French Fancies: La Maison Goyard

Since we had footwear last week, it only seems right to have luggage, including handbags again this week. But whereas last week’s company was a newcomer, this one’s been around for over 200 years.

Why is Goyard so Popular? The Luxurious Brand That Won't Advertise


Goyard is a French trunk and leather goods maker, first established in 1853 in Paris, previously doing business as Martin (Pierre-François Martin founded the House of Martin in 1792) and then Morel.

In 1845, Morel hired François Goyard (1828 – 1890) 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.

His son Edmond Goyard (1860–1937) expanded his business from 1885 to 1937, drawing on his father François’ work. He turned the store on rue Saint-Honoré into an increasingly elitist luxury brand with an international clientele and laid the foundations for the brand as it is today, as he developed the emblematic Goyardine canvas, launched a pet accessories range and introduced products for automobiles. He partnered with his eldest son Robert, and together they ran E. Goyard Aîné et Fils (E.Goyard Elder and Son).

Just like his father did, Robert ran the store until his demise in 1979. His impact on the house proved considerable, as he constantly updated the range of products, notably by developing a new woven canvas patented in 1965. The Chevron pattern remained but the overall design was simplified leaving the canvas bare of the company name. Robert’s son François Goyard also played a significant role in the firm’s growth with his daughter Isabelle Goyard (1959 -) before it passed outside the family.

In 1998, Jean-Michel Signoles took over from the Goyard family. A keen collector of all things Goyard, he undertook the challenge of reinventing Goyard with the help of his sons. Without the backing of a leading luxury brand group, he exploited the heritage of the house, built new workshops in Carcassonne, France, and opened retail stores all over the world.

Goyard Canvas

Visually, the luxury travel brand is known for its hand-painted Chevron pattern made from cloth, although its appearance is very similar to leather. Goyard canvas is made from three plant fibres: hemp, linen and cotton. Hemp is particularly sought after for its hydrophobic qualities, linen is a fine thermal regulator, and the softness of linen probably caught the attention of the trunk maker.

Why is Goyard so Popular

When Edmond Goyard was establishing himself as a trunk maker, he incorporated his name into the canvas. Plus, the pattern on the canvas fabric represents the central letter of the family name: Y. It uses three chevrons to create the Y and the pattern also includes “Paris,” repeated twice in different shades of brown.

The initial metres of Goyardine were most likely hand-painted. When the Goyardine was launched, the workshops moved to Bezons, and the manufacturing of the canvas required a ground-colour application followed by three successive layers of etching colours. The trademark slightly raised pattern of the Goyardine results from both the cloth and the printing technique used during the manufacturing process: the plain weave shows through the Chevron pattern, and superimposes on top of the raised pattern produced by the paint dots. The overall effect is absolutely unique, and near impossible to counterfeit.

If Edmond Goyard left his mark on the history of the brand by creating the Goyardine canvas, his son Robert created a four-shade-woven canvas, mainly used in bags designed for frequent air travel. Robert Goyard patented his new canvas in November 1965, and described its design as “Chevrons intertwined with linear stripes.” This new canvas is woven and hence much softer than the previous one.

goyard bag

In 2002, exactly 110 years after its creation, the Signoles family inaugurated their tenure at the helm of Goyard with the introduction of twelve new colours on top of the historic black canvas. In 2010, for the first time Goyard marketed a canvas woven on a jacquard loom building “E.Goyard” into the lighter-shaded thread of the canvas, a previously unheard-of achievement in the textile industry.



Custom orders are entirely hand-made in the Goyard workshops in southern France, in the Aude where the workshops are installed in converted wine warehouses. Whilst some trunk makers specialize in standardised goods, Goyard is equally at ease with both special orders and ready-made items.

Each piece of hard-sided luggage is entirely hand made by one of 20 highly skilled trunk makers. When the crafting process is over, the trunk maker writes down the serial number of the piece they made on its identification tag, along with their initials. They also record that same serial number in the manufacturing register that has been keeping track of all items made by the Goyard workshops ever since Jean-Michel Signoles took over. The manufacturing register is used as a reference in the event an item needs to be repaired.

goyard box
When several members of a same family travel together, their luggage stripes are identical, and it is difficult to tell which piece of luggage belongs to whom. In France, tradition dictates that each piece should be monogrammed with the initials of its owner.
Initials have been used for a long time, as evidenced by the wooden trunk the compagnons de rivière used to carry along with them on their timber raft. It was the only valuable object on board, and it was used to protect food and personal belongings from the river water. Over time, it became a token of remembrance, reminding its owner of the many travels he made. It was monogrammed with its owner’s initials and also stamped with the employers’ logo. François Goyard’s grandfather was a compagnon de rivière, and he owned a monogrammed trunk long before the family went into the trunk making business. Stripes perpetuate old traditions, notably those related to horse carriages, which were painted in the colours of each family.

