Hundreds of people flocked to the Coach store to meet Matchbook.com editors, but a patternmaker named Massimiliano stole the show, instead.
Laying out patterns of alligator, python, and patent leather, Massimiliano has 12 years of experience as a Coach bag maker. As we started asking questions about a Coach bag’s construction, he made it a point to note that all the material was harvested from animals that were going to be used for meat – which means they do not kill the animal solely for the leather.
To our surprise, he said that most of the alligator leather used in Coach bags come from the USA, while python leather is taken from South American countries like Chile. Coach works with alligator farmers, as well as wildlife regulators from Florida, to obtain the exotic skins.
An average, real Coach bag takes approximately two days and anywhere from 100 to 140 pieces of leather. Coach bags also utilize leather which has been tanned with vegetable oil. I’ve heard from many that this process is actually the superior method to making leather goods. Massimiliano took the various leather pieces of all shapes and sizes and showed guests how a real coach wallet was made by folding, hammering, and gluing leather pieces together. Unfortunately, he could not complete the wallet by stitching it because he required a sewing machine, and due to maximum occupancy of the coach store, it was a question of safety.
After passing around the Coach men’s wallet he made right then and there, he showed visitors a design card illustrating a never-before-made Coach bag that is part of the new Poppy collection. Massimiliano pointed to the rest of the store and exclaimed, “I probably made half of the bags in this store!”