A Comparison of French Luxury: Fauré Le Page & Goyard
When it comes to luxury leather goods, no country does is better than France. There is a deep-rooted history of malletiers or “trunk makers” from the likes of Louis Vuitton & Goyard, that are among some of the world’s most recognizable luxury brands. A brand that you might not have heard of however is beginning to grow in popularity due to its limited distribution and a unique scale monogram print. Fauré Le Page has been compared to Goyard since its rebirth in 2009 due to their similar product lines and their monogram print. While Goyard remains one of the most popular French brands, there is something to be said for the growing popularity of Fauré Le Page. In this article, we take an in-depth look at each house’s history as well as a first-hand comparison of the quality, distribution, and price point.
Fauré Le Page
Founded in 1717 by Louis Pigny in Paris, France, Fauré Le Page began as a firearms & sword manufacturer for the French royalty. Among some of their notable clients included Napoleon Bonaparte, Louis XVIII, and countless other royalty throughout Europe. Their guns & swords were crafted with exquisite detail and quickly gained a reputation as one of the most luxury weaponry manufacturers in all of France. The company was held within the same family until 1925. The brand was then passed between buyer to buyer, which only offered a very limited selection of leftover hunting bags.
In 2009, Dior veteran, Augustine de Buffévent purchased the forgotten house and relocated to Rue Cambon, down the street from luxury retailers such as Chanel & Tom Ford. Buffévent reinvented the once luxury weaponry manufacturer into a leather goods brand that references its history in weaponry. Their all-over “scale” print is reminiscent of the same details found in the brand’s historical weaponry and has even referenced the shapes of their leather goods based on holsters, hunting bags, and even flasks. While the brand has been repurposed in its craft, the details and craftsmanship have just been shifted into something more modern. Today, Fauré Le Page has become one of the more low-key luxury leather goods manufacturers based out of Paris. There are currently only 3 locations in the world in which you can purchase Fauré Le Page leather goods, these include Paris, Japan, and now Taiwan.
A brand that hardly needs any introduction, Goyard has become a status symbol of luxury in all things leather goods ranging from purses to dog collars. Founded in 1853 by François Goyard, who had worked as an apprentice in the field of trunk making or “malletier,” before founding his own namesake label. The iconic Goyardine print was introduced by François’s son, Edmond Goyard who laid the groundwork for how the brand is perceived today. Under Edmond’s creative direction, the brand became widely celebrated by affluent clientele throughout Europe, including custom pieces for royalty, such as the Duke of Windsor. By creating Goyard’s first advertisements, participating in World exhibitions, as well as opening 4 branch stores & introducing pet accessories, Edmond Goyard catapulted the brand to a new level altogether.
Maison Goyard remained a family-owned business until 1998 when it was acquired from the Goyard family by Jean Michel-Signoles, who collected all things Goyard before he was able to acquire the brand itself. Under this new ownership, the Goyard brand began to globalize its distribution channels by opening standalone boutiques throughout the world as well as in retail department stores such as Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and Neiman Marcus. By expanding the brand’s distribution, Goyard has become of the most recognizable prints in all of fashion next to fellow French malletier, Louis Vuitton (founded one year after Maison Goyard).
I have personally owned both Goyard and Fauré Le Page Bi-fold wallets, and there are a few points that I would like to compare regarding quality, availability and the price point of each.
Starting with quality, both brands feature an all-over hand painted print that is the unique selling point for each brand. There are few prints more recognizable than that of Goyard, but in my personal experience, the pattern begins to really wear off with use, which is somewhat expected considering it is hand painted. However, I have had my Fauré Le Page wallet for about a month and a half and I haven’t noticed any loose stitches or any fading of the print as of that of Goyard, which I noticed after a couple of months. To be fair, I have seen Goyard wallets that have completely faded, but I have never seen a Fauré Le Page wallet fade in the same way. I’m not sure if it is because of a different technique, or the leather in which the pattern is placed on. Other than the print quality, the wallets (as I would guess for all of their products) are basically the same in quality, feel, and functionality. The only distinction I have been able to draw is from the wear and tear of the prints over time.
Distribution is the main difference between Fauré Le Page and Goyard. While both are luxury brands, which practice limited distribution, Goyard is much more accessible than Fauré Le Page due to the sheer amount of stores in which Goyard is available in. Fauré Le Page is only available in 3 stores in the entire world
Lastly, price point plays a huge factor in the comparison of these two iconic French brands. Fauré Le Page is much cheaper in comparison to Goyard. For example, a classic bi-fold wallet from Goyard runs approximately €555 euros, which is about $620 USD if purchased in Paris. In Goyard’s NYC flagship the same bi-fold will cost approximately $1020 USD before tax, which is basically double the price so you would be better off purchasing all Goyard products in Paris. Considering you can only purchase Fauré Le Page products in Paris, the price is fairly cheaper and without any currency exchange/import taxes. A Fauré Le Page wallet ranges from €295-€325 Euros, which is about $340-$370 USD, which is substantially much cheaper than that of Goyard for essentially the same quality in most instances. The Goyard pricing varies country to country, but in general, it is one of the more expensive French leather goods brands due to the brand’s allure and high-end clientele. Fauré Le Page is much lesser known than Goyard because their distribution structure is very limited versus Goyard’s global presence. Strictly based off of price points, there are basically two directions you can decide to take. Either you spend more on the Goyard product and gain more recognizability by the masses, or you spend less on something that is more limited and less likely had by others. It simply comes down to personal preference of the print, history, and what you are willing to spend. Both of these French brands have a rich history of superior craftsmanship and are truly some of the most unique prints in all of the luxury leather goods market.