You may feel like you already know your Saint-Louis very well.
Thanks to its bold shape, which reinvented the tote bags of old with panache, and initiated a global trend, its versatility striking a perfect balance between style and casualness, and its famous Chevron canvas, this bag unlike any other has become iconic, and many women around the world have made it their personal favourite.
In other words, the Saint-Louis is a bona fide classic; the kind of timeless staple one feels very familiar with. But isn’t it the very essence of a classic to surprise and amaze over and over again, especially those who think they already know everything there is to know about it?
Ever since Faust, it has been a known fact that the devil lies in the details. The aesthetic and practical success of the Saint-Louis is precisely the end result of a sum of details at once meticulous and essential, making it a technically highly complex creation, despite its apparent simplicity.
Without disclosing all its secrets, a sure way to fathom the discreet sophistication of the Saint-Louis is to take a closer look at it, and turn it inside out. By doing so, one detail strikes the examiner right away: the perfect symmetry of the inside with the outside, which attests to absolutely perfect finishing stitches and echoes the equally perfect inside/outside symmetry of the chapes, a genuine technical feat only made possible by a Goyard exclusive process ensuring both high tensile strength and a sleek look.
Another key detail: the fine quality of the handles. The Saint Louis ones are made by specialized artisans using the “stacked leather” technique, which allows to alter the thickness of the leather at will, and adjust it to wear and tear in critical areas. Leather piping covers all inner seams, thus enhancing the immaculate cotton and linen canvas entirely woven, shaved and singed in the Goyard workshops in southern France. Just like the Goyardine on the outside, the inside canvas gains a special lustre and softens to a beautiful light sheen over the years, and its less is more, minimal elegance lends itself to any and every circumstance.
At the end of the day, the inside of the Saint Louis is much more than just a fancy wrong side: it is an alternative version in the fullest sense of the term, whose appearance and functionality were as carefully thought of as those of the right side.
One last detail, and one last surprise: by wearing your Saint-Louis inside out, you will be able to combine the strength and waterproof quality of the Goyardine used as the wrong side, and the chic of the delicate off-white hue of the inside canvas used as the right side, and turn, for instance, your favourite city bag into an ideal beach accessory wherein to carry your bathing suit.
In the “Classics” entry of his famed Dictionnary of Received Ideas, Flaubert wrote: “We’re supposed to know them”. Let yourself be surprised by your Saint Louis once again.