Article about Coach bags with a discussion about how Coach lead the trend of hanging charms on bags and a slight jab at higher end bags and their justification for prices http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/02/AR2007090201354.html Some excerpts of note: Coach helped popularize the idea of accessorizing one's accessories with charms ranging in price from $28 to $38. (An impulse purchase for some shoppers; an indulgent introduction to the Coach brand for others.) Although Prada has received most of the credit within the fashion industry for mainstreaming this kind of childish charm, Krakoff says his came first. "We did it three years before them," he says. "We saw them seven years ago in Japan. People were hanging key chains on bags; girls would hang little charms on their cellphones." But he stops short of being bothered. "I would sound silly saying, 'I invented the key fob.' We're really not about starting trends. I really don't care." Some fashion snobs deride Coach, unable to deal with the idea that a handbag so readily accessible, so vaguely democratic, could also be so desirable. They dismiss it as a starter bag -- and an ugly bag. The Web site Bagsnob.com, which offers critical assessments of new handbags, showed no mercy in critiquing Coach's patchwork bags. "I know I sound like a total snob when I say that I cringe when I have to walk by a Coach store. . . . The other day . . . I inadvertently stopped in front of a Coach store. I looked up and was assaulted by a wall to wall display of their hideous patchwork bags! I almost passed out and wanted to run but could not tear my eyes away from these deformed-looking bags!" Of that review, Krakoff responds: "I'm okay with that. We can't please everybody. We're here to please the customer." --- He sniffs with skepticism at labels, particularly European ones, that put a price tag of almost $2,000 on a handbag. "Knowing what it costs to make a bag -- " he begins. And then pauses. Disgusted. Some of the cost is based on status, some of it is because of small-scale production. "But we use the same raw materials," he says. He firmly believes that Coach is a luxury brand. "Luxury is personal," he says. "It's old-fashioned to think that it has to be made a certain way." Or in a certain country. Or by unionized labor. Luxury is not related to hand-sewing, he says, or a label that says "Made in Italy." "Truthfully, I look at a lot of bags, and it's not where it's made but who makes it. I think the European brands have been pushing that because it's the only way to justify $9,000 for a bag."