Anjou MM vs. Goyard GM
Goyard monogram options
Cashmere Sweater (seriously on sale for $47.99 an comes in a ton of colors)
Leather Leggings ($30, they run small, size up)// Suede Booties
You asked, I am answering! I know this is such a hot topic with all of you. When I posted to my stories and instagram while in Paris, I shared that I purchased a bag at Goyard. In turn, I received soooo may DM's and e-mails with questions!
I also shared in this post before I traveled to Paris, that I was excited to buy a Goyard bag, but like a lot of you, I had so many questions.
If you are not familiar with Goyard, it is a French luxury brand with a rich history. You can read all about the history, here. Town and Country also has a really great article on the fashion house as well as Purse Blog's article with some great facts.
For this post, I am going to sort the information as a Q + A. Like I mentioned above, you all had so many questions and I want to make sure I'm able to address all of them all in once place so I'm able to link to it in the future!
What bag did you choose?
The St. Louis Tote GM in gray.
Which other bags were you considering?
The Artois and the Anjou.
Where did you buy your bag?
Goyard on Rue Saint Honore. There are two locations and they are across the street from eachother. You can shop at either.
What was the shopping experience like? I hear they were rude.
It was true luxury. You are let in by a doorman. You are only allowed in with a 1 to 1 ratio of poeple to salespeople. One of the Goyard boutiques was full (and by full, it means there were like 5 people inside), so I went to the other one across the street. I was greeted by my salesperson and she was with me the entire time. Only one other customer was in the store while I was.
Almost everything is displayed in a beautiful way, but not necessarily all of the colors. I requested to see the St. Louis totes in both sizes, the artois, and the anjou (in several colors). She brought them all out for me and left me plenty of time to look over each piece, ask questions and decide which one I would want to leave with.
She was very knowledgeable, polite, welcoming, and was more than happy to help in any way. I had also read that the sales associates can give off a snobby vibe and I did not feel that at all. They were not pushy to sell me anything.
I also felt comfortable taking iPhone photos in the store. I read reviews saying it was 'shunned' to do so, but I figured, I am spending a lot, so I'm going to do what I want! She had absolutely no issues with me doing so and actually encouraged it when I was debating between the PM or GM sizes so I could see what they looked like on my body.
The interior was incredibly beautiful, very homey and curated. It was every bit as high end and magical as I expected. I spent a total of about 30-45 minutes there from start to finish.
I wanted a 'special color', which is anything other than black (you can choose from black with black leather trim or black with tan/brown trim). Don't get me wrong, I think the black is beautiful, but I wanted to use the bag in the summer, too, and I don't really wear much black during the summer months. I have a gray Ferragamo bag that I use SO often so I knew gray would be a great year-round neutral for me.
Is there anything important I need to know before shopping?
You should have your passport with you for the VAT tax forms. The salesperson will ask for it as you are checking out and basically do everything for you.
This is something I did not know. I bought two men's wallets as gifts. I wanted to buy two black wallets with tan trim. Goyard has a policy that you cannot buy two of the same thing in a calendar year. Crazy, right? I guess when you think about it, though, it's great becuase they are trying hard to prevent people from buying a ton of bags in Paris and reselling them for profit. So I had to get a black on black wallet and a brown on black wallet. Which was fine, but if you are going to buy a tote and your BFF wants you to get her the same one, you can't! If you are traveling with someone else, though, you could have them purchase it for you.
The special colors cost more. I find this to be ridiculous, but that's the case. I wish I could remember the price difference but it is deifnitely a good chunk of change difference.
If you choose the Anjou, you must get yours monogrammed. Kind of an odd practice, but I guess they want to keep people from reselling them.
Why did you end up with the St. Louis over the Artois?
Going into the store, I was almost set on the Artois. After doing what research I could online and after hearing from a bunch of you, I figured the Artois would be a more sensible decision since it has a zipper, thicker canvas and reinforced corners. But, once I got into the store and saw the Artois in person, it's is an extremely structured 'ladylike' handbag. It is not slouchy and it is not a tote where you can just throw all of your stuff in the bag and 'go'. It's beautiful, don't get me wrong, but just not the bag I was looking for.
I was buying the bag to be something I can travel with and something I can use daily that would be able to fit my 15- inch macbook and Nikon d610 camera, plus other daily essentials. While I liked that the Artois felt 'sturdier', it just didn't have that casual, slouchy feel I was looking for. Once you see them both in person, they are two very different bags.
I also loved that the St. Louis tote was the most classic option. It is truly icnoic and will never go out of style (it may never really be 'in' style either and that's just what I like).
If I had to choose again, I'd still chooose gray. But, if I could choose a second color, I'd have chosen the navy blue or green. They were such deep, rich colors.
Why did you choose the GM over the PM?
I knew going into the store that I would 99.9% like the GM over the PM. I just love bigger bags, but I also knew that my Macbook is 15 inches, so it had to be able to fit that comfortably. The GM also has longer straps. The GM is much bigger than the PM... the PM is more of a purse and the GM is a large tote.
Can you buy Goyard Online?
You can buy them second-hand on sites like The Real Real and Fashionphile. Both are very reputable and make sure you are getting high-quality, authentic designer pieces. You cannot purchase new Goyard pieces online. You can purchase from Barney's and Bergdorf's in Manhattan, they also have a Goyard boutique, and there are a handful of other places to shop Goyard in the US.
