Coach Inc. is one of the most iconic American brands of this generation, defining classic American style through fine accessories and gifts. As of 2012, Coach operated over 500 stores in the U.S. and Canada, and over 300 in Asia. In addition, Coach products are sold in nearly all American department stores and specialty retailers. This fashion empire began in 1941 as a family-owned business, operated out of a small Manhattan loft on 34th street. At this location, six artisans created leather goods by hand, which were quickly recognized for their exceptional quality. Coach continues to pride itself on the excellence of its workmanship, and each Coach item is made of only the highest quality materials.