75 years of luxurious leather: Why we love Coach handbags

There's no relationship quite like the one between a woman and her favourite handbag, and over the last 75 years, American heritage brand Coach has been to thank for more than a few favourites.

Based on luxury and rooted in quality and craftsmanship, the Coach name has now become a symbol of sophisticated New York style the world over.

In honour of the brand's 75th birthday, we looked back at its heritage, iconic designs and fresh, contemporary models for SS16....

Coach claims that "the bag begins with the leather", and since 1941 they've certainly done leather well.

Founded as a small, family-run workshop in a New York City loft, six artisans started the Coach brand with one simple goal: to make beautiful, functional items in modern shapes and the finest leathers.

The brand was all about firsts - founder Miles Cahn was the first to create the unique glove tanned cowhide leather in the 1950s, while Coach was also the first leather brand to hire a female creative director in the form of sportswear designer Bonnie Cashin in 1961. With a focus on functionality and bold colours, Cashin introduced the women's fashion favourite we know today.

From buying raw hides to tanning and drying, the brand still focuses on craftsmanship every step of the way - even a simple, small bag requires more than 100 steps to assemble, and a more complex bag can take a day and a half to complete.

Still, every season Coach manages to impress us with modern new designs and bright, bold colours, giving us yet another range to pick a new favourite from.

From the iconic Swagger tote - think spacious interiors and polished pebble leather - to the latest floral Crosstown crossbody bags, celebrate 75 years of Coach by picking up one of our favourite pieces of arm candy at your nearest Fenwick store...

The 5 Coach Bags You Need To Buy At Fenwick

Coach Floral Crosstown Crossbody, £235

Coach Swagger Bag in Black, £545


Coach Crosstown Crossbody in Black, £175

Coach Edie, £350

Coach Crosstown Crossbody in Chalk, £195

Coach is available at Fenwick Brent CrossCanterburyColchesterKingstonNewcastleTunbridge Wells and Windsor

By Alison Millington