Miles Cahn, who co-founded the Coach Leatherware Company alongside his wife Lillian in 1961, died at his home in Manhattan. He was 95. His wife died in March 2013 at the age of 89.
Prior to the establishment of the Coach Leatherware Company in the early 60s, the company was then a tiny family-run workshop on 34th Street in Manhattan. Back then, they were only six leather-workers specialised in making men’s leather goods.
After the Cahns eventually bought the company and took over the business, Lillian was the one who suggested of producing the brand’s first generation of women’s handbags. The handbags were crafted with the same Glove Tanned Cowhide leather used to make baseball gloves. Thanks to its sturdy yet soft feel, the cowhide leather bags became an instant success.
Then in 1961, the Cahns hired Bonnie Cashin as their brand’s first designer to design Coach handbags. She was credited for taking the Coach brand to the next level with then-innovative designs such as the “tongue” bag and the handbags with side pockets as well as coin purses and turn lock/toggle fastenings. She remained in the company as the creative head until 1974.
By 1985, the Cahns sold Coach Leatherware to Sara Lee Corporation for a reported US$30 million.
Today, Coach is operated under the supervision of president and chief executive officer Victor Luis as well as current creative director Stuart Vevers.
Miles Cahn is survived by his children, Julie, David and Susi, and five grandchildren.