A question

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  1. I am not posting this to fight with anyone or cause trouble. I just wish someone could explain this to me.

    Let me tell my story:
    About 17 years ago I came across a store in Paris . This was the one and only Goyard store at the time. We were the only people in the store and the gentleman there was more interested in sharing the story of the Goyard family with us rather than selling us something. He explained that the family began by making steamer trunks and trunks one would strap to the back of their car but when these two demands obviously disappeared they started making, among other things, hand bags.
    He explained that all of their offerings were hand made by 9 people in the Village of Carcassone.


    I bought one of the two hand bags that were available at the time , they differed only in size. It was clearly a beautiful handmade work of art. It was only $400. (so maybe $500 current value)

    Several years later I passed in front of Barney's and noted a sign " Goyards for sale". I entered and found that they were not selling anything even close to my hand bag but rather big cheap looking tote bags.
    I subsequently found out that the current generation of the Goyard family had sold out to a company which was deciding to maximize their profits by producing large amounts of lower quality items. As you know Goyards are now being distributed all over the world and there is no way those 9 original people could possibly be producing all of that. My hand bag is no longer being made (can't even find pictures of it anywhere on the internet) , quite certainly because it was so expensive to produce that they decided more money could be made with mass production of cheaper to produce items. The Goyard chevrons of my hand bag were each meticulously hand painted and the material is far superior to what I see now on Goyard products. I seriously doubt that the chevron designs on the material they currently use are being hand painted.

    Anyway, my question to you is; why are you buying Goyards? I just do not see a high level of quality. I would estimate the cost of producing one of these tote bags is less than $50 each. These are clearly no longer works of art or anything I would hold in high esteem.
    Obsessed68, bubablu and hikarupanda like this.
  2. I think I have read it somewhere that these days the design is indeed a print and not hand painted. Not sure if it’s true. But I agree with you, after selling my one and only Goyard, which was a St. Louis (with the handle cracking problem) after less than a year of owning it and not even using it much, I lost interest in this brand. I’d be interested to see pics of your bag though!
    Addicted to bags likes this.
  3. Thanks for answering.

    I will send you pictures when I return home after Thanksgiving. Currently at a friend's house in Europe. Have my Goyard in this picture but you can't see it.
    Mine looks nothing like any of the current models. It is 17 years old and shows no wear whatsoever. That was the level of quality and workmanship that the original Goyard family put into their products.

    Of their current line, the St. Louis is the one that confuses me the most because it really is cheaply made and like I said probably does not cost more than $50 to produce.
    france 3-17 079.JPG
  4. You are very fortunate to have experienced this, and to have a hand painted Goyard bag. I too lost interest in the brand. I purchased a Goyard St Louis tote after considering one for a year. Once purchased, I was so disappointed with the quality of the bag, and the stories of cracking handles. I used it twice in one year, and sold it. It's unfortunate the bottom line is not quality but profit. I once considered a few other bags but since have moved on.

    I too would love to see photos of your bag.
  5. I have 6 Goyard bags and have had no issues. Granted, I dont buy the St. Louis
    queenmother likes this.
  6. And I believe the takeover you speak of happened even before you purchased your bag 17 years ago, as the current owner of Goyard bought it out in 1998.

    I know the Goyardine is no longer hand painted, but the bags are still made in Carcassonne, and I believe many of them are still made largely by hand, with some machinery assistance.

    I have 3 Jeannes, 2 Bellechasses, and the little cross body wallet thing as well as a passport cover and a few change purses. These bags have flown all over the place and are holding up beautifully. My first, a black Jeanne, is 3 years old and looks brand new.

    I do think the St. Louis feels a bit flimsy.

    I did look at getting some MTO, but it was going to set me back 25k euros.
    bellebellebelle19 and c18027 like this.
  7. Goyard still feels very special to me, the quality is still very high and there is big attention to detail.
    Goyard is more than the St Louis tote.
  8. I agree 100% with this. You said it better that I did and more succinctly.
    R8ted_mmm, alizhan and Sycomore like this.
  9. #9 Nov 18, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
    This is becoming a little clearer to me.

    My real issue was when I entered Barney's as I described in my initial post and was shocked to see such cheaply made tote bags with the name Goyard.

    My husband is very involved in wine in Europe and he knows families making great wine for 7 generations or more. Recently family members who inherited these wineries have been selling out to companies , LVMH has been buying them up, (a lot of these great wineries are going for $100 million or more) and then often the quality of the wine is lost because the new owners really do not care about quality or traditions. It bothers me that it seems the same thing has happened at Goyard.

    As subsequent posters stated, they do not like the St. Louis bag much either. I was told you can get knock offs in Hong Kong for about $100 and as I can see from the "authenticate this" topic, it seems like it is very difficult to separate a real St. Louis from a fake.
    I really do not have anything to say about the other Goyard products but I still do not think they are no way near the quality of the original bag.

    I find it interesting that no one really responded to my initial question, so now I will rephrase it.:

    What did you find so desirable or attractive about the St. Louis bag to make you by it?
    jayeoh likes this.
  10. #10 Nov 18, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018

    Many thanks for sharing your observation.

    I chanced upon Goyard Paris in 2001. During then, there was only one boutique. Products sold were indeed very different. Some items I would say, were rather ‘whimsical’ but simply not fashionable.

