While my blog certainly doesn’t focus on fashion, my blood runs thick with it. Prior to going to school for both business administration and retail management, my mother went to design school, with (of all people) Marc Jacobs (true story).
After graduating from both design school and university, she developed her own line of lingerie called “Barely Touching by Iris James” (my parent’s first names combined). Not only have I always adored the brand’s name but have also always had an immense sense of admiration for this part of my mom’s life. I think it’s pretty bad-ass.
I’ve always had an appreciation for design, the beauty and art that exists within fashion is like none other. The time and precision that’s required of the world’s top brands astounds me. When I was fourteen, I became increasingly fascinated with handbags, which, over the years, has morphed into a borderline obsession. My love of these couture clutches, cross-bodies, and carryalls is unrelated to their prestige or cost, but is in fact due to the unprecedented detail, immense creativity, and radical perfectionism that goes into each one. Goyard fully exudes all of these attributes, and so much more. As someone who incessantly reads about business and the importance of differentiating oneself, Goyard’s product and inherent business acumen truly stand out.
What’s been called Goyard since 1831, was initially started by Pierre-François Martin, who originally opened the house in 1792. I’m not going to ramble on about their history, you can read about that here, but want to assess them strategically, as they’re business sense is pretty rare and brilliant. During the past 163 years or so, Goyard has managed to garner some of the world’s most prominent families as clientele and has built an ongoing air of excitement that’s allowed them to flourish internationally. Simultaneously, they’ve resisted all participation in advertising, presence on social media, use of digital sales, and appearance on most inventory lists, all as an effort to protect their legacy. Even now, in 2016, these trunk makers turned high-end bag producers have managed to remain entirely ubiquitous and have, in turn, cultivated an image of mystery and an increase in their demand.
So, how does Goyard manage to shun all normalcy within international commerce and remain so relevant? I believe it can be attributed to three main components: the commitment to consistency, the allure of exclusivity and inaccessibility, and the superior standard and timelessness for which all of their products carry.
The Commitment to Consistency | Their vision is clear. The quality and artisan craftsmanship of their product remains constant. Unlike so many others, they do just the opposite of seeking out media attention. Instead of morphing into a giant publicly traded conglomerate (such as LVMH), they’ve made the decision to run a small operation, allowing them to stay focused on the integrity of their product as opposed to the financial demand of the shareholder. To coincide, they are a rarity in that product lines aren’t continually added or adjusted. As the seasons’ shift, their shelves aren’t flooded with newly emerging styles and trends, and their offices aren’t inundated with a revolving door of creative staff (e.g. directors and consultants). Thus, avoiding the massive overhead that so many other fashion empires incur. Essentially, their lack of strategic promotion has marketed them well. They create one consistent line, and they do it well.
The Allure of Exclusivity and Inaccessibility | For many years, Goyard’s opposition to trend and limited supply of merchandise has generated consistent appeal and interest among the true handbag collectors of the world. It has remained somewhat of an “insider’s” bag, which, like almost everything else in the world, aids in generating appeal. Socially, individuals are drawn to the idea of an inner circle, something that distinctly binds a select few together, while setting them apart from others. In fashion, there is no difference. Out of every brand included in the world’s landscape of couturiers, Goyard is one of the few that has maintained an overall feeling of exclusivity and has therefore accumulated both a loyal group of buyers and a significant amount of intrigue.
Their Overall Product Quality and Timelessness | Around World War II, Goyard was purchased by The Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Mademoiselle Coco Chanel. Who, of course, made sure that the brand’s identity remained intact. The lightweight canvas is versatile and of remarkable quality. While the Chevron pattern is highly recognizable, it remains tasteful and elegant; the canvas is durable and provides superior functionality. The company’s goal has never been to grow infinitely, but to steadily produce something sophisticated and classic. When pairing these standards with the skilled French artists that Goyard contracts to hand-paint matching monograms directly onto the canvas, it results into a gorgeous handbag and a borderline invaluable heirloom.
My fiance and I will be traveling to Paris in October, I can’t wait to visit Goyard’s flagship store (shown above) and wouldn’t mind going home with one of these beauties. What are some of your favorite Goyard designs?
Hope you’re all having a relatively painless Tuesday.