, and clothing – you may wonder which of these big fashion labels is better. Below, we will get into a deeper analysis between Coach and Michael Kors so you can better understand what each of these two brands offers.
A Brief Introduction to Coach and Michael Kors
Is Coach a Luxury Brand
Designer brand Coach was founded in 1941 by Miles Cahn, a well-known and talented leather artisan, and his wife, Lillian Cahn. The company was originally named Leather Bags before taking on its iconic name in June 2001, according to Wikipedia.
Like most successful brands, Coach can trace its story back to humble origins. The family-run business started in a Manhattan loft where six artisans produced wallets and saddlebags. The exceptional level of stitching and workmanship of these first wallets and purses was soon turned toward making luxury bags.
Beyond the dedication to quality and functionality, Coach employed another winning strategy to win over the masses while increasing their popularity alongside profitability – they set the prices for their products around 50% lower than the standard price points set by the competing brands. Of course, their willingness to put their own spin on ever-changing bag models also helped, earning them their own “look.”
From the early designs to their first collection of 12 branded handbags, Coach focused on making sturdy and top-of-the-range bags that came in simple, easy-to-recognize designs that would be carried and used comfortably daily. Today, they’re known for their timeless appeal and unfailing quality, earning them a place in the superstar closets of Jennifer Lopez, Chloe Moretz, Vanessa Hudgens, and Miley Cyrus. You can read more about Coach in this post.
A powerhouse in the fashion world, Michael Kors is a brand that produces some of the industry’s most sophisticated, high-quality ready-to-wear pieces. From apparel, accessories, and footwear to bags, their products exude excellent craftsmanship, enabling the company to establish its presence in over 100 countries worldwide.
Having loved fashion all of his life and receiving a brief education in New York’s “Fashion Institute of Technology” alongside plenty of valuable experience in the industry, Kors decided it was time to launch his own company in 1981.
In 1997, Michael Kors took on the role of the first women’s ready-to-wear designer at Celine. By 2002, he had launched his own menswear line, and in 2003, he left Celine to establish MICHAEL Michael Kors the following year, joining the original Michael Kors Collection.
Soon Kors turned his attention to making luxury watches before adding fragrances and footwear to his line, which was growing in popularity. Shortly afterward, the first Michael Kors bags were made, solidifying the brand’s place in fashion history.
Since the very beginning of his career, Kors has always strived to align his ready-to-wear designs with his core values – think modern glamour fused attitude –and his company continues to lead the way with this unique combination.
Interestingly, despite being a more “high street” luxury brand, Michael Kors’s creations have won favor among A-listers such as Priyanka Chopra, Nicole Kidman, and Amal Clooney, who are regularly seen wearing the brand’s designs.
Let’s compare the quality of these two brands
Coach and Michael Kors are well-known fashion brands offering a range of products, including clothing, footwear, and accessories. The quality of products from both brands can vary. Still, Coach is generally known for offering high-quality products made from premium materials, emphasizing craftsmanship and attention to detail. On the other hand, Michael Kors is known for offering trendy and stylish products at a more accessible price point.
I already own a few Coach handbags and wallets, and I can assure you that the quality is much better than Michael Kors. Coach has maintained their standards high through the years. You’ll find premium leather, expert craftsmanship, perfect stitching, and a classic style among its handbags, wallets, clothes, and shoes.
While Coach handbags are very popular among middle-aged and senior ladies, in recent years, younger generations have grown a huge interest in this brand thanks to their high-quality and reliable bags. But not only handbags; The quality of clothing and shoes made by Coach is the reason that contributed to placing this brand in the mainstream again—also, being a great alternative to the most high-end luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, etc.
Regarding quality, Michael Kors is well-known for staying modern in design and crafting techniques. Their bags are more elegant and trendy than Coach, an important factor for many buyers. However, similar to Coach, they also use high-quality leather and expert craftsmanship in their products, but the overall opinions and reviews favor Coach rather than Michael Kors.
Coach vs. Michael Kors Price difference and which one is more expensive
The price range of Coach bags is generally set at $300 to $450. For example, their clothes can rise to $600 for a coat and about $100-$150 for a pair of shoes, similar to Michael Kors.
Michael Kors handbags range between $100 to $150 and sometimes more, depending on the item’s design. From my recent research, I noticed that a Michael Kors elegant dress costs around $300, and a pair of shoes between $150-$180. Surprisingly the shoe collection is a bit more expensive than the Coach.
Overall, the Coach collection is generally more expensive than the Michael Kors. Having said that, Coach outlet items are cheaper, meaning the affordability gap between the two brands fluctuates.
Coach vs. Michael Kors: Collection
While Coach gains an exclusive edge due to their compact collections that mainly focus on handbags and accessories, Michael Kors offers consumers a much more varied selection with a notable edge in the clothing department.
Coach vs. Michael Kors: Sizing
Both Coach and Kors offer sizes XS-XXL across all of their collections.
Coach vs. Michael Kors: Eco-friendliness
Coach offers a recycling program for consumers to shop or trade in previously used coach items. However, their materials tend not to be sustainable or eco-friendly. Coach uses animal hair and angora, leather, wool, silk, and down feathers to manufacture many animal-derived products that can be considered unethical.
There is very little information available on Michael Kors environmental policy, suggesting they may not be a sustainable brand. That said, they produce coats insulated with 100% recycled plastic bottles for a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to down feathers. That said, it appears this eco-friendly approach is not a collection-wide trend.
Coach vs. Michael Kors: Popularity
In 2022, Coach’s women’s handbags generated net sales of about 2.6 billion U.S. dollars.
The total revenue of Michael Kors in 2022 was calculated at 3.95 billion U.S. dollars.
Both brands appear to have the same name recognition, but … since the younger population prefers more diverse and modern designs, it looks like more people shop with Michael Kors than with Coach.
Coach vs. Michael Kors: Customer Satisfaction
After doing a deep dive through forums and social media groups, the answer to the questions of Coach Vs. Michael Kors appears unanimous: Coach is better, but Michael Kors is more affordable.
A commonly cited reason for this popular opinion is that Coach tends towards exclusivity in their collection, focusing on quality over quantity. At the same time, Michael Kors favors a more diverse approach with many ready-to-wear lines available.
It also appears that Coach benefits from higher brand loyalty than Micheal Kors. While this difference could be attributed to several factors, including reputation, marketing, and quality, we believe it may also be down to the seniority of the Coach in the battle between the two brands. Since Coach has been present on the market for longer, they’ve had more time to win over lifelong fans.
The Final Verdict?
For now, Coach appears to take the winning spot regarding quality and exclusivity. On the other hand, Michael Kors pulls ahead when offering luxury products at an accessible price while following fashion trends that appeal to a more general audience.
If you still debate which brand is better, the final decision comes after you balance your priorities. If classic and durability is your main priority, then Coach handbags are worth buying, as well as their shoe collection. On the other hand, if you need a high-quality bag that is well-designed, has a beautiful aesthetic, and is affordable, Michael Kors might be the best option for you.
Currently, both brands can be found at the same rank in the fashion industry. Coach and Michael Kors are always compared with Kate Spade, another mid-range clothing and accessories brand. But more about this in another post.