The legend goes that Napoleon only took his slippers off on the battlefield.
Catherine de Médicis, who first brought them to France from her native Italy in the 16th century, had hers adorned with gemstones and embroidered with golden thread, and so did another great Catherine, Empress Catherine of Russia. The Pope’s are made of scarlet Morocco and white Damask, but the exact material used for Cinderella’s remains uncertain: they’re made of glass according to Perrault, but Balzac begged to differ, and claimed they were rather made of vair (French word for squirrel fur, which sounds exactly like verre, French word for glass).
Traditionally associated with power and pomp, slippers remained the privilege of the elite up until the 19th century, when they began to get increasingly popular with commoners, and finally became synonymous with comfort and relaxation, and possibly sloppiness, in the 20th century.
The Saut-de-Lit (« Out-of-bed ») travel mules offer a most refined variation on the theme of slippers, and restores this practical footwear to its former style glory, as they’re made with fine smooth calf leather, and lined with Goyardine-printed cotton sateen. But above all, they perpetuate a wealth of endangered skills that Goyard has recreated with the help of the handful of artisans that still mastered them. A few figures may convey the dexterity needed for the making of a pair: no less than 50 different crafting stages, all of them equally strictly hand-made and painstaking, and 3 different types of sewing stitches, including the hand-stitched hem lining the leather-cased shape memory foam heel-piece, which requires over an hour’s work alone to be completed.
As always with Goyard, this technical virtuosity blends in seamlessly: the Saut-de-lit slippers are light as a feather, and may easily be slipped into a travel bag or a suitcase thanks to their elegant zippered leather case. At once cosy and stylish, they are emblematic of the timeless art of living and traveling advocated by Goyard.