Goyard’s monograms are hand-painted onto the Goyardine canvas and can be customised with a variety of different colours. The revival of customized leather goods, whether they are adorned with initials, stripes or coats of arms, proved Goyard’s answer to the logo craze.

Company Strategy

The strategy behind building the Goyard brand has always been an independent one. With limited brick and mortar shops, zero marketing, and only a few stakeholders, Goyard is unlike any other brand. The name of this two-century-old Parisian brand may not ring a bell the way other luxury fashion houses do, but Goyard’s elusiveness is exactly what makes it the ultimate status symbol among the world’s wealthiest.

Goyard’s prime press strategy is silence. It forgoes any advertising, e-commerce, and celebrity endorsements. It rarely grants interviews and very occasionally makes products available to the mass market. Turns out, a lips-are-sealed tactic is the best way to build buzz.

Its mystery demands desire. Everyone loves a sense of exclusivity, and what’s more exclusive than a brand whose heritage and allure is based on discretion, garnering business solely through word of mouth of its influential clients?

After all, high-end brands risk losing their luster and jeopardising their exclusivity if they fall into the everyday hands of mass consumption. Goyard’s under-the-radar reputation is the pinnacle of ultimate indulgence for its buyers.

All images courtesy of Goyard

Silent Sunday #63

Last year all my photographs were from Australia, this year they are from France.

Song Lyric Sunday #37

Okay, so today’s prompt is girl’s names beginning with an « S » just like mine. So what do I have in my archives in response to Jim Adams’ prompt for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday Challenge? What about All for you Sophia by Franz Ferdinand?

They’re a Scottish rock band formed in Glasgow in 2002. The band’s original lineup was composed of Alex Kapranos (lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards), Nick McCarthy (rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Bob Hardy (bass guitar), and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion, backing vocals). The band is one of the more popular post-punk revival bands, garnering multiple UK top 20 hits. They have been nominated for several Grammy Awards and have received two Brit Awards – winning one for Best British Group – as well as one NME Award.

The band’s first two singles, “Darts of Pleasure” and “Take Me Out”, peaked within the top-50 on the UK Singles Chart. “Take Me Out” charted in several countries and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal; it became the band’s signature song. Their self-titled debut studio album won the 2004 Mercury Prize and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album. The song I’ve chosen was the B single on “Take Me Out.”

In 2005, the band released their second studio album, You Could Have It So Much Better which peaked within the top-ten in multiple countries and earned Grammy-nominations for Best Alternative Album and for one of the singles, “Do You Want To”. The band’s third studio album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, was released in January 2009; by then the band had shifted from a post-punk-focused sound to a more dance-oriented sound.

Four years after the release of Tonight, the band released their fourth studio album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, in August 2013.  Following the departure of McCarthy, the band released their fifth studio album, Always Ascending, in February 2018.

This song is a humorous reference to the band name: Gavrilo Princip, a member of the Serbian rebel group “The Black Hand” shot the archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, in Serajevo in 1914 (“bang bang, Gavril Princip, bang bang, shoot me Gravillo”). This incident is considered to be the trigger to WWI (“Bang bang, Europe’s going to weep”).

Lyrics: All for you, Sophia

Bang, bang, Gavrilo Princip
Bang, bang, shoot me, Gavrilo
Bang, bang, the first six are for you
Bang, bang, the seventh is for me
Bang, bang, Gavrilo Princip
Bang, bang, Europe’s going to weep
All for you, all for you, all for you, Sophia
All for you, all for you, all for you, Sophia
All for you, all for you, all for you, Sophia
All for you, all for you, all for you, Sophia
Bang, bang, history’s complete
Bang, bang, shoot me, Gavrilo
Bang, bang, the first six are for you
Bang, bang, the seventh is for me
Bang, bang, Gavrilo Princip
Bang, bang, shoot me, Gavrilo
All for you, all for you, all for you, Sophia
All for you, all for you, all for you, Sophia
All for you, all for you, all for you, Sophia
All for you, all for you, all for you, Sophia
The black hand holds the gun
The devil takes his run
Urban, take the Apple Quay
It’s June, the twenty-eighth
The seventh was for me
Bang, bang, Gavrilo Princip
Bang, bang, shoot me, Gavrilo
Bang, bang, the first six are for you
Bang, bang, the seventh is for me
Bang, bang, Gavrilo Princip
Bang, bang, shoot me, GavriloSource: LyricFind
Songwriters: Alexander Paul Kapranos Huntley / Nicholas John Mccarthy / Paul Robert Thompson / Robert Hardy
All for You, Sophia lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Challenge Rules

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Ping back to Jim’s post or place your link in his comments section.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Most of all, have fun and enjoy the music.

