Most of the shock value of Coach releasing a bag with a four-figure price tag wore off years ago, but the disparity between the prices of the Coach Madison Calf Hair Brynne Satchel and the Coach Madison Ocelot Sabrina Satchel truly caught be off guard.

The Brynne, left, is made of printed calf hair with leather trim and is 14 inches wide. The Sabrina, on the right, is nylon with leather trim and measures 12 inches across. If you had shown me the bags and asked me to guess, I would have pegged the Brynne at about $700 – one of Coach’s pricier offerings, but not out of the brand’s normal range these days. The Sabrina would have been much lower, probably about $300. On one count, I would have been remarkably close (not much of an accomplishment, considering that this is my job); on the other, not so much.

The nylon Sabrina, as I had guessed, is priced at $298. On the other hand, the slightly larger Brynne, rendered in calf hair, rings up at a whopping $1400. Surely there’s a large difference between the wholesale prices for calf hair and nylon, and likely increased difficulties in processing, dying and sewing calf hair, but an $1100 difference for a brand whose bags normally cost far less than a thousand dollars is a bit quizzical.

Coach has many, many loyal fans who love the brand’s bags (not to mention the many other products it now offers), and I can’t help but think that those enthusiastic Coach customers have to be the primary audience for such an expensive bag. For $1400, I’m running straight to Balenciaga. Then again, that’s my favorite brand, so I can understand the why Coach fans feel the way they do about their label. For that amount of money, though, I’d suggest they buy the Sabrina (which would even be useful in the rain!) and save the other $1100 for two or more future Coach purchases.

$1400 via Nordstrom.

$298 via Nordstrom.

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