Let's talk about alternatives to that Louis Vuitton-monogram canvas bag you've been eyeing. You know, the one that 18 of your friends already own—which, for some reason, makes you want one exactly like it even more?
While even I can admit that the highly recognizable, highly counterfeited Louis Vuitton print is timeless and matches pretty much anything you could possibly wear, there is at least one other undying standby that has more class than your Speedy 25 could ever handle.
La Maison Goyard has yet to enter mainstream consciousness, but it has a rich history involving all sorts of fancy things like catering to the whims of maharajahs, kings, queens and dukes. Founded in Paris in 1853, the company is world-renowned for luxurious handmade bags and trunks. As a malletier, special orders are their thing. You want three diagonal stripes? Vertical centered stripes? Lavender? Turquoise? Orange? Done, done and done. Monograms? They do that, too. In fact, you can customize your bags and luggage to hell—so long as you have the cash to go along with it.
The Goyard chevron motif resembles a herringbone pattern—and is entirely hand-painted with an understated, intricate series of tan or white dots. As for the canvas itself, even that's special: a blend of cotton, linen and hemp covered with gum arabic to make it lightweight and waterproof.
Goyard's most popular model is the Saint Louis, a shopping tote (with attached wallet!) that comes in more than 10 colors and three sizes. The Jeanne, though unattainably high-priced, is my personal favorite: Inspired by classic hatboxes, it oozes femininity. But it's the Saint Louis tote—photographed on the cute RVCA-dress-wearing gal here—that you'll spot on the shoulders of the privileged on the streets of the greatest cities in the world but have yet to see in, say, Newport Beach. Or, uh, Stanton.
(By the way, after making a brief stop in Long Island this past week, I can say one thing: The Hamptons make Newport Beach, Dana Point and Laguna Niguel seem like fucking Detroit—snoot factor was definitely an extreme 10. Even better, the people were everything you'd imagine and more: "This is the Hamptons," said one huffy bartender.)
Only 10 authorized Goyard dealers exist worldwide, with only three actual Goyard storefronts in existence—the closest of which is in San Francisco's Union Square. Your best bet is visiting Barney's New York locations in Los Angeles and enquiring about custom orders. Just be careful: The Saint Louis tote, the lowest-priced piece, goes for around $1,000. If a $1,000 hand-painted tote doesn't sound like your thing, then ask about Goyard's badger-fur-trimmed dog collar. I'm sure your golden retriever will appreciate.