Maison Goyard, the 225-year-old French luxury luggage and accessories maker instantly identifiable by its distinctive Y-patterned motif, has picked Beverly Hills as the home of its second U.S. flagship store, a two-story, 1,400-square-foot space at 405 N. Rodeo Drive that opened for business on Aug. 18.
The garden-themed store just north of Brighton Way (it's between Bulgari and Guess in the space formerly occupied by a Barbara Bui boutique) has a butter-yellow façade, a nod to the color traditionally used to line Goyard trunks, and an interior appointed in green trelliswork, brass fixtures and mirrored panels. Clusters of potted palms and cactuses throughout and light streaming through skylights completes a decidedly Versailles-by-way-of-Huntington-Gardens vibe.
Smaller bags and accessories are displayed on the ground floor (along with the label's Chic du Chien range of luxe collars, leashes, bowls and toys for pampered pooches, a collection that dates back to 1890). Larger duffel bags and luggage are merchandised on the second floor, which is also home to a VIP space and a workroom, where the personalization of bags and accessories (one of the brand's hallmarks) takes place.
Displayed on the upstairs walls are framed black-and-white photographs of some of Goyard's famous clientele alongside their stacks of elegant trunks and suitcases: a 1956 photo of the Duchess of Windsor on the north wall and photograph of Jacques Cartier (of Cartier jewelry fame) on a 1911 trip to Delhi on the south wall. (Other clients of note over the years include Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Conan Doyle and Karl Lagerfeld.)
For those unfamiliar with the brand, it was founded in 1792 as the House of Martin, a company that specialized in box-making, trunk-making and packing. In 1845, a 17-year-old François Goyard was hired as an apprentice and he would go on to take over the company in 1853. The Goyards, according to the brand back story, were originally log-drivers, a fact referenced in the Y-shaped logo (the dots that make up the chevron-like pattern symbolize piles of logs) as well as the Goyardine canvas material used in many of its pieces, inspired by the water-repellent clothes worn while driving the logs downstream to the mill.
It's appropriate then that the fabric is used in both the limited-edition pieces the maison is offering exclusively at the new boutique: a gold-colored version of its Monte Carlo clutch (20 pieces total selling for $3,025 each) and a turquoise-colored version of its St. Louis tote (50 pieces total, $2,320 each).
While the Rodeo Drive flagship is new to the neighborhood, Goyard's presence is not. The brand has had a shop-in-shop at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills for the last several years. (According to a company representative, that shop-in-shop relationship will continue.) Other U.S. doors include a New York flagship, a Neiman Marcus Chicago shop-in-shop and freestanding stores in San Francisco and Miami.
Goyard Beverly Hills, 405 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 237-5745.
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11:05 a.m.: This article as updated to correct the year François Goyard took over the company. It was 1853 not 1852.