I see them everywhere, now. If I go to one of the many malls in southern Ontario and the Toronto area, literally every other woman is carrying one.
Everywhere I look I see Coach bags! I'm sure some of them are authentic and many of them are counterfeit knock-offs. But I presume women carry them for the same reasons.
Women are bombarded by brand-name, designer fashion in various mediums. Ladies of all incomes admire the labels loved by the characters on Sex and the City, The Hills, Jersey Shore, The Real Housewives, and celebrities like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. Women's magazines are saturated with the names Coach, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and Prada among others. The message is clear: if you want to be a sexy, stylish, and high-status woman, be seen with the right brands!
Designer labels are supposed to indicate that the owner can afford expensive things. But all kinds of women, rich and poor alike, want to be seen as rich.
Goods counterfeiters have risen to the challenge. It's easy to buy cheap, fake designer-label fashion in every high-end name you can imagine. All I have to do is go to my local mall, street retailer or flea market, and I can buy a "Coach" bag for $100. Sometimes the counterfeiters are so good at what they do that you can hardly tell the difference.
I'm not exaggerating at all, literally 50% of the women I see on the street or in a mall are carrying a Coach bag, whether it's authentic and $800 or counterfeit and $105. Many of the women who aren't carrying Coach bags are carrying Louis Vuitton or Chanel.
If most women have "designer label" purses, the purses are no longer an effective high-end status symbol. As those bags tend to be plastered with designer logos, I assume the women bought them mainly to show off, not because they simply like the bag's style or quality.