Why didn't you get yours monogrammed?
I didn't get mine monogrammed becuase I bought it on the second to last day we were there. It takes several days to weeks to have your bag custom painted and I didn't want to have mine mailed back to me. However, I plan on getting my bag monogrammed in the US. I am not in any rush because I think I may wait until I am married to get it monogrammed. There is an additional cost of $150+ to get it monogrammed. I am 100% on board with monogramming, though. I'm not sure what style I want, but I am thinking something simple like just my shadowed intials (skipping the stripes). Who knows, we'll see!
How much did your bag cost?
I feel weird talking about the cost, but this a very commonly asked question becuase it's really hard to find real information online. So I am sharing in hopes this gives others more information!
It cost $1442.38 USD (a little less than 1200 Euros). I receieved $164.13 USD back after filling out the VAT Tax form. I submitted the VAT Tax forms at the airport at one of the kiosks (before going through secutiry) on November 20th. I received my VAT Tax refund on December 28th. Making the total cost of the bag about $1280.
Is the price worth it?
No. Yet, if you ask me if any of the designer handbags I have purchased are worth it, I'd also say no. I'd love to know the profit margin on a St. Louis tote. Besides the hand craftmanship and (a lot of hands-on man hours go into every Goyard piece), you are paying for luxury and a label and you need to be conscious that that is what you are paying for. It's just like Louis Vuitton. This is canvas. There is not even that much leather to these bags. Yet, I truly believe they are works of art.
I personally bought this becuase it is not as commonplace in the US as Louis Vuitton and I wanted a designer tote bag. I also noticed that it seemed like a lot of French women were carrying Goyard and I rarely saw the LV neverfull around Paris.
I also bought it as my souvenir from Paris. I didn't really buy anything else while there. I knew I would use the bag and it would remind me of fond memories from my trip for years to come. I love the print and the style of the bag, I love the rich history and exclusivity. I love that it is timeless and classic. I would not purchase the bag in the US just to have it, though. I would wait until you can get to Paris to a) save money, and b) have it mean something by buying it from the original boutique!
Also something to think about is the resale value. Goyard bags are actually good investments. They are re-selling heavily used for more than I paid for my bag. The price only goes up every year, so if you kept yours for a few years and eventually wanted to sell it, you'd more than likely profit over the sale.
How is the quality, I heard they are flimsy? Can they hold weight?
When you feel the bag for the first time, you will be floored. The St. Louis tote is extremely flimsy. But, then you need to remind yourself, it was originally created as a beach tote and meant to fold up to be packable.
When you feel the Artois, you will see with great clarity that it's a much sturdier, quality bag. I will say that I've been using my St. Louis tote for about 3 months with daily use and it hasn't shown a bit of wear. I am one of those people who buys luxury goods and puts them to use... I'm not one to just admire my fancy bag and be afraid to use it or mess it up. I wear the heck out of my shoes/accessories and the St. Louis tote is no exception.
If you are worried about the wear and tear on you St. Louis, Goyard is able to repair and care for your bag. You could even have leather put on the bottom corners if you are concerned.
As for holding a lot of weight, they hold SO much weight. I put Henry in my bag once as a joke. He is 25 pounds. I constantly carry my laptop, my (heavy) camera, a bottle of water, and a bunch of other things and I have not had any issues whatsoever.
Do you worry about the straps breaking or the bottom corners wearing?
I don't really worry, a) becuase it's a material item and everything wears eventually. Sometimes, I even prefer a little wear because I think that makes a piece looked love and has character. I also know that if things start to wear, I can always have them fixed, too.
What is the difference between the LV Neverfull? Are they comparable?
They're very comparable in size and style. The LV neverfull just feels heavier and more durable. However, I personally love that you can choose different colors with the St. Louis tote and that you can also fold it up even more compactly for traveling purposes.
I think if you are choosing between the two (they are comparable in price), you can't really go wrong. They will both serve the purpose as a great designer tote. I had wanted the neverfull for quite some time, but I really forced myself to wait for the Goyard. To me, personally, the Goyard just feels a touch more special since it was my Parisian souvenir!
Did you end up seeing the Faure le Page brand? What did you think of that?
Yes! I saw it at Galleries Lafayette! I should have taken some photos. The pieces were gorgeous. The tote looked different than both a LV Neverfull and the St. Louis tote. It was more structured so it reminded me more of the Goyard Artois. It was still pricey (can't rememember the price, but nowhere near as costly as Goyard). I saw several people carrying Fare Le Page bags out in the wild in Paris, so it seems that they are becoming more popular.
How do you organize your St. Louis tote?
I love clear zipped pouches (like this and this) in any bag I use. I buy them when I find them on sale and use those to organize all my lipsticks, makeup wipes, etc.
If you want an organizer, this is such a good one.
Overall, are you happy with your purchase?
Very. I am so glad I held off on the LV neverfull and waited to go to Paris and purchase the St. Louis tote. It was a special experience and the bag is such a wonderful reminder of my trip. It's beautiful, classic and I get use out of it daily. People actually stop me on the street (often) to let me know that they, too, are also a Goyard fan.