The legend that is Goyard
Instantly recognisable with the chevron print, Goyard bags and luggage are the epitome of traditional skill, combined with chic Parisian style. Founded in 1853, Goyard designs have stood the test of time, with coated cloth bags, such as the Marquises seen on the arms of celebrities such as the British Queen, Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, and even the Maharajah of Kapurthala.
From the Martin family to Maison Goyard.
The Martin family, who founded their business in 1792, were famous box-makers, trunk-makers and packers. In keeping with this legacy, in 1892 Edmond Goyard, son of a former apprentice who had taken over the reins of the company, launched the first collection of cloth travel bags. He took his inspiration from "poutangris", the traditional cloth used for log-drivers' jackets, to create Goyardine, a coated cloth whose manufacturing process remains a secret to this day. It covers all the label's products, and is decorated with a chevron motif reminiscent of piles of logs. For a long time, this was hand-painted, but it is now applied using a meticulous process which gives it its unique raised pattern. Small leather or cloth items are also decorated with the chevron motif and are given the same attention to detail on the finish.
It was not until 1998 and the arrival of the new CEO, Jean-Michel Signoles, that the collections, which until then had come only in brown Goyardine, became available in all the colours of the rainbow. Even though the Saint-Louis cloth tote remained iconic, Goyard got a new lease of life when it created it in pink. Since then the brand has continued to expand its range of products and choice of colours. Alongside the traditional travel bags or handbags, accessories for pets, bracelets in leather and silver and briefcases have been launched. The brand also offers bespoke pieces monogrammed with the buyer's initials.
After conquering Europe, Maison Goyard opened sales counters in Hong Kong, Taipei and Sao Paolo in 2012, and won over many foreign celebrities. The reality TV star Kim Kardashian regularly carries a yellow Goyard handbag and her husband, fashion designer and rapper Kanye West, wears a personalised brown backpack. Thanks to a collaboration in 2015 with the Place Vendôme jeweller Louis Boucheron the Reflet watch in yellow gold was created, presented in a Goyardine case. The following year a line of suitcases and toiletry bags was brought out for the luxury hotel chain Peninsula Hong Kong. The brand is also concerned with the fight against cancer, and offers to customise handbags for stars on the theme of travel; these are sold in aid of the Curie charity.
Despite more than a century of tradition, Goyard has been able to evolve with the trends and to adapt the colours and prints in its collections. A few iconic pieces mark the evolving spirit of Goyard :