The Battle of the Brands: Coach VS. Louis Vuitton

Walk down any street and you’ll see teenage girls, Mom’s of five, or basically anybody clutch or carry big and small sizes of rotated “c’s” or rows of LV’s. Both declare the owner’s knowledge of fashion but really, in the “battle of the bags”, which one is really better? Although there is one thing that is common with all these designer handbags, that is an expensive price tag. Which can be a big issue for some buyers. To tackle this there are replicas that are available in the market. After I went through luxurytastic feedback, I realized that this is a perfect way to own a designer bag without spending a huge amount. 

The Nationality

Coach is American and Louis Vuitton, obviously if you can pronounce it correctly, is French. For hundreds of years, the Europeans have wowed their citizens and critics with great fashions and fashionable innovations. Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel have started almost or over one hundred years ago and still continue to live up to their brand name and display European sophistication.

Then we have the Americans. We’ve been name-called since the day we divorced ourselves from the “Empire Which The Sun Never Sets On”. Silly, pigs, tacky, manner-less, and if you move more south, you’ll become a redneck. But one thing about Americans is that after our bitter separation from Europe, we did pretty good. Aren’t we now a superpower, at least politcally-wise? So why can’t we, after all, we were once Europeans, design something that the rest of the world would put in the league of those chic Europeans?

While comparing bags from both designers I like Coach. Coach is very smart with colors, shapes, and especially the moods of Americans. We’re more spontaneous, diverse, and basically more care-free and it definitely shows in the designs of Coach. Their “classic” bags are usually of the khaki/milk chocolate brownish color but in recent seasons they’ve been bursting into Life with color. I’d say it’s more on the cuter side of designing and probably the closest Coach will ever reach, for now, that is.

On the other hand, Louis Vuitton is mostly dark-chocolate brown with a yellower shade of brown monogrammed LVs [they have a colored-edition but that’s a definite faux-pas for me]. On any first look, you’d see Louis Vuitton is so much formal, much more sophisticated.

If they were part of the same family you’d know LV is the older, more educated one and Coach is the more naive little sister exploring the limits of cuteness and fun. But obviously they both need a little help from each other. LV could learn to calm down and loosen up, especially take some color coordinating lessons. The coach needs to see that, one day, you’ll have to grow up because most of the handbag customers need “chic” more than “cute”.

The Price

Ever heard that the more expensive the better the quality? Is that really true? If that was, I don’t think HM; would be so popular or that the guys of Proenza Schouler would actually design for Target.

Coach is definitely cheaper but the quality is still there. However, most of their logo-ed bags [the one most young people want] are made from fabric. Louis Vuitton uses more leather on theirs. And when you compare fabric with leather there is a definite winner.

Is the relationship between price and quality a psychological thing? I feel, and I know most of you will feel the same but probably won’t admit, that I’d rather buy an over one thousand dollar LV bag than a couple of hundred dollar Coach bag just because it’s the fact that I’d spend that much money on a bag for my own luxury. And it sounds good to others while you are bragging of how big your bank account is, people will know you care about it that much. And besides what’s wrong with spending that much on yourself? You’ll take care of it more and come on, you deserve it.

The Endorsements

America’s darlings are in the spotlight all the time and what bag they carry matters a lot. And so far, Coach hasn’t been the favorite. Not only is it ironic, how Americans [being as patriotic as we are] won’t even carry their own country’s brand, it’s embarrassing. And if American’s won’t even buy Coach, why would the rest of the world?

The Conclusion

So if you can’t choose, still, buy a Coach while you’re young and a Louis Vuitton as you get older because these two brands speak for themselves more than you think, so buy wisely.

I must say, Coach, being as young as it is, is a victim of the overrated brands but there is room for improvement. They’ve been working hard, more chic bags, more celebs, well actually two: Jessica Alba and Mandy Moore, and smarter advertising. Louis Vuitton has really be established, their brand and their history rooted to the ground and as rich as their customers. The looks, the celebs, and mostly the loyalty catapulted them to the top and they can only go up from here.

But then again, don’t small look Coach. Being this young means a lot more potential goes their way. America isn’t totally clueless when it comes to “branding” things to be international. If they can establish technology, Microsoft, and my favorite, Calvin Klein, then, who knows, Coach could be their next superstar.


Paola Garcia lives in Jakarta Indonesia. She is an associate professor in University of Indonesia and also managing Scoopinion at the same time. She is also fond of watching theatrical plays.
Back to top button