The first bag I ever begged my parents for (and eventually started off my handbag addiction with) was a classic Coach bag. It was the beginning of what has changed my life and turned into a full-time job, so as you can imagine, Coach holds a very special place in my heart. Over the years Coach has changed, offering more and more options for everyone, whether it's your first bag or your 50th bag.
I was so excited to see Coach re-launched the Willis, a bag inspired by one of the most iconic bags in Coach company archives. This is the first Coach bag in the past few years I knew I had to have and once it hit the site I clicked to buy. I've been carrying it for a couple weeks and now I can break it down to share with you guys exactly how the Coach Willis stacks up.
Here is how my Coach Willis scores in our PurseBlog Purseonals ratings:
I wouldn't have bought this bag if I didn't dig the look. I've had a few friends who actually asked, "Who makes that bag?" and were quite shocked (in a positive way) to realize it's a Coach bag. A return to form, and to its heritage, is precisely what I've been wanting from Coach, and that's what I got with the Willis.
The rounded corners are fresh and modern and I adore the longer strap for crossbody wear. There is a classic turnlock closure on the outside that is clearly Coach, but the overall design is not overwhelmed with logos which makes this bag much more subdued. There is of course a Coach charm and long leather tassel, but both can be removed. I opted for the brilliant pink leather offset with white stitching, a combination I have always been drawn to. The combination of the shape and color immediately lured me in.
Usability + Functionality
I have a really easy time using this bag. It is spacious enough for me to fit my long Louis Vuitton Zippy Wallet, which is a must, and it also has a back slit pocket that fits my phone. The inside is compact but still roomy, and it's really important for me to have plenty of room to fit my usual must-haves.
The top of the bag features a structured roll top, and this makes carrying easy as well. As I reach into the bag to get out my belongings, I end up grabbing the bag like a clutch at the top, and the sturdy roll top makes this task easier. The turnlock closure is easy to open to get into the purse, but leaves everything inside secure. I'm unsure why there is a shorter handle because I can never see myself using it; I stick to the longer strap for shoulder and crossbody wear.
Coach has been in the business of leather goods for a very long time, so they have the design process down to a science. My only gripe is when I carry the bag over my shoulder, the strap is so long that I have to grab the bottom of the bag and pull it up to be able to shuffle through the inside. Also, the hand strap (which is not removable) seems rather pointless, I can't imagine anyone carrying it by that so it seems to be more of a pointless aesthetic addition. Otherwise, this bag scores high for usability and functionality.
Quality + Construction
Coach gets a ton of flack for the quality of their bags. Truth is, I'm often not sure why. Whenever I get a Coach bag, it is always made well. Is it as luxurious as some of the premium designers? No. But I don't think that is what Coach is going for. Coach wants to make quality products that will last a long time and look appealing while still being accessible to a wide consumer base. Seeing as how many bags are made in Asia now, Coach is not alone in where their bags are created. The attention to detail is still evident, and this Willis is handcrafted in China.
The leather is ultra sturdy, which is great to stand the test of time. I like that when I touch the leather it feels soft, but when I grab the leather it is very thick. The hardware also is standing up well; no huge scratches or discoloration. I don't see any problems with the bag so far, and I've carried it through some of the hottest days of NYC summer.
One of the main reasons I bought this bag is because of the value. It has become the norm for me to expect price tags reaching $2,000 for a handbag, and to see a really current and fresh bag that I am very happy to carry for only $298, well that just feels like a steal.
Some have complained that Coach has been raising their prices, but this is a true leather bag with great attention to every part of the item, and the price is still under $300. This to me deserves 5 stars plus.
The 'It' Factor
You know how I know this bag is still completely in style? It was brought back from the archives. Not only do I love how it looks, but classic Coach lovers have been looking for the brand to go back to its legacy and pull out some of the most classic designs - the Willis being one of them. I really like the shape and look of this bag, it is easy for day to day wear but the size allows you to carry it in the evening and that really makes this bag something special. I think the Willis has helped propel Coach back into the hearts and minds of some of their original customers. I know it did for me.
This is a solid bag, and with high rankings above 4 stars for each category, the bag ends up with an overall 4.3 stars. Price is $298 via Coach online.