A few months ago, an American gentleman contacted the Goyard flagship store on rue Saint Honoré in Paris.
An art lover and a comic book artist himself, he had a very precise vision of what he wanted from Goyard: a bespoke case that would not simply act as a portfolio and art tool carrier, but most importantly would also feature a built-in drawing surface integral to its structure, as opposed to the fold-out table most cases or trunks for painters are equipped with, a detail that may seem deceivingly straightforward and insignificant to neophytes, but which actually represents a substantial technical achievement that only highly skilled craftsmen can deliver.
In other words, this discerning gentleman was on a personal quest for the perfect artist trunk, one that would reconcile utility and chic, presentation and functionality. The son and brother of two stylish ladies with a taste for all things Goyard, he was familiar with our Maison’s long standing tradition of crafting outstanding made-to-order pieces tailored to meet the specific requirements of one individual, and one individual only, and immediately thought of us as the ideal accomplice to help him make his dream come true. Quite rightfully so: ever since 1853, we have always welcomed dream chasers with open arms.
An equally exhilarating and painstaking process thus started: through multiple communications and meetings with our workshops and design studio, the dream gradually took shape, and what had started as a modified Palace trunk grew into a completely customized piece: diagonal cuts into its sides allow for a slanted surface to support a diagonally sloped, integrated drawing board. Small cupboards at the head ensure quick access to drawing materials. A drawer with multiple compartments extends to the left when the drawing table is open, allowing for more comfortable access for its left-handed owner. While the lining is in traditional Goyard yellow, a bespoke, blue goyardine-lined portfolio housing 11x17 inch vellum bristol artworks, the traditional size of unaltered comic book artwork before it is shrunk down in reproduction, slides to the left.
The colour scheme is equally personal and sentimental: the choice of a light-blue shade of Goyardine canvas with orange lozined trim is a nod to a much-beloved plastic watch the American gentleman received as gift from his sister, whilst the red and yellow vertical stripes are a tribute to the briefcase that held his comic books, drawing pads and pencils as a child. On the face of this very first artist case were similar vertical red and yellow stripes positioned in the centre. As it is often the case with Goyard, past and present seamlessly intertwine: this childhood memory-inspired personalisation is almost identical to that favoured by the Duke of Windsor for his own Goyard trunks.
The trunk’s hardware is another example of Goyard’s ability to capture, and remain faithful to, the vision of each customer without ever giving up its timeless aesthetics and treasured heritage: while the bijouterie and Goyard tag plate on the case are gold, the nameplate is silver with gold pins to its edges. Far from being an incongruity, this daring choice harkens to historical travel trunks, which often bore multiple coloured travel stickers indicating the locations traversed. The gold and silver plaques, side by side, poetically emulate this tradition. Another Goyard tradition is a bespoke engraved plate bearing the trunk owner’s name. Underneath the American gentleman’s name are also engraved the numbers “112710” standing for November 27, 2010. The day when he decided to make this perfect artist trunk he had long been dreaming for happen. Almost three years later to the day, with a little help from Goyard, his dream has finally come true.