Coach No. F7D-9801
It's day 12 of our 30 Days/30 Bags challenge! Our featured bag is a Coach Legacy cross body which traveled all the way from New Jersey. How do we know? The receipt was still inside when we thrifted it in 2015 for less than $2.00. This bag is in mint condition, originally purchased for a total of $199.28 at Macy's in Menlo Park on September 5, 1997. I gifted Loris with the bag and it has become one of her favorites. It goes to show that your bags can still look great, even if they have a lot of miles on them.
Coach No. F7D-9801
Did you know that there was a Coach convertible back in the 80's? No. I'm not speaking of a vehicle, but If Coach had ever assigned its name to a car, it would have had the finest luxury leather interior that you could imagine. Actually, the convertible that I'm speaking of is a Coach Everett, a cross body bag which can be converted to a festival style mini back pack. This little beauty is large enough to hold your smartphone, ID, keys, and lipstick. Back during the 80's, it may have been safe to wear this bag as a back pack, but I would recommend wearing it as a cross body, unless you want someone to take your keys...and your car!
I've recently joined an online thrifting group and when I mentioned vintage Coach, member Leslee Shayd was quick to post a picture of a "few" items of her Coach collection including some that she's had since attending high school the 1980's. According to Leslee, she carried the duffle sac style her entire senior year.
"I'm a huge fan & collector of the classics. With the rich leather & genuine brass accents, they were made to last. All you have to do is show them some loving care.", she stated.
The bags she posted were in such great condition that I had to ask for tips on how to maintain Coach leather goods.
"I use a leather moisturizer & use an old white towel while cleaning & moisturizing. I then stuff bottom corners really well with old newspaper or tissue paper. I then store in cloth bag. You can also re-purpose some old pillow cases too for purse storage. While carrying, I try to make sure I don't spill anything near my bag or keep ink pens in my purse. An old toothbrush holder is just right for 2/3 pens. I'm surprised that it takes so little effort & your purse will look beautiful forever."
There you have it: tips from a connoisseur of quality Coach bags! I can only imagine what the rest of her collection looks like. I hope that she will be sharing more images soon!
Today's bag is a classic Coach Station bag. I don't know about you, but when I hear the word Coach coupled with the word station, I think of travel...by train in particular. So, lets travel back in time, to 1994, where you may have seen a young lady waiting patiently at the train station carrying this bag which is roomy enough for her ticket, identification, credit card, and tons of beauty essentials. With this black leather crossbody messenger, I'm sure she was travelling in the right direction.
Coach No. K4C-5130
In 2014, I published a short post on the poor quality of Nine West products and two years later, they're still cracking up and I don't find it funny at all. True, Nine West products are stylish and tempting to the average fashionista, but after a few wearings, most will be disappointed. I thrifted these sandals for $2.99 and at the time of purchase, they were in "like new" condition. Now that I've worn them maybe 4 or 5 times, take a look at the inside. The inside reads "Leather Upper" but the "Made in China" quickly cancels any hope of durablity. See for yourself. The only place I would feel comfortable in wearing a Nine West shoe is in a comedy club...where everyone's cracking up!
Did you know that Coach once had a serial number with an all number format like this: xxx-xxxx? There was no letter or number indicating the month or year that the bags were manufactured which means that my vintage black Coach leatherware bag made in New York City, USA is authentic with a serial number as unique as my social security number.
"When Coach added serial numbers to the creed in the 1970's they were "all numbers" in the format "xxx-xxxx" . The last four digits do not correspond to the style number, each bag had a unique number. Coach ceased making bags in NYC in the mid 70's before there was such a thing as fakes or knock offs. NYC bags are vintage and rare." ebay.com
RIP Bag #8
Another counterfeit was spotted in my vintage Coach collection and sadly has already gone to meet its maker, whoever that is. The creed states that it was handcrafted in the United States, but I seriously doubt that. According to tips for spotting a fake from ebay.com, I found that the first letter in Coach serial numbers is actually a code for the month that the bags are manufactured.
Read below and then take a look at the first letter of the Coach imitation posted in the slide show. S is not even a legitimate month code and this counterfeit is busted!
"The first digit was the month code, always a letter of the alphabet and supposed to include only A through M, although a few mistakes were made and a rare “N” might slip through. (The letter “i” was avoided because it was too easy to confuse it with the number 1"
Well, another knock-off has gotten knocked off which means it has been destroyed. Hmmh? That makes three bag funerals this week...You know what say, Death Comes in Threes".
Vintage Coach Legacy Soho Zip Navy Genuine Leather Hobo Shoulder Bag S1H-4161
Remember back in 1987, when we jammed to Alexander O'Neal's hit called "Fake"? On this track, he calls out females who lied about anything from their names to whether or not they were wearing weave. Fake eyelashes and colored contacts, anything other than natural seemed "fake" to him. But apparently, none of us ladies were too offended because it became one of his greatest hits.
