This French luxury brand is the status symbol for the world’s richest people
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Louis Vuitton and Hermès who?
These iconic luxury brands may have a well-established prestige, but in the world of the elite, they have nothing on Goyard.
The name of this two-century-old Parisian brand may not ring a bell the way other luxury fashion houses do, but Goyard’s elusiveness is exactly what makes it the ultimate status symbol among the world’s wealthiest people.
Goyard’s prime press strategy is silence. It forgoes any advertising, e-commerce, and celebrity endorsements. It rarely grants interviews and very occasionally makes products available to the mass market.
Turns out, a lips-are-sealed tactic is the best way to build buzz.
“Luxury is a dream, and revealing too much of what goes on behind the scenes would spoil the magic,” a representative for the House of Goyard told Hypebeast last year, adding: “We believe that whispering softly in someone’s ears is not only more elegant, but also much more efficient than screaming at the top of one’s lungs.”
Its mystery demands desire. Everyone loves a sense of exclusivity, and what’s more exclusive than a brand whose heritage and allure is based on discretion, garnering business solely through word of mouth of its influential clients?
As Sarah Young of the Independent writes of Goyard’s anti-spotlight stance: “Those who know, know. For them, it’s all about attracting the people who count.”
After all, high-end brands risk losing their lustre and jeopardising their exclusivity if they fall into the everyday hands of mass consumption. Goyard’s under-the-radar reputation is the pinnacle of ultimate indulgence for its buyers.
The coveted chevron-printed canvas and leather luggage has been seen accompanying everyone from the newly named Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, to the actress Gwyneth Paltrow, to the Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse, who has a custom trunk for his cutlery.
Goyard is also increasingly popular among hip-hop’s elite. The rapper A$AP Rocky wore a Goyard messenger bag to the 2016 Grammy Awards, and Kanye West sported a Goyard briefcaseduring Paris Fashion Week in 2009.
And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – West’s daughter North was spotted in Los Angeles in February with a personalised Goyard St. Louis bag, costing roughly $US1460 ($1930) after customisation. Meanwhile, her aunt Khloe Kardashian jetted to Tokyo with her belongings packed in not one but two customised Goyard bags.
They’re part of an impressive list of clients including Coco Chanel, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jacques Cartier, Pablo Picasso, Karl Lagerfeld, and the Duchess of Windsor, who collected many Goyard pieces, such as pet accessories and a trunk to accommodate 150 pairs of shoes.
Goyard’s owner, Jean-Michel Signoles, purchased much of the duke and duchess’ collection when Sotheby’s auctioned off the contents of their Paris home in 1997. A document case and monogrammed trunk went for nearly $US15,000, while another lot sold for $US32,500, Town & Country reported.
That’s nothing compared to one of Goyard’s 19th-century-style trunks that fetches $US59,315, according to the Business of Fashion. The Palace trunk costs $US10,120, with additional customisation beginning at $US165.
But not all its prices are so far-fetched for such an exclusive brand, such as the entry-level $US300 Saint Sulpice cardholder or the $US2,430 Grand Bleu messenger bag. A classic Goyard tote costs $US1,150, while a comparable Louis Vuitton is $US1,810.
Goyard’s focus on artisanal craftsmanship prevents it from churning out the bountiful merchandise that Louis Vuitton does, arguably helping Goyard hold a higher level of quality and prestige compared with its competitor.
And because it’s like an heirloom, the brand holds resale value, Rati Sahi Levesque, the chief merchant of the luxury-resale site The Real Real, told Racked.
“It’s an insider’s bag,” Levesque said, “but it doesn’t scream luxury.”
Goyard’s serious collectors prefer individual, custom pieces over the brand’s more discernible items, such as the St. Louis tote and or the Saigon handbag.
Every order “is the result of a very close creative collaboration between a customer and the Goyard team,” and the limits are endless, Goyard told Town & Country.
Ever authentic, though, the company leaves special orders up to its discretion, eschewing any requests that aren’t considered on brand – even if it’s from a recognisable name.
“We turned down several orders for custom trunks for giant TV screens, for instance,” the fashion house told Town & Country. “Goyard is all about travelling, distant horizons, escapism, so a TV trunk by Goyard really sounded like an oxymoron.”
A bespoke gardening trunk, on the other hand, was deemed whimsical, timeless, practical, and functional – something that “truly captures the essence of Goyard.” Commissioned in 2015, it cost roughly $US15,000.
The brand is so elusive that even historic special orders aren’t known to the company.
“Finding a rare trunk is an extremely complicated hunt, requiring near private investigator’s skills … and a lot of patience,” a Goyard representative told Town & Country.
As Deborah Soss, Bergdorf Goodman’s vice president of accessories and handbags, told Racked, “I think there is always an allure to a bit of mystery.”