Today's Coach Is NOT The Coach Of Your Youth

When I was 13 and 14, Coach bags and accessories were the thing. They were expensive, but not completely unattainable. They were branded — a.k.a. there was no way you could carry a Coach bag and people wouldn't instantly know it was Coach. And they were high-end without seeming ridiculous. I even had a Coach cell phone charm at one point; it coordinated with my baby pink case for my flip phone. To me, Coach was cool. But I was 14. And the odds that something I liked then would be something that coincided with my current taste as a 22-year-old are slim, right? Well, when it comes to Coach, I'm still a fan. And it isn't because they are still selling the same product; in fact, it's kind of the opposite, with a few important constants. They are still creating well-made, durable products that fit into a modern, trendy aesthetic — but if you're expecting to see the same products as 10 years ago, think again. Coach recently re-hired Steven Meisel and a team of equally high-profile fashion directors for their spring campaign, and it's a far cry from the Coach of the past.

The spring images echo the same themes of the fall ads — fresh, current models with a high-fashion aesthetic. All the ads seem like a combination of street style and fashion editorials and in both the spring and the fall ads, one thing is consistent: It's very difficult to tell that what you're looking at is a Coach ad. That is, if you're still thinking of the cell phone charm, repeating-logo printed Coach bags of the past, anyway. But the new Coach? It works. Even though, as Racked pointed out, the bags do mirror a certain other high-end bag you probably know of.

Super cool, right? I still have some of my Coach bags from back in the day when they were "IT," but the funny thing is that the bags and other leather goods that Coach is producing today are still it bags — they just look completely different. And considering how competitive the fashion industry is in general, that's pretty impressive in my book. Also: I'll have one of the new spring bags in every color, please.

Oh, and just in case you weren't already impressed/amazed at the brand's evolution, here are some photos of the brand throughout the years compared to today:

Compared to today:

Images: Coach, Getty