Lately, however, I've been looking for something new. I do a lot of thinking on what to splurge on vs. what to save on (posts to come), and decided that a nice work tote - used every single day, seen by clients and coworkers - is worthy of a splurge. The Longchamp is undeniably functional (and I still highly recommend it), but is more casual, and is seen on the arm of most college girls and working women in Boston.
Enter, Goyard. I first learned about this French company while interning in northern CA. Goyard was founded in 1853, one year before competitor Louis Vuitton, and has a rich history of award-winning luggage and bag making for royals. The only Goyard boutique in the US is in San Fran (though they can also be found in 3 Barneys and at Bergdorf's).
Their coated canvas with leather products are all handmade in France, and their signature chevron pattern is hand-painted (goodness!) onto the canvas. Owners of Goyard pieces can get them personalized with initials, graphics, and stripes.
Although I was enamored by this lesser-known company and it's striking chevron, I didn't buy for a few reasons:
- The price
- A very limited pre-owned market. As many of you know, I don't mind pre-owned items and like to browse resale markets.
- Their most popular bag, the St. Louis shopping tote, seemed impractical for me.
- Their more structured bags (a better value) were a bit mature for my style. I had contemplated the Jeanne satchel, before spending a fraction of its cost on a Louis Vuitton Speedy 25.
Alas, for years I admired these colorful bags from afar, and pointed them out with interest every time I saw one on a stranger (this happens maybe twice a year). When Nick surprised me with this blue St Louis PM tote last month, my heart skipped a beat.
from this post, Tote: St Louis PM (medium sized, 19"W x 10"H)
After the initial excitement, I regained my senses and started evaluating the bag. Designed as a shopping tote, the St. Louis has thin handles and no zipper. The canvas was thin to me, and did not hold it's shape very well. I put my 10lbs of laptop and other crap inside, and felt this tote would not be able to sustain the weight in the long-term. Although I was immensely touched that Nick came up with this gift, I didn't think the bag was practical for my lifestyle...
During our trip to Barneys to return the St. Louis, I caught sight of a very polished woman with a red Goyard tote on her arm. I had never seen this style before. It looked smaller in size than the St. Louis PM, had a structured frame, AND a zipper. What could this be? Turns out it was a relatively newer style - the Marquises tote. And even better? This lady had just returned her black on black one.
The SA pulled this tote out from behind the counter, and I just loved it. After asking if it'd be ok, I unloaded all of my junk from my Longchamp tote into this purse, and carried it around the store in a test run. At $1560 it'd be a splurge (50% more than the St. Louis), but it would be something I'd carry every day. The Marquises is still light like the St. Louis, but felt sturdier, and bodes features I need like a zip closure, structured base, and metal feet. I felt the overall look was strikingly clean and classic, with over a century of embedded history.
Goyard Marquises Tote, black on black, 15"L x 11"H x 5.5" W, with a 7" handle drop
The size of this bag is borderline too big for a 5 feet tall gal, but it's necessary to fit my daily haul. In comparison, my Lonchamp was similar in size, measuring 18" across the top, 11" across the bottom, and 11" in height. In an upcoming post, I'll show more photos of this bag against a shorter frame and the different ways it can be carried. Also, since Goyard is often compared against Louis Vuitton, I will be sharing some of my thoughts on how their coated canvas products stack up against each other.
Readers - Please share any recommendations for sturdy and nice-looking work totes : )