    Similar to your experience, the SA then was enthusiastic in sharing the history behind the Maison and the craft behind making of each creation. Each piece indeed was unique since quantity was limited. I bought my first Goyard piece of jacquard material then. I wasn’t clear who was the owner. It was only years later that I found out that it was already bought by Mr Signoles - a keen collector of Goyard - who was trying to revive the Maison. I recalled he sold off his denim business to focus on Goyard.

    I forgot about Goyard until in 2007, I walked past one of the first Goyard overseas store in Tokyo. To be honest, I almost couldn’t recognize Goyard. The Goyardine canvas had become colorful and there were many modern designs. Yet, the fundamental designs seem to remain largely unchanged. I bought Ambassade - a briefcase which I am still using to date. I liked the change.

    Over the years - I started to buy more and more Goyard items. It’s like Love Revived! Lol. I love Goyard because many of the designs that we are seeing today largely follow the designs are already in existence decades ago.

    In the meantime, Goyard also becomes more and popular. It is no longer as niche as before. I assume more and more people rediscovered / discovered Goyard like I did. More and more shops opened up, more and more people carrying Saint Louis, more and more bootlegs, obnoxious rappers carrying their messenger bags in music videos, increasing enthusiasm on the making of Goyard canvas and spreading wrong information making more people confused, complaints about quality of their products and service of their SAs (trust me, I had some terrible experience myself recently)..... all kinds of issues associated with commercialized brands surfaced.

    To me, such change is inevitable. Whether we like it or not. One thing certain is Mr Signoles has successfully revived the brand!

    I am disappointed with some of the recent decision made by the management. Beside the astromical prices that they are jacking up every year, male consumers like me have to pay exceptional high price for men items of colours beside the 4 ‘safe’ colours. This is ridiculous. This is outright profit maximization. But aren’t businesses all about profit maximization?

    Overall - I stlll love Goyard. Maybe not as much as before. But it is special to me.

    To answer your question regarding the ubiquitous Saint Louis Tote - it is not my favorite design but I really do enjoy using it cos it’s large, fun, colorful and light. Perfect for traveling! But yes, the handles suxxxx!!! But if I am bothered very much that the handles might break/melt/discolored when I am
    Traveling, I fold it up and change to Boeing / Croisiere/ Bellechasse.
  11. I only have 1 St. Louis in red, I love it because it fills the need of a big tote in my collection.
    The red goyardine is gorgeous, the bag is light and care free.
    Please keep in mind despite the popularity, Goyard is not mass produced like LV.
  12. Alizhan

    Thanks for responding.

    Sounds like we may have had the same SA, he was around 30 and was a true gentleman. I bet the entire Goyard company was less that 15 people at that time and only 2-3 worked at the store.

    Returned to the store 2 years ago and it is now completely different, a feeding frenzy.

    Indeed, awareness and demand for the Goyard label has really exploded over the past 10 years.
    Why do you think this is so? Introduction of Goyard into these department stores? Word of mouth? Seeing celebrities with one? I do not think Goyard advertises.

    I'll post pictures of my Goyard when I get back
  13. In the early 2000s, when Goyard was the "cool brand" to have, I was gifted a wallet. The quality was fine, but nothing extraordinary in my opinion. I never had much interest in the brand after that, in part because the fast-rising popularity of the St. Louis totes took Goyard from niche to mainstream in just a few years.

    Once upon a time, Goyard was marketed as the "anti-Louis Vuitton." But the brand's mythology is, in fact, very similar: the trunks, the coated canvas, etc. And it turns out that Goyard is slowly morphing into its nemesis. It's hard to resist the call for global distribution and growing profit. It's a business after all! It's naive to think that any luxury house is there to make "pieces of art." They are there to make money.
  14. My mom said the service she received in Goyard Paris was the best she's ever experienced, better than when she bought a bag from Hermès. I personally didn't have a memorable time at the NYC store, though I was only browsing not spending.

    Personally, I think they've discontinued all their nice-looking bags two years ago, and have failed to replace any of them with compelling new designs in the past two whole years. It's quite disappointing, because now whenever I walk into Goyard at their own store or at department stores, all I see are utilitarian totes or travel items. That's fine, but as a bag-lover, I miss designs like the Beluga!
    alizhan likes this.
  15. Not only is it marketed as anti-vuitton it's also anti-LVMH, anti-conglomerate which means that's supposedly closer to those old wine farms than the LVMH owned ones mentioned above. This is not just a marketing ploy, there's some truth to it. It's a relatively small and family owned, even if it's not the same family as before. And it's been successful enough for the owner of LVMH to set up a competitior across the street as a privately owned small company not a part of LVMH (I'm talking about Moynat).

    Honestly, there's only so much you can if you want to stay small and more than likely they would need a certain turn over to pay for the old time manufacturing methods and prime location in Paris among other things. They clearly are trying to produce what people want, ie. follow trends to a certain extent while carving out a niche, this is also a question about survival. They can't profit from the economies of scale that LVMH group can and if they wanted to maximise their profit they would've outsourced production or opened a factory in Romania and gotten into perfume, make up, shoes clothing or whatever else. I understand where you're coming from, but I don't agree completely with the conclusion.

    If you truly want something from a small "family business", you would have to look outside of the main tourist shopping streets most of the time. There are lots of artisans in Paris some of which have ateliers and shops and some who only work on projects or are hired by the big brands. Some are avialable in the viaduc des arts area or you can see a list on this site. It's a very different shopping experience from FSH and avenue montaigne that isn't for everyone though as it sometimes takes ages for the item to be ready.