Here are a couple of reasons to envy tennis star Maria Sharapova: She's got a great backhand and she's the spokesperson for Cole Haan, with access to loads of buttery-soft leather bags and shoes. The Cole Haan brand represents American sportswear with international flair and more than 180 stores all over the world.
If Cole Haan founders Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan had stuck to their initial business plan, Cole Haan would be a line of men's shoes. That's how the business was begun in the 1920s. The brand's increasing popularity encouraged Cole Haan to expand into the line of men and women's shoes, purses, sunglasses, belts and leather accessories we know today. Shoe giant Nike purchased Cole Haan in 1988. Nike technology is often incorporated into the shoes to enhance comfort -- if you are shopping for a Cole Haan shoe and see the word "Air" in front of the shoe name, this signals that Nike Air technology was used in creating it. Cole Haan releases three collections each year: spring, winter and cruisewear.
Just because Cole Haan shoes have Nike technology doesn't mean they don't come in heels or wedges. The line includes its fair share of high-heeled sandals and pumps in colors that aren't afraid to be bold. You'll find the "Air Delfina Back Zip," a criss-cross leather espadrille that comes in metallic silver, yellow and bright green. The feminine and foldable "Air Bacara" ballet flats are perfect for throwing in your purse and slipping on after a long day in heels. Cole Haan also offers classic moccasins, penny loafers and pumps.
The leather basketweave -- known as the heritage weave at Cole Haan -- is a signature of the Cole Haan brand, and you'll find plenty of it in the handbag line. From a small basketweave satchel to an oversized hobo bag in yellow, the basketweave option provides a fun change of pace from traditional smooth leather bags. To complement your handbag, you can purchase a royal blue or saddle "Handpainted Aviator Duffel" oversize bag for traveling or a messenger or briefcase for the office.
Cole Haan branched out into the clothing market through the launch of an outerwear line. Staying true to what the brand does well, the line features a number of leather jackets, especially those in motorcycle styles. The jackets aren't quite as tough-looking as other contemporary lines, which may make them more versatile. You won't find tons of exposed zipper, metalware or pockets -- just fitted, soft leather in colors like indigo and saddle. In addition to leather jackets, you'll find belted trenches and raincoats made with water-repellent nylon in bright blues and yellows.