Last week, Chavie Lieber of Racked interviewed me for an in-depth look at the cult of Goyard. It’s a brand unlike any other we cover; even Hermès, in all of its tradition and conservatism, still debuts seasonal collections at Paris Fashion Week, sells a portion of its product line on its website and has boutiques in all the world’s major luxury markets. Goyard, on the other hand, does none of that, but it retains an ardent following and seems to attract new, younger customers, despite no advertising, an extremely limited retail presence and as little interaction with the media as you could imagine. What gives?

When Lieber asked me why I thought Goyard continued to attract customers despite its general rejection of all commonly used methods of doing exactly that, I balked. Having never found any of Goyard’s bags particularly compelling, it’s not a question I could answer from personal experience with my own shopping urges, and it’s not one I’ve ever seen Goyard’s loyal horde of customers discuss in any detail. If you’re a loyal Goyard fan, we want to hear from you.

What first attracted you to Goyard’s products, and how did you learn about the brand? Goyard’s website proudly proclaims that it doesn’t make seasonal products, so how does the brand hold your interest? Does celebrity affection for the brand, particularly the lightweight St. Louis totes, help or hinder your love for Goyard? Do you wish that the brand provided more variety, or is the brand’s ultra-traditional approach and distaste for the spotlight part of the magic?

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Regina George

    ya know……hipsters

  • ebun

    I yearn for the St Louis tote because it is the cheaper, but less whorish cousin of LV neverfull. Also, Goyard travel equals amazing. All in all, I think Goyard’s allure is it screams luxury (it is monogram after all) without actually making any noise. To the average person, it is one of those brands that you can tell just tell is luxurious but have no clue about and I think that is what continues to draw in clientele. I’m with you on their handbags though, very meh!

    • Guest

      It doesn’t scream luxury, tbh. It looks like one of those free totes you get with a fragrance purchase. The St Louis looks thin and plastic. sorry.

      • PJGambler

        Good analogy!

    • baggal

      you nailed. it.

    • Anna

      i agree with the below comment, def doe NOT scream luxury. looks like a free giveaway bag

  • Chiyong

    I don’t really understand it myself. I would like the appeal of their devotion to craftsmanship if that were actually the case. One peek into the forums and you’d find there are quality issues, similar to numerous other brands. As I don’t live close to where I could purchase one, but travel to the Bay area frequently, I’m loathe to pack an extra bag solely to get defects reviewed at the boutique. I never say never as I may come across an item in which I fall in love; however, their lack of online presence drastically reduces this possibility.

  • Aliza Zibkoff

    I think there is something to creating a concept and sticking to it. Their print whether you like or find it boring always unifies their collection and there is something genuine about that. They stick to their designs whether it attracts a crowd or it doesn’t and that’s…well… attractive!

  • Andy

    Nope, not at all.

    • Susan

      I agree. Nope. Ugly and plasticky looking, as someone said, like a perfume freebee.

  • ottercat

    Feeling of being in a secret club.

    • Marina Harbor

      Totally agree!

  • Mo

    I first saw the bags carried by women in Palm Beach, and had no idea what they were. Then I happened to see them in Bergdorf during a trip to NYC, and fell in love. I have two, a hobo style bag in blue and white small St. Louis in white. They are so easy to fold and pack in a suitcase, super lightweight, and so unassuming. I am pretty hard on my bags and have never had a quality issue. I absolutely love the monogramming too, they did it long before LV or other brands started offering it.

  • KMAC

    I just cannot believe that it is upwards of $1,300.00 for coated canvas and essentially no structure. BUT that being said I do get bag envy in NYC when I see it…

  • Fashdash

    First time I saw a goyard tote I was not impressed! I though it looked cheap and plasticky. However, after educating myself a bit more on the brand and how each of these bags are hand painted vs LV generic screen prints, I was sold on this technique and decided to purchased a small st Louis tote. I absolutely love my Goyard tote, it is the lightest bag i own and the most comfortable!

    • Guest

      Pretty sure they are no longer hand painted, so….

      • Fashdash

        So, I still love my Goyard tote!

  • tata

    it’s not the kind of brand i want to keep buying. but i do have one st. louis tote and it’s very special to me because i purchased it at their original tiny tiny store in paris and it reminds me so much of paris. i do think it’s timeless classic and chic but other than that, to me, it’s more sentimental.

  • Sand

    When i was looking around to buy a new bag. I was considering LV speedy 30 and GY St Louis. Finally, I bought a GY rather than LV. And now, I’m proud of I have made the right descision.

