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Coach 'n Cashin: the Dynamic Duo of the Sensible Bag
by Glynis Ward
|Bonnie Cashin bag, auctioned on eBay in October 2000 for $202.50 by coker59|
Timeless, classic styles never fade from fashion, and Coach bags certainly prove that simple elegance stands the test of time.
Founded in 1941, Coach was a family business in Manhattan, NY. The aim was to produce bags of exemplary workmanship and durability in styles that were simple and functional. Inspired by the long lasting quality of leather used in baseball gloves, Coach began producing heavy-duty, double-stitched bags and carry-alls made from glove leather. To keep track of the bags, each item was provided with a tagged number. Bags with tags provide authentication to production styles. In later years, the bags were also stamped on the bottom with the Coach seal.
A host of designers have lent their name to Coach, although none more appropriate was Bonnie Cashin. Her design philosophy matched that of Coach: simple, functional, stylish. Cashin was known for her lines of women's career wear (which culminated in designing the women's WWII uniforms).
Coach HandbagsPrice trends for Coach bags (not necessarily by Cashin) auctioned on eBayTM from July 1999 through end of September 2000 (279 items). The highest bid placed on a Coach Bag within this period was $255 for a large vintage Coach bag on November 15, 1999.
Beginning in the mid-'60s, Cashin was responsible for a host of brightly colored, uniquely styled bags. Many of these bags feature what have become signature features of Cashin's Coach designs (which were called "Cashin-Carry" bags). Built-in change purses with multi-colored striped lining with top closures (placed either on the inside or outside of the bag), brass toggle closures (usually on her late-'60s and early '70s bags) and, of course the tell-tale black "Bonnie Cashin" signature patch are all assurances that a bag is a Cashin design.
|Miniature Coach bag, probably by Bonnie Cashin, auctioned on eBay in October 2000 for $32.50 by tamalooch|
A Coach-sponsored retrospective of Cashin's designs entitled "Bonnie Cashin, Practical Dreamer" is at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City until January 6, 2001.
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