In the time when curfews, tracksuits and cancelled plans reigned, luxury American fashion house Coach was on the verge of something great—and it wasn’t planned.
With nowhere to go, housebound shoppers turned to social media to flaunt their online “lockdown purchases”, and among the blushes and activewear jackets was a handbag that has since outlasted its viral comrades.
The people had decided, so an ‘It-bag’ was born. A search today for Coach’s Tabby handbag on TikTok indicates how much it has become a sartorial favourite since its debut in autumn 2019, with the hashtag “coach tabby bag” clocking up more than 63 million views.
When seeking inspiration, Coach’s creative director Stuart Vevers looked to the label’s archival designs from the 1970s. Initially created as a top handle bag, the Tabby features buttery-soft leather and a tab-shaped flap with a metal clasp in the signature “C” hardware.
Since its debut, the handbag has been reimagined in a multitude of styles and colours, from the cute, fun Jelly Tabby and the ultra-soft Pillow Tabby to the structured and more serious Tabby Box bag.
Fast forward to summer 2023, and this modern classic had hit icon status, with a star-studded campaign that the maison says “celebrates the defining moments that make us who we are.” Directed and photographed by Charlotte Wales, the “In My Tabby” campaign “underscores the message that what we carry makes us stronger through the personal narratives of our Coach family, including [rapper] Lil Nas X, [actor] Camila Mendes and [model] Koki”.
Vevers says, “I’ve always believed that fashion should be about more than only style, it should be about community and creating safe spaces where people feel free to express themselves.”
Bringing its message to life, Coach plans to launch a “Made to Order Tabby” service, where customers can design their own unique Tabby with a choice of leather, colours and hardware, so their bag will be one that honours their personal style.
To shop the collection, visit coachaustralia.com