One word Sunday: wind

Are we talking about the movement of air, a spiral, burping a baby, getting one’s breath back or…who knows?

I’ve decided to join in with Debbie Smyth’s One Word Sunday challenge, largely because she sets them well in advance – always an advantage in my book. In addition, she’s a fantastic and inspirational photographer.

The Mustte: Baked Cod

This is a quick and easy midweek meal for my beloved. Little greaseproof (parchment) paper parcels are filled with fish which steams gently on a bed of vegetables, allowing all of the flavours to intermingle. This method of cooking ensures that the fish isn’t overcooked. Although simple, it’s impressive enough to serve to impromptu guests. There’s something especially appealing about unwrapping your own parcel at the table and releasing its wonderful aromas. You can also cook it this way on your BBQ. The only accompaniment needed is some carbohydrate, such as crushed new potatoes.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 cod fillets, (200g/7-8oz each), skin removed
  • hanful baby spinach, washed
  • 2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 40 black olives
  • 2 organic lemons, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp freshly chopped herbs
  • 1 fat garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 4 tbsp white wine/vermouth/white port
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp organic lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  •  sea salt and freshly ground pepper


1.Preheat oven to 190°C/170ºC fan/375ºF/gas mark 5.

2. Prepare the parcels by cutting out 4 squares of baking paper and 4 squares of foil, each approximately 30cm (12”) square. Lay out the 4 pieces of foil and place the paper squares on top.

3. Divide the spinach, leek, lemon slices, garlic and olives between the parcels. Season and drizzle each parcel with 1/2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp wine before placing a fish fillet on top. Season the fish and sprinkle with chopped herbs.

4. Bring up the edges of the baking paper layer of each parcel and fold over the edges to seal. Then do the same with the foil layer.

5. Place the parcels on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Make the dressing by whisking the ingredients together.

6. When the parcels are ready, carefully remove the foil but leave the paper parcel intact. Put each parcel on a serving plate and open at the table or serve over crushed new potatoes. Put the dressing in a jug to drizzle over the dish.

Sculpture Saturday #54

Here’s another of our local civic works. Appropriately enough this one is adjacent to the small fishing port in Cros-de-Cagnes. Rémi Pesce’s (1930 – ) “Poisson Lunaire,”  a 1996 bronze fish with a blue patina is totally at home in the sheltered port. Of course, this solitary fish is in good company as there’s a shoal of fish further along the promenade.

A much larger plaster version of the sculpture can be found on one of the roundabouts in La Colle sur Loup.

Rémi Pesce was born in 1930 in Aubreville in the Meuse though he now lives and works in Saint-Paul de Vence. He started his self-taught artistic career with paintings but meetings with sculptors Arman and César in 1973 inspired a change of direction.

This challenge is kindly hosted by Susan Kelly over at No Fixed Plans.

Share a photo of a statue or sculpture – go on, give it a go, you know you want to!

Friendly Friday Challenge: something fishy

The Friendly Friday Challenge is now a fortnightly challenge co-hosted by Amanda from Something to Ponder About and Sandy from The Sandy Chronicles. 

Again, the Friendly Friday Blog Challenge is asking us to share a story, photographs, poem or recipe on the theme: Something Fishy. Funnily my recipe in the Saturday’s Musette involves cod. So, rather than post yet another recipe, I thought I’d link to previous fishy ones.

The Musette Recipes

Mussels Many Ways

Seafood Feast

Hake Basquaise

Prawn Biryani

Prawn Orzo Salad

Fish Pie


This year the girls are are opening up the challenge, making its focus not purely on photography but making it a little more varied, a little more open and interesting.

How to join the Challenge

  • Write a post titled ‘Friendly Friday- xxx Prompt name xxx’ with tag ‘Friendly Friday’
  • Include a link to the original Friendly Friendly Challenge post on the host’s blog
  • Optionally, you can include the latest Friendly Friday Challenge logo. Download it here.
  • Comment on the host’s Friendly Friday post, so that other readers can find and read your response.
  • Remember to include a link to your post in your comment. This will guarantee a visit, in the event the automatic ping-back does not work.
  • Visit other Friendly Friday entries by following their links. It’s fun!
  • Follow the host blogs to see future Friendly Friday Challenges
The Benefits
  • Increase your exposure in our blogging communities
  • Inspire and be inspired by diverse blog articles
  • Challenge your creativity
  • Make new friends and keep in touch with old ones

Are you joining in this year? Go on……you know it’ll be fun!