Since O'Neal is an authority on what is fake, I wonder what he would say after hearing all the evidence on today's bag, I had doubts in my mind when I purchased it, but I loved the color plus it had the creed inside. At a price of $1.49, there wasn't really much to lose. Now that I'm somewhat of a kindergarten purse examiner, I see all sorts of red flags like uneven stitching, crooked creeds, and plain ole cheap squeaky material. It actually squeaks like a rubber duck when you squeeze the material and quality leather doesn't make that kind of noise. Further tips from ebay.com stated that there were a lot of questionable bags from the middle and late 1990's starting with the month code "J" particuarly bags with a J8P prefix and creed that says that the bag was Made in the United States. The J month code was a special favorite with counterfeiters but also used in authentic bags. Have them authenticated if possible.
After reviewing all the evidence, lets hear the ruling from Mr. O'Neal.
"You're a fake
you can't conceal it
Know how I know
'cause I can feel it."
Alexander Oneal - Fake Lyrics | MetroLyrics
Well, there goes another one!
A lady can find herself on either end of a counterfeit bag sales transaction; sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly. I mean, if the bag is cute enough, what's the real harm? Well, the real harm is that it's essentially identity theft. How would you like it if you worked hard to build a reputable brand or excellent credit, then someone comes along and uses it without your permission for their own personal gain? You wouldn't like it at all would you? Uh-huh. That's what I thought.
I've been doing a lot of bag posting and soul searching since beginning my 30 Days/30 Different Bag challenge and have come to some life changing conclusions. First of all, I don't want to buy any more fakes; not even a $2.99 knock-off from a local thrift store. My negative feelings for imitations started years ago before attending an event at AmericasMart Atlanta. I told Loris that we wouldn't be carrying any counterfeits when meeting movers and shakers because establishing solid business relationships require being direct, honest, and presenting yourself in a positive manner. Carrying a fake made me feel fake. Who would I fool with a Chanel replica? No one but myself. So, we left the counterfeits home and left our cheap cell phones in the car. I mean, we wouldn't look very business savvy carrying a silver bullet and a pocket rocket.
Then came graduation for Loris. She received her master's wearing a thrifted Armani blazer, Jessica Simpson leggings, and Vince Camuto peep toe booties. But, when she reached for her counterfeit bag which I had gifted her, I shook my head. That's a no-no!. She had worked too hard for her accomplishments and she deserved something as real as her master's degree. No more fakes for her either.
I'm only 6 days into posting my 30 purses and while sorting through my Coach lot, I've already found 3 phonies. Sure I could sell them knowing that they aren't real, but isn't that illegal? I could give them away, but I'm already feeling remorseful for the counterfeits that I've given as gifts before. Family and friends, please forgive me. So, after I carry them and post them, I destroy them. After all, just knowing they are replicas takes away from my sense of style and self-worth! I deserve the real thing...even if it's thrifted!
The bag posted below had the feel of quality leather and hardware. Using ebay.com as a guide for how to spot counterfeits, I discovered 4 features which proved it was a designer replica. The words included in the creed were spaced too far apart, no Coach has ever been made in Korea, no Coach had digits without the No. abbreviation first, and Coach stamped on several pieces of hardware were signs that it's a knock-off. You know, a girl lives and learns right?
These days, I'm choosing thrifted designer bags like I choose my friends. Fake friends may fool you in the beginning, but with a little time, the relationship will crack and fall apart like a cheap replica. And like high-end replicas, it may take a little research to reveal their true identity, and then you too will be saying..."Bye fake! It's been real!"
September 11, 2013 was one the most memorable events of my life. On that day, I gave my boss of 17 years a pink slip and haven't looked back since. Well, I do look back annually, only to celebrate. It's been 3 years since I've experienced life on the other side of the fence, you know, the side that always look greener under artificial light. I had great plans of offering support to at-risk youth, disadvantage women, and it actually got off to a great start. But, I learned a valuable lesson early on, non-profits do not offer payment for training sessions. Initially, it was fine. After all, I was trying to build a brand plus I had a business credit card that I could use for travel related expenses.
I thought I could fund the business by selling the loads of designer denim and other specialty items that I've accumulated over the years, but that thought sizzled and burned also. I partnered with a well-known retail chain to do a career prep workshop at my alma mater, but after the retail chain pulled out, the college was no longer interested in my services. Without the affiliation of the retail chain, I was to them a "nobody". I reached out to a denim recycling company, newspapers, other colleges; you name it, I've tried it. I've set up online stores and people really expect to pay a couple of bucks for $100.00 jeans. You know what they say. If your business hasn't made any money in the first 3 years, then it's no business at all. It's a hobby.
No, I'm not hungry and I haven't had to sleep in my car yet. I have pulled up to the gas pump with only $5.00 in cash though...just because I didn't want to swipe my card again. The phone is not ringing off the hook and many of our emails go unanswered. I guess that's life when you're trying to start a business.
Well, there is a good side to my hobby/business. I've made contacts with businesses who offer their support during our product giveaways for Alabama's educators. I've gotten positive feedback from counselors in regards to their students who have attended our workshops and that really shows that I'm making a difference. I'm a board member of a Christian Women's Job Corp too. So, on the days that I'm feeling a little down about my success, feeling fenced in by a community that shows little support, I remember that there's two sides to every fence...and I'll cross this one too but never to go back where I've come from!