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Bespoke trunks occupy an interesting niche in luxury goods, pulling triple duty as task-driven storage, elegant home décor and of a practical way to transport precious belongings. Though less common today, the craft has survived partially because of the legacy created by brands like Louis Vuitton and Goyard, whose vintage trunks are sought by collectors around the globe.
Thankfully the centuries-old art of building these classic cases is alive and well, preserved by both brands previously noted as well as a small number of highly skilled independent craftsmen offering made-to-measure trunks. If a custom order is on your to-do list, here are our favourite players in the segment, and brief notes on what to expect from the process.
Though it officially began operating under the Goyard name in 1853, the brand’s origins actually date to 1792, when the House of Martin opened its doors. The firm hired and trained François Goyard, who took it over and eventually handed the reigns to his son Edmond, who was responsible for the name change. To this day Goyard still produces finely finished bespoke trunks adorned with its trademark geometric pattern in a variety of colours for clients around the globe. Maintaining a strict no e-commerce policy, commissions both big and small must be coordinated through their small network of global boutiques.
2. Louis Vuitton
Easily the most recognisable of the pack, vintage examples of Louis Vuitton’s handmade trunks can easily garner up to US$50,000 (RM215,000), depending on their condition and complexity. Now the world’s leader in luxury goods, the Parisian brand continues to produce its trunks to the same benchmark it used back in the mid-19th century. In recent years Louis Vuitton has created beautiful trunks used to transport the French Open and America’s Cup trophies. Depending on complexity, a bespoke LV trunk of your very own can take upwards of a few months to craft, though once complete, the pieces are designed to last a lifetime.
3. Ephtée Bordeaux
Don’t let the fact that Ephtée is not yet a household name deter you from considering the small, relatively new firm for your next commission. Initially focused on trunks for shoe storage, founder Franck Tressens has since expanded the brand’s portfolio to include pieces that accommodate wardrobe, liquor, jewellery and other items upon request. Despite the boutique nature of the firm, commissions from Ephtée Bordeaux usually only take between two and three months to complete (depending on desired features).
While it may not be defined by an instantly recognisable pattern like Louis Vuitton or Goyard, Moynat is of equal prowess in terms of craftsmanship and execution. In recent years the brand has been commissioned by everyone from Chaumet to Jaguar, for which it built an electric scooter case designed to fit the trunk of the F-Type Convertible. It is this extensive range of specialised casework that makes Moynat an excellent choice for those looking for a trunk tailored for a specific and unique purpose.