I’m mad about the new Coach “Bonnie” collection inspired by legendary American designer Bonnie Cashin.
The line of cotton and leather bags, which just hit the market, is as much homage as redux of the iconic styles Cashin introduced when she joined Coach in the 1960s. About 21 years after Coach was founded, owner Miles Cahan appointed the celebrated pioneer to helm the handbag design division. There she converged her love of industrial function and high fashion in totes, purses and satchels she called Cashin-Carry.
Cashin and Coach shared an approach that epitomized modern design–streamlined, stylish, functional. That’s undoubtedly why the collection still resonates today: Original Cashin Coach bags remain a coveted prize in the vintage marketplace.
This new collection celebrates Cashin’s signature hallmarks, from the tangy colors she introduced to Coach in 1964 such as pink, orange, yellow and green, to her penchant for industrial toggles and other hardware and practical features such as external coin purses, to her very own illustrations.
(Admittedly, the pencil illustrations and vibrantly colored leathers remind me of some of the Paul Frank accessories in my collection, specifically those released in collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation or Thomas Campbell. They all share a similar arty youthfulness and aesthetic.)
The cuter options aside, the large metallic chain tote is particularly wild in white. Function never looked so glamorous.
Collectible collaborations are a dime a dozen these days, but this is one tribute collection that seems worth scoring.
In the words of the great American designer:
“A good thing is a great thing forever. I don’t like in and out things.”
For more on Bonnie Cashin, check out the wonderful site set up by the designer’s estate.
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