Kate Spade Vs Coach: Is One Brand Better?

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Two brands well-known for their stunning handbags, Kate Spade and Coach may seem very similar but which brand is better for you? Find out in this Kate Spade vs Coach article.

Burgundy Coach wristlet
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There are many luxury leather goods brands hailing from America, two of the best known being Kate Spade and Coach. Both of the brands offer a wide range of high-quality handbags, small leather goods, and other accessories at an affordable price – this makes Kate Spade and Coach very similar. However, the history and the style of each of these brands are very different, meaning one fashion house may be better suited to you than the other.

To help you decide which brand to go for, this article will take a look at the histories of Kate Spade and Coach, the differences between the brands, and top products from each of their collections, before coming to a conclusion on Kate Spade vs Coach.

Kate Spade vs Coach

The History of Kate Spade

Luxury American fashion house, Kate Spade New York was founded in January 1993 by husband and wife duo, Kate and Andy Spade. The Jack Spade line was actually released soon after the Kate Spade brand was established as a line for men but it has since been discontinued.

Kate Spade herself started out by working as a style editor for Mademoiselle magazine but after eight years left to found her handbag luxury brand. Kate Spade started out with the Sam handbag, and as Kate sought inspiration at flea markets, more handbags were added to the collection.

These bags were classic, timeless shapes and made in playful colors and fabric to create a range of totally irresistible Kate Spade bags. The Kate Spade brand soon added glasses and jewelry to the collection, before launching a homeware collection in 2007.

The very first Kate Spade New York store opened in New York City, in the SoHo neighborhood in 1996 and has grown enormously over the last 25 years to now have over 180 stores as well as being sold in countless department stores all over the world, including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Macy’s. There are also now Kate Spade outlet stores, where you can find a stunning range of Kate Spade products for a discount price point.

The bright colors and fun prints used in Kate Spade handbags, leather goods, and accessories have made the brand wildly popular and an iconic American leather goods brand.

The History of Coach

The Coach fashion house has a rich heritage and long history, since its founding in 1941. The Coach brand began as a family-run workshop in Manhattan in which six craftsmen created high-quality leather wallets by hand. In 1946, husband and wife pair Miles and Lillian Cahn joined the brand and expanded the company to make it into the leather handbag producer we know it as today.

Miles Cahn was very knowledgeable about leather and was committed to ensuring Coach leather goods were of the highest quality – he noticed the qualities of the leather used to make baseball gloves and how they became stronger and more supple with more wear and use.

Cahn then began to recreate the process baseball gloves went through in order to create better leather wallets and purses. Lillian Cahn was the one who suggested that handbags should be added to the brand’s repertoire, and they were instantly a success.

In 1961, the Cahn’s hired Bonnie Cashin as the head designer for Coach, creating some of the most popular handbags for the brand, many of which are still sold today. Cashin also incorporated brighter colors into her designs, which proved to sell better than the brown shades that were used before.

In 1965, Richard Rose was hired and helped to market and sell the Coach brand – he was instrumental in making Coach the household name we know it as today. Coach’s range of gorgeous handbags, luxurious leather goods, and stunning accessories are sold in over 1000 Coach stores all over the world, as well as many different department stores all over the United States.

The Differences between Kate Spade and Coach

Although these two brands may seem similar in many ways, both creating stylish designer handbags, there are also some significant differences that you need to know about in order to make a decision on which brand is best for you.

1. Price range

Firstly, we need to consider the price range of the handbags from each of these brands. Kate Spade bags are sold for between $168 and $400 – making them the perfect affordable leather bags. Coach bags range from $150 to $795 depending on the size of the bags and the materials they are made from.

As you can see, Coach bags can be more expensive, and this may be dues to the quality of the products and the leather available at Coach, which is no surprise really when you consider the long history of high-quality leather goods.

2. materials and craftsmanship

Both Kate Spade and Coach use a range of materials to create their shoulder bags, tote bags, and clutch bags. The materials used and the craftsmanship may have an impact on which brand you decide to go for.

Kate Spade makes use of Italian Saffiano leather, smooth and pebbled leather, canvas, cotton, and rattan wickers, amongst others, to create their handbags and Kate Spade purses. Obviously, it depends on the price of the bag as to which leather is used, but generally, the leather is of high quality and is durable.

Coach, on the other hand, lists smooth leather, Nappa leather, natural leather, pebbled leather, canvas, cotton, and suede as the materials used to make their handbags. This is a wider range of materials and therefore you get a wider range of finishes from the Coach brand.

