Day 102 Reporting – 2,024 Words/Day Process Log – Handbags, Rodin and Me

The mid-range luxury brand Coach is currently having a moment. When I was growing up, Coach was the it bag. They were known for the quality of its leather and classic styles. The purveyors of fashion in my world, the ladies at church whose hats matched their kitten heels, all carried Coach bags including my mother. Coach was our luxury.

Then, there were the dark days. Fans kept their vintage bags, but the brand was considered old and stale. Another problem was that Coach may have been the victim of their own success. The women who bought Coach bags bought them for the quality. Which meant that, at most, they bought bags once a year in neutral colors. Typically, though, they’d buy a bag, condition it and when it finally fell apart, they’d buy another one rinse and repeat.

Well. Enter Stuart Vevers who was tapped to head up Coach in 2013. I need to repeat that he became Creative Director of Coach in 2013. The resurgence of the brand took over 10 years.  

He steered the brand toward a younger demographic while still keeping the old guard. How? Coach has the trendy bags that are splashed on the company’s landing page including an AI influencer, puffy bags and bright colors.

And then, for women like me who grew up seeing the church ladies carrying their Coach bag filled with a never ending amount of peppermint candies, they have a Coach Originals line. The Coach Originals line is made from the glove tanned leather that I grew up on and are the classic bags to cater for the loyal, older Coach customer. True to original Coach form, these have no logos, not even the C clasp which might be too showy for a certain demographic.

This is the point – Coach basically went into the archives and reprinted their old designs. I even saw a YouTube video from a woman who owned an original Hamptons bag in black and bought the newer version in white. Mind you, the original Hamptons bag was issued 20 years ago. That’s what I mean by quality.

Not only that, you can now “turn in” your old Coach bags for credit. What is Coach doing? They’re restoring these old bags and selling them. They must have seen the resale market and decided to get a piece of the pie.

What has this got to do with me as an artist? I think a lot. Stories, like bag designs, don’t expire. I can always go back to an old idea and put a new twist on it. I can use a short story for the weekly short story I’m doing again, or I can bundle the short stories in collections.

The sculptor Rodin re-used molds all the time. I found that out by visiting The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia. It stuck with me. I don’t always have to start from zero. I can always go back into my own personal archive.

And while Coach is having a moment, the brand’s most ardent supporters and fans are the old guard I mentioned. They will fight it out in the comments over any disparaging comments regarding the brand.

And that’s how to keep and respect all of your customers – the old and the new. Also, righting a ship takes time. Now, Coach is reaping the benefits.

Keep moving forward. Keep getting better.

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As of Day 102, – 4/11/24

# of Words I Wrote/# of Words Written To Be on Track/Year Goal

177,763 /204,424 / 740,784

About Irette Y Patterson

Irette Y Patterson is a writer of fantasy, science fiction, and romance. She has been published in FIYAH, Strange Horizons, Translunar Travelers Lounge and on the website of The Saturday Evening Post. When not writing, you can find her digging around in her garden or catching the latest musical in the theater.
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