    I love GY St Louis GM
    1. Hand painted
    2. Light
    3. Can carry a lot of things
    4. Not so common as other brands
    5. History
    5. Colors

  • Patty

    Good quality, Highly personalizable. it’s the luxury bag that you are not afraid to put it on the ground. Plus the colors are so true and pure. If it is blue, it’s blue, not turquoise, not electrique, it’s blue.

  • Suz

    I love Goyard so much!! Lightest weight, most unique, most stylish, prettiest, and most classic bag you can buy. Exclusive and elite, and yet not too loud or pretentious. The pattern is amazing.

  • Marina Harbor

    Goyard: for me it was love at first sight. The first time I saw one I new I needed to have it. From all my designers bags I own Goyard is my favorite by far, not only because of the bag, the colors but also the brand!
    I love they don’t sell it everywhere, and everytime I see one in the city or as a beach bag the person is carrying has style and is chic.
    And as silly it may sound it makes me feel really cool and chic everytime I wear it!, never get bored of using it and still planning to buy another one!

  • khm

    I bought a navy large travel kit for my toiletries which was way more than the tote but I have never looked back – it stands up well and I love it. I lost my luggage on my way back to the East Coast and it was missing for 3 days – the only thing in it I even cared about getting back was my Goyard!

  • T

    My first Goyard was a hand me down from my Mom. She bought it when visiting my Dad on one of his business trips in Europe. Not sure when that was, or where she got it, but it’s a black St Louis. I’ve since started my own collection of Goyard’s totes and wallets. My latest obsession is their clutches. What I love about Goyard is the color selections, and how we can personalise the items to suite our unique style.

  • Scottsdale Kim

    I remember being excited to visit Harrods for the first time years ago before online shopping existed. I felt the same way having the opportunity to visit Goyard in Paris this Spring. I knew that I could possibly get one from San Francisco or Barney’s LA since I live on the west coast but there was something special about visiting the original store and knowing that these bags are not available online. In fact, they have a version of the St. Louis tote that is sold only at that location.

    My initials are painted on the inside and I look forward to many years with this bag.

  • Sydney

    Simply classy…

  • My Goyard St. Louis was the first designer bag I ever purchased, and it was the one I had my heart set on even before I could afford it. I loved how it was subtle, and, then, at least, it wasn’t at all a recognizable brand. I loved the chevron pattern, and how it’s even more detailed up close. I had initial misgivings about how flimsy and light it seemed, but was convinced by my research, where owners kept saying how long theirs have lasted and how well they’ve held up through the years. I also like how you can fold it up, if needed. My love for the bag had nothing to do with the company’s traditional approach to retail and all that, I didn’t even know that that’s how they did things when I decided to on the St. Louis. But it must be said, there is a certain charm and old-world grandeur to their Paris shop, stepping inside feels like you’ve gone back in time. Yes, it’s filled with luxe items and trunks I couldn’t afford even if I sold my kidneys. But somehow, there was still a homey, cozy atmosphere to the store that you could never ever get in an LV, Gucci, or Prada store.

  • Liz

    Goyard is one of my favorite handbag brands, easily in my top 5. I think some of my reasons are as follows:
    1. I actually love the fact that there aren’t 50 billion different colors that change every season, but the colors they do have are lovely.
    2. Hand-painted customization! The Goyardine background is like a beautiful canvas for your monogramming, stripes(which I love the sporty look of), and/or pretty much any symbol your heart desires. It makes it truly unique.
    3. I know others may disagree, but I’ve only ever received top-notch quality from Goyard, both in terms of product and customer service.
    4. Like someone else said, it’s like being in a secret club.
    5. I see it as sort of a great hidden unifier in fashion, and a great number of impressive people were/are Goyard customers. Examples include Karl Lagerfeld, Coco Chanel(always had hers painted with pink and orange), and Tiffany had a custom jewelry box made by Goyard. Goyard has some outstanding history(including beating Louis Vuitton in shows way back in the day)
    That’s all I can think of for now, but yeah, I LOVE GOYARD! :)

  • B

    I find these bags so ugly. The pattern is tacky. They look cheap like a tote you would pick up at Target. Why? I don’t get it.

  • Maryam

    I love the Goyard Saigon bag. The style of this bag is very unique and they offer it in different colors. Im dying to have a Goyard Clutch! I think what makes Goyard attractive is it uniqueness!