Cee’s Flower of the Day #76

It’s such an enjoyable exercise, showcasing beautiful flora – flowers, shrubs, trees, bushes and leaves – throughout the year.


Cee’s challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and colour into our daily lives. Who wouldn’t be in favour of that?

Challenge rules, why not join in?

1.Feel free to post every day or whenever you you feel like it.  You can either post new flower photos or dig back into your archives.

2. Depending on the time of year, you can post any of these types of things for your FOTD.

  • Single flowers
  • Buds
  • Multiple flowers
  • Bouquet
  • Flower fields
  • Wildflowers
  • Tree or bush blossoms
  • Autumn leaves
  • Spring leaves
  • Decorative Cabbage
  • Berries
  • Still life
  • Fake or Silk Flowers

One from the Vaults: Mistaken Identity

Today we’re heading back down memory lane to a post in wrote in April 2013 but which makes reference to earlier incidences. Or should that be coincidences?

A recent UK television drama [Broadchurch] involving the murder of a child was based in a fictional town in Dorset. The drama proved popular and has allegedly boosted tourism to the Jurassic coast. I watched some, but not all, of the episodes and didn’t appreciate that it was set in Dorset but, even if I had, it would not have lured me to visit. I thought the whole place had a very sinister air. One actress making a welcome return to the screens in this was Pauline Quirke, probably better known [to me] for her long-running role as the sister Sharon in the comedy Birds of a Feather.

Pauline Quirke - IMDb

I mention this because I was twice, yes twice, mistaken for Pauline Quirke. It happened many moons ago when I lived in London and “Birds of” was at the height of its fame. The first was at a American Express jolly at Selfridges’ department store. I was just about to take a sip from my glass of champagne when I was set upon by a lady who’d clearly already been freely imbibing.

“It’s you isn’t it?” she said. Now I have an excellent memory for faces, your name might elude me for a few seconds but your face, no. I had never met this woman before in my life.  However, to give her the benefit of the doubt, I enquired whether we’d ever met before. She confirmed we hadn’t and said she wouldn’t tell, tapping the side of her nose in conspiratorial fashion. I tried to reassure that I was no one but she was having none of it. In fact she even commented on my “posh” accent and congratulated me on my cockney accent on the television. She stuck to me like a limpet and, in the end, it order to shake her free, I lost patience and asked who she thought I was. She told me. Talk about being brought down to earth with a bump!

Now my late mother was frequently mistaken for the late Princess Grace, but I really couldn’t, or didn’t want to, see any likeness between me and Pauline Quirke – sorry Pauline! I put it down to her over consumption of my favourite beverage. But, blow me down with a feather. A couple of months later, I was walking down the King’s Road one evening with my beloved when a gaggle of giggly ladies asked me for my autograph, quite convinced I was the actress in question. They clearly didn’t believe my protestations so, I bowed to the inevitable and, in order to get rid of them, I signed Pauline Quirke several times and exited right.

I was a bit shaken by both these episodes as it’s quite common to see “celebrities” all over London, without even trying. Among others, I’ve seen Tom Cruise in a bar in Notting Hill, Paul McCartney in one of the arcades, John Malkovich ambling along Oxford Street, Steven Spielberg and Rob Lowe in restaurants. I’ve never felt any desire to either ackowledge their presence or ask them for their autograph. Why would you?

But that’s not all. My last employer wanted a photograph to accompany the announcement that I was joining the company and I was wheeled in front of a professional photographer. Now, I hate having my photo taken. Photos of me as a child show me staring resentfully at the camera and it’s not gotten any better in later life. I recall one wedding we attended in Germany where three people shot videos and everyone else ran amok with those disposable cameras. I’m pleased to announce that no one captured my image. I have a sixth sense when a lens is swung in my direction and I just merge into the background. Group photos? I generally hide behind my beloved.

I made the usual jokes about her using the lens which made me look 10 years’ younger. But clearly she hadn’t used it as I looked like Rosemary West! Now Pauline Quirke was bad enough but fancy being made to look like one half of a notorious serial murdering couple. Quite! I used to joke about it because people would look at the photo, frown and say “you know you remind me of someone………..” This latest drama was therefore vaguely unsettling as Pauline played a women who’d been married to an incestuous murderer. It was all starting to become eerily spooky.

Thursday doors #112

I’m finally hors doors and am going to be dipping into my archives for red doors, posh doors, really really old doors, wrought iron doors, gates, church doors etc etc until I can venture more than 10km from my front door.

Here’s my picks for this week – important looking doors!

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments’ on Dan’s site, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time).