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10 Insider Secrets of Goyard's Iconic Handbag History

CEO Tinh Phung
Luxury brands often boast about their rarity and exclusivity, but few can match the elusive and discreet nature of Goyard. Unlike its competitors, Goyard refrains from advertising, listing products on its website, or engaging with...

Luxury brands often boast about their rarity and exclusivity, but few can match the elusive and discreet nature of Goyard. Unlike its competitors, Goyard refrains from advertising, listing products on its website, or engaging with the media. You won't find any extravagant product launches or fashion week parties either. Goyard has no interest in claiming rarity while selling its products to the masses. In fact, the brand would rather not sell them at all.

Such a unique approach to public relations can make it challenging for newcomers and even seasoned bag collectors to navigate the world of Goyard. To help you get acquainted with this iconic brand, we've created a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know. And when you're ready to shop, don't miss our primer on the most sought-after Goyard design - the St. Louis Tote.

1. Goyard - The Oldest Leather Goods Maker

Established in 1853, Goyard is the oldest leather goods maker still in business. It preceded even the more well-known Louis Vuitton by a year. While the brand's roots can be traced back to 1792 under the name Maison Martin, it was François Goyard who purchased the company and renamed it in 1853.

goyard-workshop Image via Goyard

2. Goyard's Signature Y Print - Symbolic and Unique

Goyard's monogram print, known as Goyardine, is instantly recognizable. Unlike other designers who use their initials, Goyard incorporates an interlocking Y pattern, representing the Goyard family's history as log-drivers.

goyard-anjou-tote-8 Image via Goyard

3. The Evolution of Goyardine

While Goyard's signature print was once hand-painted on coated canvas, mechanized etching and layering techniques are now used. However, personalizations still receive the artisan's touch. Goyard artisans hand-paint customizations in their ateliers located worldwide.

Image via Peninsula Hotels
Image via Peninsula Hotels

4. No Online Sales - Goyard Stays Exclusive

Believe it or not, Goyard is the only major luxury brand that doesn't sell anything online. The brand restricts its sales to four product categories: travel goods, handbags and accessories for men and women, pet accessories, and special orders. None of these are available for purchase online, neither from Goyard nor authorized retailers.

goyard-online-sales Image via Goyard

5. Limited Availability - Goyard's Store Presence

Goyard doesn't make it easy to buy its products in person either. Until 2015, there was only one standalone Goyard boutique in America. While a New York location has since been added, there are still fewer than half a dozen places to find Goyard in the United States. In comparison, Hermès has 24 US stores and Louis Vuitton boasts 108.

goyard-new-york-city-store-1 Image via Goyard

6. The Reclusive World of Goyard

Goyard is perhaps the most notoriously reclusive brand in the luxury handbag industry. It rarely grants interviews to print or digital media. However, the brand did invite us to photograph its New York flagship before it opened to the public. As a privately-owned company, Goyard doesn't feel the pressure to constantly attract new customers or develop new products, preferring to focus on satisfying its existing clientele.

purseblog-asks-goyard Image via PurseBlog

7. Goyard Connects on Social Media

Although Goyard mostly maintains a low-profile, it does engage with consumers on social media from time to time. The brand sometimes answers questions and clarifies information. For example, Goyard settled the debate on the authenticity of a Goyard jacket worn by DJ Khaled. While the brand doesn't manufacture jackets, it does produce silk scarves which were used to create the custom-made jacket.

goyard-fanny-packs Image via Goyard

8. A Book Worth Viewing

Goyard's history is encapsulated in a limited-edition book. Only 233 copies were printed, each with its own storage trunk. Although the book is no longer available for purchase, you can make an appointment to view it at the brand's French flagship store.

goyard-book Image via Goyard

9. Goyard's Special Orders

Goyard offers customers the opportunity to request special orders. As long as the concept meets the brand's quality standards, the special order workshop can create trunks and travel pieces in almost any configuration or concept. One notable example is a trunk that cleverly transforms into a portable writer's desk, custom-made for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

sir-arthur-conan-doyle-portable-writers-trunk Image via Goyard

10. Consistency and Discretion

Goyard has remained relatively unchanged over the past several decades. While other fashion houses make empty claims about consistency and discretion, Goyard truly lives up to these values. The brand maintains an excellent and curated product assortment, offers personalized services, and maintains a subtle public image. These qualities create a truly unique shopping experience for luxury consumers seeking exclusivity.

goyard-new-york-city-store-8 Image via Goyard