Updated: Oct 18, 2019
Have you been drooling over a Goyard bag and about to take the plunge or are you new to this old as the hills brand? Have you especially been obsessing over with personalization, color, size? Well then, reader beware: read my account of what happened to me so the same doesn’t happen to you when you finally add a Goyard treasure to your closet! I’ll hopefully save you six months of hassle and waiting!
I’ve been drooling over Goyard since my days working at Vogue. The sleepy (at least then) brand hadn’t been dusted off in it’s second coming as we’ve seen in the last decade. When I saw Karl Lagerfeld absolutely surrounded by his famous Goyard travel trunks I thought to myself, OK the designer of Chanel is only going to surround himself with something amazing - this brand has to be incredible.
Doing business since 1792 as the House of Martin. Older than Louis Vuitton and more exclusive (you can’t buy it in every high end mall in the world), Goyard is the Grand Dame of bespoke luxury. Even before Monsieur Vuitton hung his trunk-maker shingle outside his shop, Monsieur Goyard was hammering away. François Goyard (1828–1890) made box making, packing and trunk making the family's trade when he purchased Maison Martin. Since 1834 it’s been at the same location, 233 rue Saint-Honoré. A place you can visit today and feel the nostalgia in the air, if you don’t mind the hours long line outside. Founded obviously before there were automobiles, one of the company’s biggest sellers was a coin purse that horse and carriage drivers could hold their tuppence in.
Another interesting heritage is that they’ve been making dog accessories since 1890 when they started developing the “Chic du Chien” (“Canine Chic”) range marketed under the advertising slogan “The chicest dogs wear Goyard”. True dat! From one canine lover to another I just love that! You’ll still see the coin purse and the canine accessories in their assortment!
But enough history ...let’s talk ordering your treasure!
As Goyard has no online shopping, almost everyone orders in a store. The problem is there are very few stores! I live in Sweden and we’re one of the many countries that does not have a store. Apart from the main boutique in Paris, Goyard only has freestanding monobrand stores in:
New York City 20 East 63rd Street at Madison Avenue
London, 116 Mount Street
Milan, 2 Via Gesù
San Francisco, 118 Grant Avenue
Biarritz, 4 Avenue de l’Impératrice
Mexico City, 420 Avenida Presidente Masaryk
Beverly Hills, 405 N Rodeo Drive
and I recently saw one in Monaco on my last trip
And it has about 15 shop-in-shops in several uber luxury retailers in shopping capitals around the world.
What few people realize is that you can still order a bag completely via email! And not only that, you do NOT have to just choose from the choices that they offer in the store! You can choose from their standard two fonts and two sizes of those fonts, and then you can get creative with your stripes from their standard offerings, or you can go completely custom and have them paint whatever you want (for a hefty sum).
Luckily during my travels I was in cities with actual Goyard stores so I made it a point to go in and do some tire kicking. I could never decide when I was in the store with all the choices. But every visit I’d get a little closer to figuring out what I wanted.
After deciding what I wanted I contacted them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and started the ordering process. You need to know what size you want, what style you want, and how you want it personalized (if you do). They you lay out everything in specifics and include a drawing. The clearer the better let me tell ya!
I finally decided on ordering the St Louis large because I lug a bunch of stuff around with me. I wanted to be able to use it as a weekend bag or a carryon bag. The size is big but perfect! I paid 860 euros, and an additional 240 euros for initials or name (8 characters) and stripes and shipping 80 euros = total 1180 euros in 2015. I ordered the bag and included a sketch of how I wanted my name. I sent off the wire transfer (scary - no credit cards accepted!) and held my breath!
After 3 short weeks it arrived and you can watch my unboxing here on youtube. FAIL!!! Sadly it was nearly a total FAIL!!! My name wasn’t centered at all! Well I can’t say it was a total fail because the bag was the right color, and it was the right size, and the stripes were the correct color in a diagonal pattern as I requested, but my NAME (the most important part) was CLEARLY not centered and very obviously off to the right by at least a few inches!
I contacted them by email immediately. And let me cut to the chase. 5 MONTHS later I got it back! Yes you read that correctly. FIVE MONTHS. They did send someone to collect my bag which was nice so I didn’t have to go down and drop it off. I sent 5 unanswered emails from June until September when I finally got an email back in saying they were confirming the layout with the craftsman and asked me the exact same questions I’d already answered. Then a few more emails back with forth with essentially the same info - 14 emails! FOURTEEN in total!
Finally I’d had enough and was getting irate. I sent another email basically sharply asking, “Where is the bag???” and lo and behold, it just showed up on my doorstep! With no notification or response to my questions of where is the bag, what’s up, what’s going on, the bag just appeared on my doorstep! I could have moved in those 5 months! I could have been on a 2 week vacation! But anyways I didn't want to complain as I finally had my bag. I just wanted to rip the box open! So I did and it was….PERFECT!
I was so bummed and frustrated that it took so long to get it! But I love the bag and the quality and I’ve been so happy using it for the last 5 years. I think it still looks pretty great - almost new. Knock on wood the paint hasn’t chipped at all, but as would be expected the shape of the bag isn’t as crisp as it was. (There was one good thing about them putting my name off-center and having to have it redone was that I realized when I saw it that I thought the letters were too large as well, so I changed the size of those for my re-order.)My favorite thing about this bag? It’s light as a feather. It weighs nothing. So you can carry it around all day and not get a shoulder ache. You can fill it to the brim and still carry it. My second favorite thing is the detachable coin purse/wallet inside. It’s the perfect size for my phone and some cards and even a gloss so I use it all the time even without the bag!
I love my Goyard, It’s perfect (now) and it was worth the wait! And I would definitely do it again!
Even though it should be OBVIOUS make sure you write that it should be centered!
Be as clear as you possibly can. Make your measurements in cm as that is what the craftsmen are used to.
Just keep following up!
Try to remember in August they are all on vacation so if you can order to receive your bag before July or avoid July and August all together - do that!
Good luck and let me know how it went for you!
Are you also obsessed with Goyard?