Luxury fashion is often delineated by its division into two distinct categories: established titans that compete within the mainstream arena, and obscure labels that are only privy to insiders who know where to look. Legacy French leather goods company Goyard counts itself in the latter, retaining a remarkably understated legacy since opening its doors for business a whopping 231 years ago.
Established under the Maison Martin trademark upon introduction by Pierre-François Martin, it would later be changed to Maison Morel before finally settling on the Maison Goyard label in 1853. At the time, Goyard was not simply relegated to the manufacture and retailing of their trunks and travel cases but also provided a service that not many of us would think to pay someone else to do on our behalf today — packing.
This was especially crucial at the time for those in high society who were looking to transport valuable items such as delicate porcelain, antiques, or fine fashions, across great distances without the risk of damage. As opposed to the universal dimensions we often associate with buying luggage bags off the rack, trunks of the time were custom-made to suit the needs of the client and often featured bespoke designs.
Today, Goyard is often considered an understated alternative for mainstream luxury French fashion houses, offering the same degree of craftsmanship and quality that is to be expected from the segment, but with a considerably less ostentatious approach. As some would say, money talks but wealth whispers. And Goyard is most definitely a fashion secret that is best shared in closed circles.
From their current range, the St Louis tote bag has proven the most popular with its more accessible price point relative to other tote bags in the segment and sizeable capacity. For those who want to veer even further off the beaten track however, there are plenty of other designs from Goyard worth your coin beyond the St Louis tote bag.
Best Goyard tote bag alternatives to buy instead of the St Louis tote
1. Goyard Saigon Tote Bag
While tote bags may well and truly be the bread and butter of Goyard’s lineup of bags, they have also been known for manufacturing a host of other bag styles. One especially distinctive design takes the form of the Goyard Saigon bag, which most prominently features a bleached wooden top handle, wooden batons, and metal rivets.
Recently, the brand has introduced a new tote style to the Saigon range, which features all of the same hallmarks as its dainty older sister. But this time around, the bag can be expanded by its sides for increased volume, or tucked in to revert to the Saigon’s original lines.
2. Goyard Villette Tote Bag
What the Goyard St Louis Tote Bag has in capacity, it loses out in overall structure due to how its sides are not reinforced by any leather pieces. If you’re the type to worry about having to dig into a seemingly endless pit to retrieve your belongings, then the Goyard Villette Tote Bag may be the best alternative to consider.
Measuring a generous 45cm in length, this tote bag’s corners are all reinforced with leather to prevent slouching, while shoulder straps that are comparatively thicker than the St Louis’ will offer more support. But as the bag has no compartments to speak of nor any closure to keep your belongings tucked away safely, we recommend purchasing a bag insert to make the most use of your Villette.
3. Goyard Artois Tote Bag
But if you’re still dead set on buying a tote bag that shares the shape of the St Louis, then you may want to consider the next closest bag in the Goyard range to share its design: the Artois Tote. Visually both bags are almost identical, from their double shoulder straps and tapered shape. In fact, they even come in the same sizes, ranging from the smallest PM to the largest GM.
What sets the Goyard Artois Tote Bag apart from the St Louis is its opening, which is held securely shut from prying hands by a zipper closure, instead of its sibling’s open-top nature. Inside, it even offers an additional pocket secured by a button closure to keep precious items extra safe. As a consequence, it lacks the removable pouch that the St Louis comes with. Leather-wrapped corners on the bag’s bottom corners ensures added protection from wear.
4. Goyard Bellechasse Biaude Tote Bag
On the subject of tote bag alternatives from Goyard, the Bellechasse Tote bag stands unique in the brand’s offerings for being one of the few designs that can be chosen to feature either leather or Goyard’s signature coated canvas on its exterior instead. The only other bag to come with a leather exterior is the Anjou.
If you decide to go with the leather option, which makes for a fabulous touch of quiet luxury, you should know that it uses a combination of pebbled Decize Taurillon leather and Cervon Calfskin leather in its construction. A top-flap made of Goyard’s coated canvas can be flipped open to provide access into the roomy tote bag’s main storage compartment, while a side pocket secured with a button closure keeps important bits and bobs out of reach from prying hands.
5. Goyard Hardy Tote Bag
Similar to the Bellechasse Tote, the Hardy Tote Bag is a similarly roomy carryall offered by Goyard, which the brand boasts as being the ideal workplace companion given its ability to fit A4-sized documents with ease. Measuring 40cm across, it’s not hard to imagine why. Naturally, this also means that the tote bag will be able to fit most 13-inch laptops.
Wrapped up in Goyard’s handpainted coated canvas, the Hardy Tote Bag offers the same security as the Artois Tote by offering a zipper closure at its top, instead of the flap found on the Bellechasse. A removable pouch provides extra organisation options, while the leather gusset sides feature the company’s name in a perforated pattern.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Which is the most popular Goyard tote?
– The Goyard St Louis tote bag is Goyard’s most popular tote bag.
2. Is it worth buying a Goyard bag?
– Goyard bags are worth the money, as they are handmade and made with luxurious and resilient materials.
3. What can I buy instead of St Louis tote?
– Goyard offers a selection of other tote bags instead of the St Louis, such as the Saigon Tote Bag and the Hardy Tote Bag.
4. Which is better Goyard or Louis Vuitton?
– Both brands offer well-made bags for the money they charge. Ultimately, the decision between choosing a Goyard or a Louis Vuitton bag is still a personal one to make.
Feature and hero image credits: Goyard/Instagram