PERFECTLY IMPERFECT: A GUIDE TO GOYARD ST. LOUIS TOTE BAG AUTHENTICATION
Purchasing a luxury handbag is one of life’s guiltiest pleasures, especially when your new wardrobe addition is the versatile, lightweight and extremely functional St. Louis Tote bag. By far the most in-demand piece of the Goyard product portfolio, this must-have bag is a status symbol for the elite and can be personalised with anything you like by our talented team of Rewind in-house artists.
In recent years, however, despite the elusive nature of this highly coveted brand, a large number of replicas have found their way into circulation. This means that, unless you are buying a bag directly from one of the few authorised Goyard retail locations, or happen to possess an original proof of purchase, it can be quite difficult to guarantee you are truly enjoying the real deal. Luckily, for those of you wanting to buy a pre-owned tote, you have Rewind Vintage Affairs to help you spot the difference. Below, you'll find lots of useful and handy tips
SIZE & COLOUR
Unlike many other fashion houses, Goyard isn't one to follow trends and has limited designs for their St. Louis bags- offering only two size options (the PM and the GM) and a very confined palette of Standard and Special colours (see below). Standard colours i.e. Black with matching trims, Black with brown trims, and dark red with matching trims have a lower price point than the other more vibrant colours. If you place close attention to the Chevron print, you'll also notice the 'E. Goyard' (for Edmond Goyard), the 'Honore Paris' and the '233 R St Paris' (which both refer to the location Goyard's headquarters on 233, rue Saint-Honoré) have a confined colour palette as well. The colour of both the canvas and Chevron print will correspond to a Goyard colour wheel, which displays a finite number of shades produced in their tanneries. Any deviation from these suggests a fake.
One way to know if you’re the owner of an authentic Goyard St. Louis bag is by checking the direction and colour of the stitching. Needless-to-say, if the stitching is messy, misaligned or inconsistent, it's a dead give-away that the bag is a fake. On the other hand, stitching that is too perfect can highlight machine work as opposed to hand craftsmanship. Other much lesser-known details include: the double stitch on the bottom two stitches, located in the middle, at the end of each of the top-handle tabs .Another noteworthy tip on the stitching - all Goyard bags will be offset by white stitching- except the Noir, which is exclusively distinguished by tonal black stitching.
Given that each and every Goyard bag is meticulously hand-painted using a stencilling technique, each Chevron print displays its own little idiosyncrasies and will seldom ever be as flawless or completely uniform as a digital reproduction. However, like anything done by hand, these slight inconsistencies are a mark of human craftsmanship.
COMPOSITION AND TEXTURE
Chief Authenticator, Graham Wetzbarger stipulates that 'the high gloss of the base layer of the canvas, should contrast with the more matte finish of the hand-stencilled detailing on top of it'. This means that, while the texture of the bag will appear shiny and embossed, you should be able to see the grain of the canvas through the paint.
HARDWARE, LOGO STAMP & SERIAL NUMBER
'Anybody-who's-anybody' will know that brand new Goyard bags are only sold at a small number of retail locations. But, if you're buying one of these pieces second-hand, please rest assured that Rewind Vintage Affairs offer a lifetime authenticity guarantee for all of our items. Shop our selection of customised bags, designs and patterns, currently listing here at Rewind Vintage Affairs.
To learn how to authenticate a Goyard St. Louis tote and discover Goyard's most recognised features and tips on how to spot a fake, watch our guide on Youtube.