Luxury purchases can be a tricky business in any market segment, but that’s especially true of handbags.
It’s all about the branding for many companies, so it’s important to sort through the marketing claims to be able to see what’s real and what’s not.
One of the best examples of this is Coach vs Calvin Klein. It’s a marketing battle that features two very different approaches, and in some ways, it’s an apples vs oranges buy.
It’s important to know what you’re getting, though, so let’s do a serious breakdown to help you make the best possible choice.
The Luxury Question
The first question you need to ask yourself in this purchase is simple: What’s your definition of luxury?
The reason this question is important with these two companies is that the appeal of the Calvin Klein line is partially based on scarcity.
Calvin Klein handbags are much harder to find than Coach, and the purchase will set you back to the tune of four figures.
Coach handbags, meanwhile, are mass-produced and cost much less.
That means you’ll get a handbag that looks like a Calvin Klein, but there are some important quality differences between the two that you need to know about, based on the fact that Coach products are basically a knockoff.
Coach vs Calvin Klein Handbags (A Comparison)
Calvin Klein Quality
Calvin Klein is one of the high-end brands out there. While the brand may not be at the level of brands like Gucci, Cartier, or Louis Vuitton, it’s up there in terms of luxury goods.
Therefore, it’s not a lower-end brand by any means.
While you’ll find cheaper pieces of CK on Amazon and similar sites, you may never be able to find the same in other brands like Burberry and Coach.
What’s most important is that Calvin Klein is a good brand if you’re looking for a brand to choose for your handbag.
So what differentiates Calvin Klein when it comes to quality? Simply put, Calvin Klein uses the highest quality materials available, and it’s not just about the leather, although that’s definitely a primary selling point.
Lambskin, snakeskin, and calfskin are part of the product equation, and longevity is also a primary factor in the making of these handbags.
You’ll find the lambskin or calfskin on the interior lining, while Coach handbags will substitute a softer satin fabric.
Stitching is another Calvin Klein specialty.
The quality standard for handbags is based on the number of stitches per inch, with 11 stitches per panel representing the dividing line between high-end and lesser quality.
Calvin Klein strictly observes this standard, and it’s one quick way to see if you’re getting a knockoff.
While it may seem like an insult to call Coach handbags a knockoff, that’s not necessarily the case.
They’re solid, attractive and durable, and for people with a limited budget, they represent an excellent choice.
Coach originally found its niche in the world of leather totes, and the company has expanded its product line to meet a variety of needs.
One thing that separates Coach from its lower-priced competitors is the stitching.
They may not measure up to Chanel’s 11 stitches per inch standard, but they are double-stitched, which does give them more durability and staying power.
The reaction to the lookalike factor is very subjective among buyers.
Calvin Klein devotees tend to consider it a bit of an insult, while many Coach purchasers love the fact that they can get a product that looks like a Chanel at a much lower price.
Is Coach Considered a Luxury Brand?
Yes, Coach is considered a Luxury brand, much like Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Chanel, and other high-end brands. The brand is as popular as those other brands.
However, Coach will always be a low-end luxury brand because of certain traits that they do not share with other high-end, designer, and luxury brands.
This includes accessibility, affordability, and availability. Coach has it all. Whereas, other brands like Calvin Klein doesn’t. That’s why you’ll see Coach in a department store and not Chanel or MK.
Which Brand Is More Expensive?
I consider Calvin Klein to be more expensive. Whether you’re looking at their handbags, clothing line, or everything else, Calvin Klein is a step above Coach in terms of price.
You can also expect the quality of Calvin Klein bags to be higher. Yes, cK sources and use higher-quality materials in their bags and other items.
Is Coach Still Popular?
Yes, Coach is still as popular as ever. The brand is even more popular than the likes of Louis Vuitton, among the middle and lower class that is.
Those who are used to high-end luxury brands will consider Coach affordable and ubiquitous. Maybe you think so too, maybe not.
What about cK?
Well, Calvin Klein is equally popular. I’ve known the brand since I was little.
Funny enough, I knew only Calvin Klein then as the fakes/counterfeits of their products were extremely popular. I grew up to know Coach.
So, that should tell you a great deal about the popularity of both brands.
The Verdict: Which is Better?
It’s tough to make a definitive call on which is better due to the “definition of luxury” factor. If you’re simply looking for a luxury handbag that will keep more of your money in it, go with Coach.
If you’re one of those folks who always goes for the best and doesn’t mind a little snob appeal as part of the pricing, then stick with Calvin Klein and you’ll be a happy handbag camper.