For those not familiar with this iconic French trunk-maker, allow me to provide a brief background: founded by Pierre-François Martin in Paris as the House of Martin way back in 1792, the small company first made a name for themselves as trunk-packers, as opposed to makers. Although the House of Martin did sell an assortment of boxes and cases, they were best known for their skills in carefully packing fragile furniture and objects, as well as hats, gowns and flowers, a practice that is these days almost unheard of, but which at the time was an essential service. Thanks to this enviable reputation, the house quickly found favour with the French aristocracy and was eventually granted the prestigious title of official purveyor of HRH Marie-Caroline de Bourbon-Siciles, Duchess of Berry.
It wasn’t until 1845 however -when Louis-Henri Morel, successor to Martin, hired a young François Goyard as an apprentice- that things really started to take shape. Just 17 at the time, Goyard would receive invaluable training under the guidance of both Martin and Morel. In 1852, Morel died suddenly and François took over the business, remaining at its helm for the next 32 years as he begun to realize his vision of taking the house to a whole new level.
In 1885, he handed the business over to his son Edmond, complete with the state-of-the-art workshops he had pioneered, firmly believing that total control over the manufacturing process was the key to achieving excellence. With this strong foundation to build upon, Edmond set about making Maison Goyard the incredible institution we know today. Credited with creating the emblematic Goyardine canvas, launching a pet accessories range and developing products for automobiles, Edmond’s influence can still be seen in today’s products.
Photos taken by James C