Few brands can boast such longevity, dedication to hand-craftsmanship, and iconic status as Goyard. The notoriously exclusive luxury travel goods maker has stood as a symbol of wealth and classic French design, without ever displaying its products online. Yet, the name does not carry the same instant recognition as Louis Vuitton or Hermès, in part due to the brand’s aversion to marketing, interviews, and mass production. How, then, has Goyard managed to remain at the pinnacle of French opulence and craftsmanship for its two-plus century history?
The brand was founded by Pierre-François Martin in Paris in 1792 as “House of Martin,” specializing in box-making, trunk-making and packing for the French aristocracy. Martin predated the great trunk-makers to come in the 19th century, and quickly became favored among the French upper-class. He earned the title of official purveyor for Marie-Caroline de Bourbon-Siciles, Duchess of Berry, and continued to develop his business. In 1834, Martin’s store moved from 4, rue de Nueve de Capucines—where Louis Vuitton would open in 1854—to 347, rue Saint-Honoré. A new street numbering policy in 1834 Paris changed the address to 233, rue Saint-Honoré, where the brand’s flagship store still resides.
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