Is Coach a luxury brand? Learn to rank fashion brands like a pro. Are you looking to buy a luxury handbag and don’t know which brand to invest your money in? In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about Coach, who wears it, how easy or hard it is to sell a Coach handbag, how it is compared with Louis Vuitton, and where to lend your designer handbags to cash in every month.
Coach is one of the most popular American brands worldwide. It is one of the hallmarks of the American fashion industry. But can we consider Coach a luxury brand comparable with Luis Vuitton, Chanel, or YSL? And what makes any brand luxury, after all?
Most will instantly say “prices”! But do we really know why two similar cotton tees from different brands may have such different price tags? Others say “quality.” But let`s admit it, we all had an experience of touching or even buying items from acknowledged luxury brands and… not being impressed. After all, it is probably all about the name. However, there are hundreds of incredibly expensive luxury brands whose names won`t say anything to most of us.
So why is one brand considered a luxury while another remains a mass market? And which one is Coach? Continue reading, and we shall try to answer some of the most popular questions about Coach and similar brands; so you can learn to rate brands yourself like a pro and make truly informed decisions next time you add another cute handbag to your cart.
Is Coach a luxury brand?
If you look at it through the prism of the modern fashion industry, Coach is one of the unique brands. They say a classy wardrobe is not about the clothes but the accessories you wear. Look at the pictures of Princess Diana, Bella Hadid, or even the notoriously famous Anna Sorokin (known as Anna Delvey) in real life. They all seem to wear simple tees and baggy sweatshirts, but their bags, footwear, and accessories are always impeccable and high-quality.
This fashionable “old money” aesthetic is one of the main tones of Coach’s marketing and brand presentation. It is restrained but recognizable, classic but not old-fashioned.
Unlike many other popular brands that “change their skin” every season, Coach stays true to its character, following the latest trends. And it is one of the main reasons people tend to put Coach accessories in the same line as Louis Vuitton, Dior, or other recognized luxury brands.
Except for the “perception” card so popular in fashion marketing, Coach also relies on high-quality materials and craftsmanship that give its items this luxurious feel. The interior of Coach brand shops also creates a particular atmosphere that makes you feel like you just stepped into the “Gossip Girl” set.
In other words, Coach is really hard to “walk and talk” like a luxury brand. But at the same time, many people will argue that it cannot be considered one because of its prices, making Coach bags and accessories much more affordable than other luxury brands. Therefore you see them more often in the streets.
So, can Coach be a luxury brand if an average suburban mom can afford a Coach handbag and buy one for her niece`s birthday? To resolve this dilemma once and for all, let`s dive a bit deeper into the theory of fashion. What makes a luxury brand, and is there a secret luxury formula in fashion?
What is considered a luxury in the fashion world
You may ask ten different fashion gurus, marketers, and designers, and they all will give ten different answers to this question. Luxury is more of an ethereal concept than a label or a rating that numbers or other objective parameters can measure. It is some sense of secrecy, an aura of exclusivity that can be attainable only for the selected few.
But let`s get back on the “guilty ground” and talk some numbers. For us, mere mortals, exclusivity is mainly reflected in the pricetag. And to be fair, a luxury brand simply cannot afford to be cheap. Otherwise, it will not be a luxury at all.
High-end brands pay special attention to details, the quality of materials, and craftsmanship. You cannot imagine a crooked stitch on a YSL handbag and won`t probably make a big deal out of it if you see a sticking thread in a SHEIN item.
Another thing is heritage. Luxury brands often take pride in being either entirely run by the same dynasty for decades or at least preserving a place on the board of directors for at least one of the founder`s offspring if the brand has changed ownership. At the same time, mass-market brands travel from one corporation to another, and most of us don’t know (and don`t really care) who owns Zara or H&M today.
Last but not least is the brand`s reputation. Luxury brands carefully select their “faces,” celebrities that appear in their next campaign. They can instantly break a contract if their “ambassador” is involved in a scandal or even posts an insensitive comment that does not correlate with the brand`s values. And this policy existed long before the modern “Cancel Culture.” For example, Chanel broke the contract with Kate Moss back in the 2000s, when her “party girl” phase went too far.
And, as usual, things seem to be much easier for mass-market brands. They usually don`t focus on scandals or often even use them as a sharp marketing move.
In addition, luxury brands usually participate in charity events, donate significant sums to certain funds, and do it for decades without using their “social awareness” for marketing. And if a mass market brand donated 1% to some charity, you will see a huge banner on their website and several posts on social media about it.
Bottom line, luxury fashion is a careful blend of quality, reputation, responsibility, and a pitch of non-availability usually achieved through high pricing, which makes it even more desirable. So, does Coach correspond to those parameters of a luxury brand? Let`s dissect America`s favorite accessories and leather goods brands and see!
Is Coach a luxury brand? Learn to rank fashion brands like a pro
Does Coach fit into “luxury brand” parameters
On their official website, Coach directly calls itself a luxury brand. Moreover, they claim to be the “pioneer in accessories and leather goods category positioned as the original leather brand.” But what consumers think is a different topic.
In my opinion, not all Coach products look and feel luxurious. You have to select the Coach items carefully when you want to buy them, given that you will have to spend a few hundred dollars on a handbag, for example. Other pieces, such as gloves and shoes, seem decent in their design, but if you want that luxury touch, choose classic pieces that will never go out of style.
