September 30, 2015
By Jody Hume
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR GOYARD BAG IS THE REAL THINGSHOP GOYARD
Often seen on celebrities and the chicest women in any international terminal, Goyard is the ultimate in understated luxury among the in-the-know. Like another famous French luxury house, Goyard got its start as a trunk-making outfit. Quickly establishing itself as the leader in the field, it became the go-to for the French aristocracy, and the fashion set was soon to follow. Still known for its dedication to quality and craftsmanship, the artisans at Goyard have supplied leather and canvas goods to everyone from the Duchess of Windsor to Karl Lagerfeld.
However, compared to other internationally renowned luxury brands, Goyard is decidedly under the radar. Because it is privately owned, a point the company happily highlights in its brand biography, it is able to set itself apart by avoiding or de-emphasizing such things as social media, e-commerce and traditional advertising. While this may seem like a risk in the heydey of Instagram and Snapchat, in fact, it seems only to have cemented Goyard’s reputation for exclusivity. “There are very few points of sale around the country and this helps to retain the high resale value of Goyard,” says Senior Director of Authentication Graham Wetzbarger. “San Francisco was the only freestanding boutique in the U.S. for over ten years, and only this fall is a New York flagship opening on the Upper East Side.” So if you’re lucky enough to find a Goyard bag for sale, how do you know whether it’s the real thing? Here, Wetzbarger breaks down the most popular styles the house produces and the elements of an authentic Goyard handbag.
Goyard stays away from trendy shapes and sticks to a limited number of styles. “The Croisier is their keep all, which is like their version of the Louis Vuitton Speedy,” says Wetzbarger. “It comes in several different sizes from handbag to duffel, which makes it a practical option. The Saigon is extremely expensive because of the hand-carved wood and fine luggage detailing of the finishes,” he notes. “The Bois clutch is very popular and has many of the same signature Goyard details as the Saigon at a more accessible price point.”
But by far Goyard’s most popular style? “The St. Louis — it comes in two sizes and is very lightweight and collapsible. While that makes it very functional, this style is not indestructible, so it does need to be treated with care. The Anjou is a newly released style already launched in Europe that is very similar to the St. Louis. It’s lined in leather and is reversible, so it will be much more durable. It will be available in the U.S. this September.”
Goyard Inside Out from ADDICTION Agency on Vimeo.
“Every Goyard bag is priced two ways,” Wetzbarger reveals. “There is one price for the standard colors — black with black trim, dark red with dark red trim and black with brown trim — and a higher price point for any other special colors.” Speaking of special colors, “It’s fun to personalize Goyard leather goods with stripes and custom designs, but do be wary that getting too personal with initials can affect the resale value of Goyard bags,” he warns.
Goyard Serial Numbers
“While almost every Goyard piece will have a serial number, some are easy to find while others are more discreet. On older St. Louis totes, you can find it on the interior of the included pouch. For newer styles, the serial number can be found on the end of the leather strap connecting the pouch to the tote. Make sure the numbers are small and discreet — if they are larger and more obvious, it’s a sign that the bag could be fake.”
Goyard Hand Stenciling
The house’s iconic Goyardine design is known for its hand-stenciled detailing. “You should be able to see the grain of the canvas through the paint,” Wetzbarger points out, “and you should be able to see the high gloss of the base layer of the canvas, which should contrast with the more matte finish of the hand-stenciled detailing on top of it. On fakes, all of the details will be on one plane and often look too perfect, the result of digital reproduction. Like anything done by hand, some slight inconsistencies or errors are a mark of human craftsmanship.”
Goyard Lining & Interior Logo
“Goyard lining is a signature mustard yellow cotton twill which is also the current color of their dustbags (they used to use chocolate brown dustbags which matched their boxes). Most linings are trimmed in a jacquard webbing with the Goyard logo in all caps on the interior. Look for well-constructed, precise stitching. Hardware is minimal and discreet with unbranded zipper pulls that may feature a ‘G’ but not bold logos. Goyard may be stamped on the back of some hardware elements.”
Ready to invest in a Goyard piece of your own? Shop our authenticated selection here!