First I must state that I am a long time collector of Coach handbags since the 1970s and do not represent the company in any manner. I just love their products and am sharing with you what I have learned from collecting, studying and having almost every catalog, along with an extensive collection, passion and knowledge of their brand over the past 45 years. I find the story of Coach ‘Glove tanned’ leather to be an American icon we can all be proud of, here in the USA.
The story behind Coach Glove tanned’ leather is as unique to America as apple pie and baseball, and I literally mean ‘baseball’! Here you will find out why.
The story began in 1941 with a company known as Manhattan Leather bags in New York, whose owners were Lillian and Miles Cahn. Legend has it that Miles loved baseball and was amazed how his leather baseball glove was so durable and never wore out. He decided to visit a ‘baseball glove’ leather plant to see how their leather was treated, and it was there he discovered the glove ‘tanning’ process, and it was then he decided that their bags and luggage would be best made using this same process.
Glove tanning keeps the leather soft and flexible, yet durable while showing the beautiful natural grains of the cow hides. Thus on many earlier Coach bags you would see this written on their ‘creed patch’ inside the bag, stating this bag was
‘made in the United States of
completely natural Glove tanned cowhide.
The variations in the grain are characteristic
of full-grain natural leather’
It wasn’t long before it was a big hit and in demand all over the country. They were not only made of the best glove tanned leather, but were handcrafted with meticulous stitching, real brass or nickel hardware and the quality was superb compared to anything else on the market at that time.
The Coach Glove tanned leather design, produced there iconic Classic Legacy bags such as
the Coach Janice Legacy #9950,
the Coach Patricia Legacy #9951,
The Coach Lula Legacy #9952,
and the Coach Helen Legacy #9953
There was also the City Legacy Classic, The Stewardess Legacy and many others that were just as popular. Their Legacy Classics were their biggest in demand hits for decades. As Coach went through many changes over the years, trying different designs and materials, these bags were no longer produced, and could only be found in the resale market. Unfortunately these bags, along with most of their other designs were highly faked in the counterfeit market.
The one thing that amazed everyone is how long and well these bags held up for decades because of the ‘Glove tanned leather’. The quality of these bags were like no other, Coach ever produced. Many began to miss these iconic Legacy Classics.
Coach, trying to update themselves from women who were claiming Coach was ‘the bag their mothers wore’ started producing other materials like their ‘jacquard Signature Cs collection’, and while these bags were a big hit for the younger consumer, their long time collectors longed for the quality of their ‘Glove Tanned Leather’ bags. While they did keep a couple of them available, there were very few choices and Coach was losing their base line collectors.
Finally in 2006 for the Coach 65th Anniversary., the Legacy Classics were brought back by popular demand. People rushed to the stores to get them and they could barely keep them in stock. While folks were ecstatic to have these Legacy bags available again, they did notice a difference from the once ‘Made in the Untied States’ classics, between the now, ‘made in China’ and all over the world, newer versions.
These newer versions were missing ‘something’ that no one can quite put their finger on. Many believe it is because they are rarely made in the USA anymore, although some believe this is just a prejudiced falicy. The bags really are fantastic, and to this day there are no other bags that in my opinion, can even compare to ‘Coach Glove Tanned Leather bags.
I personally, as well as many others, prefer to revert to the resale market to find their original ‘made in the United States’ versions of these Legacy Classics. One of each in every color is all you need! They will never wear out and these classics will last longer than any of us. I still have several from the 1970s that are in perfect condition and so do many others, which is a true testament to the quality of the Coach Glove tanned leather Legacy classics.
Please beware in your search for these bags, there are many copies and fakes out there! Whenever something is this popular for so many years, of course the counterfeiters will reproduce them. However the fakes are NO comparison to the originals and they are worthless in value, plus if you ever try to trade or sell the fakes you can get into big trouble as selling fakes is illegal.
Searching for these ‘Made in the United States’ Coach Legacy Classics can be very difficult to tell a real one from a fake, so that is why it is best to use a professional Designer Handbag Authentication Service, to make sure you are getting authentic Coach. These same Legacy classics can still be found brand new, on sites, like eBay, or stores like TJ Max, etc. and often at the Coach Outlet stores, However they are rarely found ‘made in the United States’ anymore, so the resale market is your best bet in finding these Legacy Classics if you insist on the USA versions.
Today many designers also use the Glove tanned leather that originated from Coach and you can find them everywhere, however, if you’re like so many of us that only want the ‘original’, the search can fun. Hope you find your perfect Coach Legacy Classic and enjoy it as so many of the rest of us have for generations. Simply put, they are the best of the best and I know you will love them..