A brief history of Coach brand and its heritage
Indeed, Coach has started and developed according to the “standard pattern” of most luxury brands with a heritage. It has existed for over 80 years and came out of a family-run leather workshop in Manhattan, NY. Since the 40s, Coach went through several major makeovers and milestones, turning it into the brand we know and love today.
Among the major ones were the Miles and Lillian Cahn partnership, which turned a leather workshop into an actual brand in 1946, Bonnie Cashin`s guidance that added women`s handbags and accessories into the Coach product line, and the transition to the Sara Lee Corporation that appointed Reed Krakoff as the brand`s creative director in 1996, which started the history of collaboration with fashion icons of the time.
You may say that Coach went through all the steps meant for a true luxury brand. But unlike Chanel or Dior, Coach gained its title of luxury not so long ago.
What rank is Coach brand
As of my knowledge cutoff in 2021, Coach was ranked as the 22nd most valuable luxury brand in the world, according to the annual report by BrandZ. The brand was valued at $7.02 billion at the time. However, brand valuations can change over time, and Coach’s rank may have since fluctuated.
Is Coach an exclusive brand
Exclusivity is one of the things that you expect from a luxury brand. In other words, you want to be sure not to meet ten different people with the same handbag in the street. And this is where Coach “sinks” a little bit. In simple words, Coach is not a luxury brand but can be placed in the mid-range category.
Indeed, you don`t have to wait for a special drop-off to get a much-desired handbag. If the price seems too high, you can easily wait for a sale and get it. And, yes, you will probably see at least 2-3 Coach products on different people every day. However, the brand itself claims that it intends to be available to a broad target market. It is part of their policy, and there is nothing wrong with it.
Is Coach as good as Louis Vuitton?
Louis Vuitton is a French luxury fashion brand that has been around since 1854. It is known for its high-quality products, iconic monogram print, and expensive handbags and fashion apparel. Louis Vuitton is considered one of the most valuable and prestigious luxury brands in the world. They take pride in the fact that they don`t have sales and simply destroy unsold items to keep their product valuable. This practice is very common among luxury brands.
On the other hand, Coach is an American fashion brand that has been around before Louis Vuitton. It is well known for designing and selling leather goods, particularly handbags, and wallets. Coach products are cheaper compared to Louis Vuitton, and its brand philosophy focuses on blending traditional craftsmanship with modern design. Their products are good and affordable, but Louis Vuitton is winning here if we compare each brand’s designs.
Who wears Coach
Another thing is the ambassadors of Coach. It is another pretty controversial topic when it comes to claiming that Coach is a luxury brand. We already mentioned that association with fashion icons was exactly what moved Coach to the luxury segment back in the day. Coach handbags were even noticed in the wardrobe of Princess Diana. By the way, the brand has released a handbag dedicated to Lady Diana, and it is one of its most sought-after products.
In the XXI century, Coach got into the wardrobe of Catherine, Princess of Wales. But so did Zara, which, of course, does not make it a luxury brand. Today Coach mainly collaborates with Beverly Hills residents and social media influencers such as Jennifer Lopez, Michael B. Jordan, Jeremy Lin, and Köki. It added popularity to the brand but took off the patina of exclusivity for many people.
Is Coach an expensive brand
Price still remains one of the markers that determine luxury. And regarding Coach items, price is a highly controversial parameter.
The prices of Coach handbags may vary between $90 and $20,000. You can always find a sale, a deal, or an online discount code that can make most Coach items fairly affordable. At the same time, there are truly exclusive models like Crocodile Tote, Madison Caroline Dowel Satchel, or Ostrich Rogue Bag. Not only are the models unique, but the materials and craftsmanship of those items are often much higher than Luis Vuitton or YSL, which are undoubtedly luxury brands.
Is it worth buying Coach outlet?
It depends on what type of bag you are looking for and what you plan to use it for. If you are looking for a trendy bag to use for a short period of time or an event, a Coach Outlet product may be a good choice. However, if you are looking for a classic, versatile bag that you will use for years to come, I suggest investing in a mainline Coach product or exploring other high-quality brands.
How easy is to sell Coach handbags and apparel if you don’t want anymore
From my research, selling a Coach handbag is not easy. Or at least depending on the style and model of the bag. Besides, you won’t be able to sell a Coach handbag for the same price you bought it. This fact proves that Coach is not as much in demand as Louis Vuitton or Channel handbags. But don’t stress out, as I’m about to give you an excellent tip on how to pimp your Coach handbags and apparel to cash out every month.
Often we literally cannot separate ourselves from a few pieces that we love. Be it handbags, shoes, perfumes, or clothes, and rather than selling them, why not lend them? I found two websites where you can either lend your Coach items or sell them and get it done. One popular website is Hurrcollective (to lend your items) and CocoonClub ( to sell your designer handbags).
Is Coach a luxury brand, after all? It depends on what you expect from the brand itself and its products. Coach has a fairly rich history, heritage, and some significant milestones. It has definitely left a footprint not only in America but also in global fashion history. It has a wide presentation worldwide and is associated with people from Royalty to social media influencers.
Coach offers high-quality products, but at the same time, they can be as affordable as any mass-market brand. At the end of the day, Coach looks like a brand with a very important mission. It serves as a link between the luxury and more affordable segments. It helps people value quality and be more careful with their choices. Such brands help to suppress the hysteria around fast fashion and give hope that the fashion industry may evolve and bring quality over quantity once again.
Did you like this guide about Coach? Did I answer all your questions about this brand, or is there something you would like me to add here? If so, comment below and let me know your opinion and if you consider Coach a luxury brand or not. Thank you.