Louis Vuitton and Hermès who?

These iconic luxury brands may have well-established reputations, but in the world of the elite, they’ve got nothing on Goyard.

The name of this two-century-old Parisian brand may not ring a bell the way other luxury fashion houses do, but Goyard’s elusiveness is exactly what makes it the ultimate status symbol among the world’s wealthiest people.

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Goyard’s prime press strategy is silence.

It forgoes any advertising, e-commerce and celebrity endorsements.

The company rarely grants interviews and very occasionally makes products available to the mass market.

Yet it turns out that this lips-are-sealed tactic is the best way to build buzz.

“Luxury is a dream and revealing too much of what goes on behind the scenes would spoil the magic,” a representative for the House of Goyard told Hypebeast last year.

“We believe that whispering softly in someone’s ears is not only more elegant, but also much more efficient than screaming at the top of one’s lungs.”

Its mystery demands desire. Everyone loves a sense of exclusivity, and what’s more exclusive than a brand whose heritage and allure is based on discretion, garnering business solely through word of mouth of its influential clients?  

Sarah Young wrote of Goyard’s discreet stance in The Independent: “Those who know, know. For them, it’s all about attracting the people who count.”  

After all, high-end brands risk losing their lustre and jeopardising their exclusivity if they fall into the everyday hands of mass consumption.

Goyard’s under-the-radar reputation is the pinnacle of ultimate indulgence for its buyers.

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Rich and famous clientele

The coveted chevron-printed canvas and leather luggage has been seen accompanying everyone from the newly married Meghan Markle, now known as Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, to the actress Gwyneth Paltrow and the Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse, who has a custom-made trunk for his cutlery.

Goyard is also increasingly popular among hip-hop’s elite.

The rapper A$AP Rocky wore a Goyard messenger bag to the 2016 Grammy Awards and Kanye West carried a Goyard briefcase during Paris Fashion Week in 2009.

And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – West’s daughter, North, was spotted in Los Angeles in February with a personalised Goyard St Louis bag, costing roughly US$1,460 after customisation. Meanwhile, her aunt, Khloe Kardashian flew to Tokyo with her belongings packed in not one but two customised Goyard bags.  

They are part of an impressive list of clients of the years that has included Coco Chanel, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jacques Cartier, Pablo Picasso, Karl Lagerfeld, and the Duchess of Windsor, who collected many Goyard pieces, such as pet accessories and a trunk to accommodate 150 pairs of shoes.

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Goyard’s owner, Jean-Michel Signoles, bought much of the duke and duchess’ collection when Sotheby’s auctioned the contents of their Paris home in 1997.

A document case and monogrammed trunk went for nearly US$15,000, while another lot sold for US$32,500, Town & Country lifestyle magazine reported.

That is nothing compared with one of Goyard’s 19th-century-style trunks, which costs US$59,315, according to the Business of Fashion, the website focused on the global fashion industry.

The Palace trunk costs US$10,120, with additional customisation starting from US$165.

Yet not all its prices are so far-fetched for such an exclusive brand, such as the entry-level US$300 Saint Sulpice cardholder or the US$2,430 Grand Bleu messenger bag.

A classic Goyard tote bag costs US$1,150, while a comparable Louis Vuitton version is US$1,810.  

It’s ‘all about travelling, distant horizons, escapism’ 

Goyard’s focus on artisanal craftsmanship prevents it from churning out the bountiful merchandise that Louis Vuitton does, arguably helping Goyard hold on to a higher level of quality and prestige compared with its competitor.

Also, because it’s like an heirloom, the brand holds its resale value, Rati Sahi Levesque, the chief merchant of the luxury-resale website, The Real Real, told Racked, the former retail and shopping website that closed in September and was combined with the Vox news website.

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“It’s an insider’s bag, but it doesn’t scream luxury,” Levesque said.

Goyard’s serious collectors prefer individual, customised pieces over the brand’s more discernible items, such as the St Louis tote and or the Saigon handbag.

Every order “is the result of a very close creative collaboration between a customer and the Goyard team”, and the limits are endless, Goyard told Town & Country.

Ever authentic, though, the company leaves special orders up to its discretion, eschewing any requests that are not considered on brand – even if it’s from a recognisable name.

“We turned down several orders for custom[ised] trunks for giant television screens, for instance,” the fashion house told Town & Country.

“Goyard is all about travelling, distant horizons, escapism, so a TV trunk by Goyard really sounded like an oxymoron.”

A bespoke gardening trunk, on the other hand, was deemed whimsical, timeless, practical and functional – something that “truly captures the essence of Goyard”.

Commissioned in 2015, it cost about US$15,000.

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The Art of Travelling by #Goyard #Timeless #Since1853 #AroundtheWorld

A post shared by GOYARD (@goyardofficial) on Apr 26, 2016 at 10:10am PDT

The brand is so elusive that even historic special orders are not known to the company.

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“Finding a rare trunk is an extremely complicated hunt, requiring near private investigator’s skills ... and a lot of patience,” a Goyard representative told Town & Country.

Deborah Soss, former vice-president of accessories and handbags at US department store, Bergdorf Goodman, once told Racked, “I think there is always an allure to a bit of mystery.”

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This article originally appeared on  Business Insider .