Some of the best and the most stylish bags that you could carry pretty much anywhere, including to work, include bags made by the two top brands, Coach and Tory Burch.
These two brands are the most popular ones today and are known for the best variety of totes, travel bags, and carry-alls, among others, and purchasing a bag from either brand would be a smart decision for you.
But these brands have some differences that would leave you leaning more towards one of the brands than the other.
So, what are the main differences between Coach and Tory Burch, and how do they compare?
The brief introduction of Coach
Coach is known for offering competitively priced and affordable designer bags that are very well-made and worth your money. Their affordable prices make the brand a good pick for most people, and it’s been noted that you could own between 4 and 5 Coach bags for just one Louis Vuitton purse, which explains why Coach bags are ideal for anyone looking for an affordable bag from a designer brand.
So, what do you need to know about Coach?
Coach is one of the most popular luxury fashion and designer brands. It offers a wide range of high-quality designer bags, and for this reason, Coach has been able to compete with bigger brands like Ralph Lauren, FarFetch, and Shopbop, among other brands like Steve Madden, Kate Spade, and Tory Burch. And the top reason for the brand’s success has got to be the fact that Coach has been around for quite a while.
The coach was founded back in 1941, although it was initially named Manhattan Leather Bags by Miles and Lillian Cahn. The brand’s idea for making handbags was, however, inspired by the design of the baseball glove. And thanks to the inspiration from the glove, the company’s founder was inspired to create handbags made with similar attributes to that of the glove. To make this possible, Miles came up with a collection of 12 handbags. These handbags were made of the best quality materials. They were made from tan, supply, and high-quality leather boasting excellent stitch work and the best level of craftsmanship.
But, it wasn’t until 1962 that Coach made an even bolder move, one that has since been responsible for the success of the brand. This move is in the form of Bonnie Cashin. Bonnie played a huge role in pushing the company’s success as she was regarded as a pioneer in all matters of American Sportswear due to her use of organic materials like wool, jersey, and leather, alongside the best of industrial hardware. Today, Cashin is the one creator credited for the brass toggle hardware that is synonymous with the Coach bags and with their duffle bags.
It also goes without saying that Cashin’s motto was ‘making things as simple, lightweight, punchy, and inexpensive, as possible. What this meant and happened was the creation of a debut collection featuring simplistic and classic designs in exuberant colors. In terms of color, the produced bags were in bright and popping colors and hues like pastel pinks, brick red, grass green, and mustard yellow. On the interiors of the bags were striped madras cotton, and this would soon turn into the Cashin trademark.
Then in 1979, Coach hired Lew Frankfort, and they subsequently tapped into and filled the affordable luxury handbags niche. Lew Frankfort remains CEO to date and is credited for transforming Coach from that small and little-known leather handbag/ goods manufacturer from then to the world-renowned luxury handbag brand of today. In fact, Frankfort is credited for the emergence and popularity of Coach in the 1990s; at the time, the concept of affordable (and luxury) was such a huge deal in the luxury industry. Note that before his hiring, the only well-known varieties of women’s handbags were either the expensive high-end designer bags or the knock-offs sold at department stores. Coach coming in filling the void in the market perfectly, publishing their first catalog while launching their first flagship store in New York (on 754 Madison Avenue). Coach became a part of Sara Lee in 1985, a move that gave them the much-needed infrastructure and financial support.
Since then, and with the hiring of Reed Krakoff (who previously worked at Tommy Hilfiger) in 1993, the company has been expanding. Krakoff is now credited for the change in Coach’s public image from the classic/ basic tan, black, burgundy, and navy briefcases to the more modern and hip, stylish bags in more vibrant colors and with styles for all occasions. He also expanded their catalog, incorporating watches, watch straps, wristlets, wallets, and cell phone cases.
One of their most iconic collections was launched in 2001 – the Coach Signature Collection, featuring the bold double C-Design. This collection also came out at a time when the logo mania was sweeping through the fashion industry, and all brands capitalizing on it. As a result, the collection’s signature came in the widest product variety with great options in terms of color and style.
As of 2017, Coach has more than 900 stores across the globe, selling the best of affordable luxury handbags, as well as accessories. Coach is known for, among other things, the saddlebag, the duffle, Dinky, and the slim satchel. The underlying element for all these bag designs is the fact that the bags are all made in a lasting design, and there is something for everyone.
