Pierre-François Martin founded the House of Martin in 1792. It specialized in box-making, trunk-making and packing, at a time when the golden age of the great trunk-makers of the late XIXth century was yet to come. Martin’s trade had more to do with the delicate art of garment folding and packing than with that of container making, as evidenced by his ad campaign, which stressed that “Maison Martin sells an assortment of boxes and cases; it provides quality packing services for fragile furniture and objects, as well as hats, gowns and flowers; it uses oiled canvas, plain canvas and straw for packing; manufacturer of horse carriage trunks and coat racks, it also supplies oilcloth and waterproof canvas, all at a fair price.”
The house of Martin quickly became a favourite with the French aristocracy, and was eventually granted the prestigious tittle of official purveyor of HRH Marie-Caroline de Bourbon-Siciles, Duchess of Berry. In 1834, the House of Martin moved its store from 4, rue Neuve des Capucines to 347, rue Saint-Honoré. Even though the postal address changed to 233, rue Saint-Honoré in 1856 on account of a new street numbering system, its location has remained the same ever since.
Pierre François Martin was the guardian of a young female ward, Pauline. He arranged her marriage to one of his employees, Louis-Henri Morel, and gave his business as her dowry. Morel followed in Martin’s footsteps, and introduced himself as the Successor to former Maison Morel, located on rue Neuve-des-Capucines, near Place Vendôme.
In 1845, Morel hired François Goyard as an apprentice. The 17-year old boy received training under the guidance of both Martin and Morel. When Morel died suddenly in 1852, François took over, and remained for 32 years at the helm of a house he took to a whole new level. He finally handed over the reins to his son Edmond in 1885.
Edmond Goyard created the Goyardine canvas in 1892, he was inspired by his family history: the piled up dot pattern clearly hints at logs driven by his ancestors, and, although its appearance is similar to leather, the Goyardine is made with the same natural coated cloth mixing linen and cotton that the Compagnons de Rivières used for their garments. At once hard-wearing, soft and waterproof, the Goyardine proved a true technical revolution at a time when other trunk-makers were using plain linen cloth.
Like all family secrets, the exact manufacturing process of the Goyardine remains strictly confidential. Though it was originally hand-painted, the current process requires a ground-colour application, followed by three successive layers of etching colours that create its trademark slightly raised pattern. Moreover, the Goyardine increases in beauty with age. The production of the Goyardine stopped after WWII, and was only resumed when Jean-Michel Signoles took over in 1998. He also decided to introduce new colours in addition to the historic black shade: red, orange, yellow, green, sky-blue, navy-blue, burgundy, grey and white are now available for all pieces, silver and gold being also available for hard-sided luggage only. A special, limited edition pink Goyardine was also produced in 2008, and pieces in that colour have fast become collector’s items.
Distancing itself from fleeting trends, Goyard draws its inspiration from its exceptional heritage. Its timeless designs will appeal to discerning customers looking for uncompromising exclusivity, unparalleled craftsmanship and aesthetic refinement.
Goyard products do not change every season: in a disposable society, they are meant to last.
Goyard offers four distinct product lines:
- Travel goods: whether trunks, hard-sided luggage, trolley cases, vanity cases, hat cases or weekender bags, Goyard provides stylish travellers with all the accessories needed for a perfect getaway.
- A large choice of handbags, tote bags, pouches, briefcases and clutches for men and women, together with an equally large range of matching accessories: wallets, change purses, diary and check-book covers, business-card holders…
Special orders: Goyard makes the wildest dreams come true with custom-made trunks and luggage. Each piece is unique and entirely hand-made, just like in the 19th century.
- Pet accessories. The “Chic du Chien” “Canine Chic ” line was launched in the late 19th century by Edmond Goyard. It features collars, leashes, bowls and dishes for pets, and is sold exclusively at the Chic du Chien boutique, 352, rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. The Chic du Chien boutique also showcases a selection of curios and rare pieces.
*Content sourced from Maison Goyard Website, April 9, 2018.