Make things as lightweight as possible, as simple as possible, as punchy as possible, as inexpensive as possible” – this was the manifesto of Bonnie Cashin (1907-2000). The American designer was instrumental in the development of forward-thinking fashion of the 20th century and a pioneer of prêt-à-porter.

During the 1960s, Cashin began to work for the New York-based leather goods company, Coach. She began producing a series of hardwearing, understated bags that definitely meet the demands of busy, working women. Combining bold, simple shapes and exquisite ice-cream colors, the bags were meant not only for show but utilitarian as well. These bags were perfect for the liberated women of the Brett Friedan era.

Bonnie Cashin bags for Coach

Vintage editorial of Bonnie Cashin for Coach bags

The leather shopper was undoubtedly the star of Coach’s line of handbags. These bags were available in three sizes and in a range of vivid hues, signalling both practicality and style.