Top pieces from Kate Spade Vs Coach

If you are trying to choose between Kate Spade New York and Coach, you need to take a look at some of the leather goods they have on offer to see which better suits your personal style. Both of these luxury brands offer some stunning handbags, there is so much choice we have narrowed it now to a couple of our favorites that we think you will love too!

1. Crossbody bagS
Pink Kate Spade katy textured leather chain crossbody bag
Get this on Neiman Marcus
Black Coach Pillow Leather Crossbody Bag
Get this on Nordstrom

Crossbody bags are a must-have in your handbag collection, and both Kate Spade and Coach have some great options for any style.

The Kate Spade katy textured leather chain crossbody bag has a minimalist aesthetic with the pink leather exterior, to add a pop of color to your look, and the gold chain link strap is finished with a leather shoulder pad for comfort. The chain strap is detachable so you can carry this stunning bag as a clutch too!

This chic bag just features the Kate Spade brand name on the front flap, in the golf buckle-like hardware, while the interior has enough room for your phone, wallet, and keys, plus there is a super handy slip pocket. Available for just $258, this Kate Spade crossbody bag is a classic that will look eternally stylish.

The Coach Pillow Leather Crossbody Bag became a cult classic soon after its release due to its plush design, organized interior, and versatile nature. Crafted from buttery smooth leather, this Coach bag has a sumptuous silhouette, flawlessly finished with a tonal Coach logo and brushed gold hardware.

The bag comes with a detachable top handle and an adjustable and detachable crossbody strap for endless styling options. The interior is divided and fitted with zip pockets – so handy! Available in multiple different colors, this bag is just stunning.

2. Tote Bags
Black Kate Spade medium market leather tote
Get this on Nordstrom
Black, white and camel Coach Field 22 Colorblock Leather Logo Badge Tote Bag
Get this on Neiman Marcus

We love a tote bag because of its versatile design – perfect for any eventuality, everything from a busy day at work or relaxed weekend activities.

This Kate Spade market leather tote bag has a super spacious interior, making it perfect to carry all of your work, college, or school items.

Crafted from richly pebbled leather, this bag features a gold Kate Spade logo on the front, and two long leather top handles to loop over your shoulder. The zip-top allows easy access to the roomy interior, featuring a zipper pocket and a couple of slip pockets that will help you keep everything organized and easy to find. This tote is also available in several different neutral colors to suit any look.

If you are looking for something a little bolder and more striking, this Coach Field Pebbled Leather Tote Bag is perfect for you. This tote is made from color-blocked pebbled leather, in white, camel, and black tones, while the front is embossed with the Coach logo and features a removable logo tag.

There are flat top handles, and the bag comes with a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap so the bag can also be worn across the body. The snap closure on the top opens and reveals a lined interior that holds a zip pocket.

3. Bucket Bags
Black and white Kate Spade gramercy spade flower monogram bucket bag
Get this on Neiman Marcus
Pink Coach Willow Bucket Bag
Get this on Nordstrom

Bucket bags are so trendy at the moment, so why not check out these two options from Kate Spade and Coach that you need to add to your handbag collection.

We love the classic silhouette of the Kate Spade gramercy spade flower monogram bucket bag, with the drawstring top and leather top handle. This bag is made from black and white floral monogrammed fabric, paired with black faux leather to create an eye-catching look – there is also an all black version for a more subtle finish.  

The top handle and adjustable leather crossbody strap mean there is a whole range of ways to style this bucket bag. Inside, you will find a surprisingly spacious interior and a handy little slip pocket, while the feet on the bottom of the bag protect the base of the bag.

For a bucket bag that would make the perfect everyday, go-to handbag, this Willow Bucket Bag is exactly what you need. The color blocking design is so chic and sophisticated while the pebbled leather is luxurious and durable.

This bag features a gleaming gold C turn-lock, and a detachable top handle and shoulder strap to allow for different styling options. The interior is split into three sections, with a central zip compartment so you can always find just what you need.


There are some really beautiful designer bags, wallets, and accessories available from both Kate Spade and Coach, so it really depends on your budget and style as to which brand is best for you.

If you love color, print, and pattern, then Kate Spade is the better brand for you – Kate Spade bags are often available in a wide variety of vibrant colors so you have an incredible range to pick from. If you are on a budget and looking for something a little more affordable, then Kate Spade is also the brand to go for.

However, if you have a little more money to spend and are looking for a bag made from high-quality leather, then Coach is the brand you should go for. Coach has lots of sophisticated and chic handbags, available in neutral colors and made in timeless, classic silhouettes – making these brands perfect for those of you looking for a handbag with a minimalist design.

We hope you found this article analyzing Kate Spade vs Coach helpful! For more luxury fashion content, check out the links below.

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