    I’m from the middle east and I can contact Goyard boutique for a special order and its easily done. I once ordered a blue one 7 months later I got an email saying its available! Love their service! Unlike Hermès, they let you beg for a bag and you end up not having the color that you want! They say its a special order, then you wait years, then you get a different color because the color you choose is a seasonal color! Hermès is not as straight forward as Goyard!
    Goyard makes you wait but delivers exactly what you want and you can personalize it!

    • tata

      goyard may have better service but you can’t possibly compare goyard with hermes…

  • Renee

    I agree that the goyard st louis totally looks cheap and plastic. Also, why make it so difficult for consumers to get information and prices on their products? Totally ridiculous. You have to call a store if you aren’t in a city that has a store and totally kiss their ass to get any details. LV rocks. I’m sorry. The neverfull has the inner pockets, more structure, hold up to anything and has the cut pull ties on the side. Best investment I’ve made in a bag.
    I know it’s way over played. Not LV’s fault they’ve been so coveted and replicated. If they sucked, this wouldn’t of happened. GOYARD , you can suck it.

  • ism

    At this point, refusing to sell online seems gimmicky. It’s like authors who will only publish in print.

  • baggal

    because they are light, classic, unchanging, and smart. because they use color perfectly and are not trendy. because they make me happy!

  • If somebody has to tell you that you are cool, you are not cool.

  • Ma. Irma D. lim

    I sooooo love Goyard because of its snob attitude…it has a certain class and as you have stated…. i like its distaste for the spotlight. I have two Goyard bags and still want more…but i need to get it from its store in HK or Paris.

  • biny7

    Believe it or not I first saw/got to know the brand Goyard in a Kpop MV. They had a stack of trucks and I was curious at this new pattern I’d never seen before.

    I then started noticing a lot of the wealthy Korean girls at school carrying the St. Louis tote as school bags.

    I personally like Goyard because I think the pattern is intriguing. It is also amazing to know that everything was painted by hand!! This type of craftsmanship is something we don’t see much nowadays.

    I agree with the commenters below. The reason its kept its customer interest is because the owner feels like they belong to a secret/though not so secret club. The products are also so hard to acquire that it makes the “chase” more fun.

  • Regan

    I like that they dont advertise very much. Makes me feel like I am making a choice on my own and not being pressured into it by media or other outside sources. I stumbled upon it myself and loved it.

  • Kai

    I’ve recently shifted to Goyard–and I mean shifted to the point of selling ALL my other bags so that I can afford to buy JUST Goyard. Now I am a Goyard collector and have seven so far. My reasons for shifting to Goyard:

    1. The attraction for me first and foremost is the craftsmanship. I have come to a point in my life when I want organic, natural, and old-world craftsmanship in all aspects of my life (beauty, fitness, health, etc)–and Goyard fulfills the fashion aspect of it.

    2. I like the exclusivity, and I like that it’s not mainstream. I’ve always been a rebellious, non-conformist girl my whole life anyway.

    3. Comes with age I guess. I’ve known of Goyard since I was young but it didn’t attract me at that time because of the price and the style. But now, I’m totally into it. For me, Goyard is fuss-free. It actually helps me curb the appetite to keep buying bags. It’s a classic, and I can use it forever. I look at it more as an investment.

    4. I’ve been a bag lover all my life, at 33 years old I’m tired of fads and changes. Goyard never changes–just the colors and bag styles.

    5. Some feel that Goyard is snooty, but I actually appreciate how personal they communicate with their patrons. I have kept emails of my correspondence with Goyard–they are delightful to read–so old world.

  • Kai

    It’s crazy how ignorant some of the comments here are.

    1. First of all, St. Louise (the cheap shopping tote that you keep referring to) is NOT the only Goyard bag there is. It’s entry level DUH. And when you say “plastic looking” you’re probably looking at a FAKE. It’s hand painted, dot by dot. Double DUH.

    2. It was the FIRST innovative trunk/bag maker in Paris–it was WAAAY ahead of LV, Chanel, and Hermes back in the day. In fact, LV’s first store WAS in Goyard’s old workshop.

    3. While Goyard is known for its canvas, it has leather and other premium wares.

    And finally, ALL bags even Hermes has quality problems because that’s just part of life. Things get worn out. And it’s not like this only refers to bags–it refers to anything from your furniture, to your freakin’ iPhone.

    • dluckygurl8

      It’s Saint Louis, not St. Louise. Also, it’s not ‘hand-painted, dot by dot’ – while they used to hand paint every single dot on the chevron stripes, they haven’t been doing this anymore due to the recent demand in the market. I personally asked an SA in Paris a week ago about this — a stencil is used to paint it on by hand.

