The Goyard name in Paris first became known as a purveyor of fine trunks for the international elite. The house soon expanded their line to handbags and other travel luxury goods in the 19th century. The Goyardine canvas has reached iconic status and is recognizable but still retains its sense of aura and uniqueness, unlike another celebrated label; Louis Vuitton. LV handbags are spotted everywhere and carried by everyone from celebrities, to housewives, to teens, and by everyone else in between. A Goyard bag is recognized on the arm of a much fewer and a much more discerning clientele. Goyard is only available in the U.S. at Barney’s New York and Bergdorf Goodman and there is also one solo flagship store in San Francisco. The best place to purchase a Goyard is in Paris where they have the best selections and the most attentive salespeople. Stepping into the boutique on the Rue St. Honore is like stepping into a 19th century haberdashery store of yesteryear. The store has a quiet elegance with its wall cabinets displaying the beautiful goods and the old fashioned glass counter tops inlaid with dark mahogany wood. A stark contrast to the Louis Vuitton store on the Champs Elysee where there is always a mob of tourists waiting to get into the store and a zoo like atmosphere inside the gigantic megaplex.
Edmund Goyard created the Goyardine canvas in 1892, and was inspired by his ancestors who were log transporters in Burgundy, France and were members of the important guild “compagnons de riviere” or companions of the river. The fabric has a pattern of three Chevrons, juxtaposed to form the letter “Y”. It evokes not only the name of the Maison itself, but also a tree. The small dots that make up the log pattern on the canvas clearly harks back to his ancestors. The material, although very similar to appearance as leather, is made with the same natural coated cloth mixing hemp, linen, and cotton used for their clothing. It was originally hand painted, however; the current process today uses a ground primer color followed by three successive layers of etching. This then creates the raised trademark pattern that has become synonymous with Goyard. The Goyardine also increases its beauty with age. Goyard offers also a unique hot stamping technique that enables personal monograms on an array of products.
There are two Goyard boutiques on the Rue St. Honore in Paris. One offers the trunks and handbag lines and the other the Chic du Chien (canine chic). The innovation of Robert Goyard in 1890, the Chic du Chien was developed for the four legged dandy outfitted with velvet waistcoats, ruffle neck collars, and elaborate leashes! Today, the boutique offers unique pet accessories as well as the ultimate Goyard collar in all the colors to match your bag.
My first Goyard purchase is the classic St. Louis tote bag in black and brown. Although the price is somewhat steep for a tote bag, I carry my bag everywhere! It is especially great for travel, as the bag is extremely light and can be easily filled up. I don’t regret my purchase at all, especially since I was able to get the sales tax returned on my credit card. I took my french bulldog with me to Paris this summer, and of course we had to visit the Goyard store to purchase Louis Pascal a collar! He only gets to wear this beautiful collar on special occasions! Maison Goyard 233, rue Saint-Honoré 75001 Paris +33 1 42 60 57 04. 352, rue Saint-Honoré 75001 Paris +33 1 55 04 72 60.