The trunk desk commissioned by author Sir Arthur Conon Doyle in 1925 to the Goyard house stands like a trophy next to a picnic basket designed for the first bootless cars (early XXth century) in Vincent Marchelli’s office. In spite of being still in awe of the prestigious names forming Goyard’s client list – Prince Aga Khan, Coco Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin, HRH the Duke of Windsor, Romy Schneider –, the refined Head of heritage blends smoothly into the scenery. Piercing blues eyes under a thick mane of brown hair, calm voice, the man cultivates the same discretion that sets the trunk-maker at 233, rue Saint-Honoré apart, where Japanese clients still also rush to during Fashion week.
Attached to independent houses, Vincent Marchelli stepped away from 15 years dedicated to the precision of Swiss watch-making to pursue a less mechanical path: luggage making. The brand had been on his mind for a while, yet it took him 4 years to convince Goyard’s C.E.O. Jean-Michel Signoles to hand him over the historical pieces collection. The house likes to take its time to establish its relationships... Since November 2012, he has been invested in a mission dear to the house’s new owner (since 1998), himself a collector of the brand since day one: maintaining Goyard’s heritage. Vincent Marchelli is in charge of its conservation and restoration.
Snoop to preserve
Every historical house has at heart the preservation of its heritage and its savoir-faire, as they are essential to its past and future history. Goyard therefore insists on producing its trunks and luggage the traditional way and, as much as possible, by hand. Therefore hopping from auction sales (in New York recently for a piece belonging to Lauren Bacall) to displays and flea-markets is a must to keep up to date with this heritage (600 pieces to this day). Vincent Marchelli readily admits that the Saint Ouen market offers a unique playground in which to scoop out pieces which will end up decorating their shops all over the world, completing the archives and keeping the collection alive. At Goyard, antique trunks can be found down to the production sites and workshops, they are left out in the open, everything but inaccessible. They must “live”, hence going back to their nomadic roots.