For the past few years, I’ve been a happy user of the thicker Longchamp tote for work and travel. It’s lightweight and water-resistant (a must for Boston), perfect for hauling around my daily burden of clunky work laptop, heels, wallet, small makeup baggie, and snacks. Refer to my old Longchamp post for a review on these bags in all sizes.
Lately, however, I’ve been looking for something new. 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. 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 not exactly my style.
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 here in Boston). When Nick surprised me with this blue St Louis PM tote last month, my heart skipped a beat.
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 wasn’t sure if this tote would be able to sustain that kind of weight long-term. Although I was immensely touched that Nick came up with this gift, I wasn’t sure if 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 exchanged a 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. Price wise, it’s about 50% more than the St. Louis. The Marquises is still light like the St. Louis, but felt sturdier, and bodes features I need like a zip closure, structured base, and protective metal feet. I felt the overall look was strikingly clean and classic, with over a century of embedded history.
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.