In 2008, at 352, rue Saint-Honoré (opposite the main shop at 233, rue Saint-Honoré) Goyard opened Le Chic du Chien, the essential emporium for elegant canines.
Goyard chose an illustration by Benjamin Rabier, an emblem of timeless elegance that continued a great tradition at Goyard, a company founded in 1792 and which had offered a special range of items for dogs, cats, and monkeys since the late 19th century.
A multi-talented artist, Rabier was unanimously acknowledged as one of the greatest animal artists in Europe. He illustrated the Fables de La Fontaine, created Gédéon the Duck, one of the first ever modern cartoon characters, and inspired the legendary symbol of the Laughing Cow. He was also one of the chief proponents of the new art of publicity, which saw Devambez reveal his avant-garde intuitions in the early twentieth century.
Brands such as Poulain, LU, La Biscuiterie Nantaise, Maggi, and Printemps called upon Rabier to ensure that their image was engraved on people’s memories, but it was at the Devambez gallery that Benjamin Rabier exhibited his new watercolours in the first decade of the century, and it was for Devambez that he drew Briffaut le bon chien, the third of twenty large prints for the Phosphatine Falières brand. Devambez was among the first to exploit the commercial potential of cartoon characters in this way.
When Devambez printed a book devoted to the history of Goyard in 2010, the company revived a long tradition of major names and brands, based on the idea that the past could be a source and driving force for modernity.
Benjamin Rabier expose ses nouvelles aquarelles, poster for the Benjamin Rabier exhibition at galerie Devambez, Paris
Pierre Tzenkoff, Goyard, malletier, maison fondée en 1792, Paris, Devambez, 2010