When top toque Alain Ducasse needed a “chef’s trunk” to spirit his specialty kitchen equipment between far-flung culinary outposts, he approached France’s oldest malletier, Goyard, which began producing quality luggage and leather goods in 1853 (a year earlier than Louis Vuitton!). This exclusive retail equivalent of a three-star Michelin restaurant has long served an elite clientele – maharajahs to movie icons, Rockefellers to rock stars – that values impeccable craftsmanship and bespoke detail-work over flashy fashion-Fascist fads.
Goyard goods seem born to board the Queen Mary II and Orient Express; one imagines their trunks being unpacked for socialites in a James or Fitzgerald novel. Yet the brand originated with a humble Burgundian family specializing in floating wood. At the Industrial Revolution’s zenith, Edmé Goyard and his son, François, moved to Paris and joined Morel, a leading layetier emballeur (case manufacturer). Ardor and ability quickly earned François an associate position. Buying out his partner in 1853, he relocated to 233 rue Saint Honoré, opening Maison Goyard.