STYLE
04/25/2012 08:04 am ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Why Coach Bags Are Worth A Second Look (PHOTOS)

Every girl has a story about her first Coach bag. I was in high school when I received mine as a Christmas gift from my dad. I had spotted the red leather beauty in the outlet store near us, and he took note. I wasn't alone in carrying Coach; many of my colleagues here at Stylelist remember fondly carrying the soft leather bags.

The understated bags and accessories are priced reasonablely, and as a result, they have a very loyal following. The logo-stamped nylon bags were another matter. A jumping-off point for customers new to the luxury market, they became a large part of the business, especially during the recession.

But Coach has a new direction, thanks in large part to Reed Krakoff, the President and Creative Director since 1996. Krakoff launched his eponymous luxury line of ready-to-wear and accessories in 2010, further broadening the scope of the company. The heritage brand is returning to its roots, digging through its archives to find the most classic styles and breathing new life into them through limited-edition collaborations with artists like Hugo Guinness and Tony Duquette (his estate worked with Coach to issue a collection of pieces inspired by the late jeweler). Artist James Nares is the latest to join this esteemed coterie: canvas tote bags emblazoned with his signature brushstrokes are now available online and in stores.

Over the years the company has expanded from a small family business founded in 1941 (and owned by Sara Lee!) to a multinational corporation with stores all over the world and global sales of over $4 billion. No longer a gateway brand, these unique bags are worth the splurge. It's about time that I dust off that red leather bucket bag and take it for a spin. Check out 20 celebrities who have been spotted carrying the brand!

PHOTO GALLERIES

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