    • contributor

      The dots are NOT, repeat NOT hand painted!!!! The monograms are. Its CLEARLY stated on the Goyard Website. Before WWII they were hand painted. But since the 1990’s they are PRINTED via engraving. Geared lays a base color then they lay 3 engravings of color dots. Engraving gives the surface texture which mimics hand painting – RIGHT THERE ON THEIR WEBSITE (duh). Goyard.com

      • contributor

        OOPS – predictive text: supposed to be “Goyard lays a..” not “Geared lays a..” Sorry for typo

    • Kbm

      They look cheap and are. I’ve had a few and they are horribly worn. Then again lv handles wear horribly as well. Goyard bags are just ugly. Design is old and unappealing.

    • Steve ress

      Yeah there is too many varieties I have a white Boeing 55 it’s tough as a rock but flexible and I get looks like a mf.

  • Kimberly Whitehead

    I love anything I feel is exclusive & rare. I’m the only African American I’ve seen with one besides Kerry Washington. None of my friends know what it is; one even commented on Facebook that mine was ugly lol.

  • Anna

    i think its extremely ugly and surprised to learn it was so expensive. i’ve seen alot of people carrying it and prior to learning its name, thought it was like a free giveaway bag that department stores were giving to customers with purchase.

  • DB

    Soooo boring…wouldn’t invest a dime in this boring brand…absolutely uncharming. LV has much more life to their bags…esp the new ones thanks to NG.

  • this is interesting discussion

    I don’t own one but I’m guessing why someone would spend thousands on a canvas bag. Durability? I guess these bags are truly WORK bags. Meant to be carried and used. Maybe real luxury is investing in something to be a part of your lifestyle. The bag doesn’t define you. Its just something you keep your stuff in – which happens to cost $3000. Think about it: if you have a high lifestyle are you going to go to Target and buy a $20 tote? No. Doesn’t go with the rest of your clothing or lifestyle.

    • Silver Surfer

      I own one, and guess what? They actually aren’t that durable nor meant to be work bags. I thought they were, until my tote started developing these little holes in the corners. When I went to Goyard to inquire about repair, they informed me that these bags aren’t meant to carry a heavy load, in fact she said they should be used like beach bags – only for light weight stuff. I like the bag, love the chevron design, but won’t be repurchasing.

  • SONG JUCK

    cheaps bags/http://www.lesacspascher.com/goyard

  • Jesse Knott

    I wanted a tote, but didn’t want something as gaudy and popular as a neverfull. I wanted something more under-the-radar. I found it in Goyard.

  • Emir Roseley

    I have a Goyard story when I walked into their shops on St Honore Street, and why I love the brand.

    I was backpacking through Europe when a mate twisted my arm into buying a Goyard handbag for her when I was in Paris. I hate shopping, especially for a woman’s bag, but I thought it would be interesting experience to do on a breezy summer’s day.

    All other boutiques looked intimidating – with security guards with dark tailored suits in front, not very welcoming.

    Not Goyard. As exclusive as Goyard appeared to be, they welcomed me. I walked in, dressed like a third world hobo with a day bagpack on my back. The ladies didn’t care, treated me like one of of their oldest customers. I asked if they had the smaller bowling bag in grey; they smiled and said yes!

    When the junior salesgirl returned with the bag, she was about to pack it in the bright yellow cinch bag and stuffing it into an even larger bag.

    I told the lovely ladies, “no way… I’m not riding the train carrying a goyard in my hand.”

    Being the prick that I am, I even went on and said, “If I can’t stuff this bag into my backpack, I’m cancelling the purchase.”

    “No problem, Sir. Just hand over your backpack and WE WILL DO OUR BEST.”

    I was gobsmacked. I was just looking over them as they went through my backpack, taking things out one by one and organising them neatly to economise room for a handbag. We talked about D’orsay vs Lourve. I flirted a bit, but they weren’t buying any of it lol. Anyway, when it’s all said and done, the backpack almost burst at the zipper seams. But they managed to fit the handbag inside (they stuffed my light jacket into the goyard).

    “Have a nice day, Sir!”

    Such class. They gave up their Parisienne ego to give me the royal treatment, all with a smile. This is the single most amazing retail experience I’ve ever had. Totally unexpected, and such a pleasant surprise. Totally made my day.

    I eventually left St Honore Street with a bifold cardholder and a passport holder for myself. It was a safe train ride back to my accommodation ;-)