The brief introduction of Tory Burch
Unlike Coach, Tory Burch is a fairly new luxury handbags company. But their newness doesn’t make them less popular. If anything, Tory Burch is now considered one of Coach’s top competitors. Some of Tony Burch’s main competitors include Ralph Lauren, Shopbop, Coach, and Farfetch, among others.
Tory Burch was founded in February 2004, and it’s named after its founder, the American entrepreneur, and designer, Tory Burch. While people were initially skeptical about the brand and its designs, Tory was very much aware of what she was getting into.
Despite getting into a market that is already oversaturated with luxury designer handbags, she knew that focusing on the design and manufacture of bags and a brand that is an embodiment of personal style and sensibility would be all needed to create something outstanding.
So, as the company’s chair, designer, and CEO, Tory went head-on with the giants, launching her brand that features eccentric handbag designs. One of the things that make her brand stand out has got to be the bold colors and prints seen in her lifestyle collections, accessories, and all other ready-to-wear pieces.
Tory Burch is still at the helm of the company as the Chief Designer and CEO, and in 2015, she was recognized by Forbes, who named her the 73rd most powerful woman in the world.
Notably, her success comes not just from her education and business acumen but from all the experiences and first-hand knowledge that she gained from working with some of the biggest fashion, luxury, and lifestyle brands. These include the likes of Harper’s Bazaar Magazine, Zoran, and quite notably, big names like Polo Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, and even Loewe, headed by Narciso Rodriguez. After gaining all the knowledge and the best kind of knowledge she could from these brands, she launched her eponymous label.
What is Coach most famous for?
Coach is a luxury fashion and design brand that is known for premium-quality handbags, purses, and duffle bags that are sold affordably. By making luxury affordable, Coach has been able to compete with the bigger luxury brands like Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, and Steve Madden.
What is Tory Burch most famous for?
Tory Burch is synonymous with SS18, which is now defined as the best worldwide preppy-bohemian luxe. But since it was founded, Burch has been known for the T-logo medallion that is more of a permanent fixture in all her very iconic collections.
But one of the notable things you need to know about this brand is that Tory has mastered the art of using bold colors and prints, not just to stand out but also as a way of paying homage to the fashion styles of the 60s and the 70s.
Tory Burch’s designs are colored, and they feature multi-textured stripes, as well as a logo and a heavy pattern that gives off an elegant and well-stylized nod to all the overarching retro trends that have been able to pass the test of time successfully.
What is special about Coach?
In addition to the fact that the design for their first handbags was born from the design of the baseball glove, their handbags are made of high-quality leather.
What is special about Tory Burch?
The underlying theme around the handbags, accessories, fashion clothes and even the sportswear they make is the fact that the designs are primarily bohemian-preppy, as they feature bold colors, prints, and designs.
Note that, unlike Coach, Tory Burch is more of a fashion line, offering shoes, ready-to-wear outfits, accessories, handbags, watches, fragrances, home décor, along beauty collections.
The pros and cons of Coach Products
- Worldwide brand recognition
- Affordable luxury-grade bags
- Their products are made of the best quality materials
- They allow for price matching
- Timeless handbag designs and handbags that last a long time
- Good range of curvy (curvaceous options available)
- No email discounts, price adjustment policies, prepaid or debit card support offered, or even support for Apple Pay.
- No free returns
- Their inventory for the petite size could be better
The pros and cons of Tory Burch Products
- Wide range of products offered, not just handbags
- Fast-growing luxury fashion brand
- Apple Pay support offered
- Free returns allowed
- They offer email discounts, price adjustment options, and policies, as well as debit/ prepaid card support.
- The quality of their bags and shoes is lower compared to offerings by Coach.
- Their bags are not cheap.
- Poor range of options for the curvaceous customers
Coach vs. Tory Burch (Which is better)
If you are looking for the best quality designer or luxury brand handbag at a reasonable price, Coach is the brand to beat.
They not only boast a rich history, but they’ve stuck behind their ideas and designs that are centered on the development of durable and stylish leather bags for all seasons and different styles.
Tory Burch, on the other hand, wouldn’t be the ideal brand to buy from if you are looking for affordable and great quality, but you have a wider range of products to choose from.
People will always choose quality and good price over the modernity of a brand, which is why we believe that Coach is a better brand than Tory Burch.
That said, Tory Burch would still be the very best option for you if you are into bold colors and prints, and the whole Bohemian fashion.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.