Founded in 1787 (and yes, that's before the French Revolution!) Simonnot-Godard has an impressive heritage and is one of the last French manufacturers of cambric handkerchiefs and luxury linen. They have spent seven generations spent perfecting the pocket square, and when you purchase one, you can be sure that you are not only purchasing timelessness and elegance, but also a legendary legacy.
Simonnot-Godard has the distinction of being the oldest brand featured on Alex Crown, with a long history that spans seven generations. Oh, if only these pocket squares could speak…what stories they could tell!
The house was originally founded in 1787 by Mr. Beaurain in Paris, France. Mr. Beaurain ran the business for 40+ years and upon retirement, left it to his employee, Mr. Auguste Godard. It was Auguste’s daughter, Marie Godard, who established the brand Simonnot-Godard along with her husband, Victor Simonnot.
The family continues to run the business for over 200 years, and in 1999, Benjamin Simonnot and his wife stepped in to purchase the company from Benjamin’s uncle. Under Benjamin’s leadership, the brand continues to proudly use traditional techniques to manufacture what it does best – pocket squares and handkerchiefs.
When you are the oldest French manufacturer of woven pocket squares and handkerchiefs, you set the bar for quality. Simonnot-Godard mainly produces using the finest yarns of linen and cotton.
After the yarn is gathered, it is woven together, then the fabrics are sent to the mountains of Vosges in Eastern France where they undergo special treatment and are washed, cleaned, and mercerized. The pure water in this mountainous region ensures that they get a clean, crisp white needed for crafting their products. The entire process can take about 4-5 months, but it leaves the cotton very soft and fine. Simonnot-Godard mainly uses Egyptian double-ply cotton, fully dyed with each yarn, so even after washing it 500 times, you will still have a solid colored pocket square or handkerchief.
Simonnot-Godard continues to practice the almost-lost art of hand hem-rolling, where “roulotteuses” (typically craftswomen who specialize in this discipline) painstakingly hand-roll the hems to give their products shape and to preserve the savoir faire the house is so well known for.
In addition to selling products under their own brand, Simonnot-Godard also manufactures pocket squares and handkerchiefs for some of the greatest luxury houses today.
The definition of timeless design is when you take something that was created a long time ago – which in this case is about 250 years ago – and still find that it is relevant today. It makes you wonder when exactly the item was designed!
Simonnot-Godard uses its design archive to its great advantage as many of the new designs of today are direct inspirations from their history and heritage.
Now for a quick pocket square vs. handkerchief lesson. Typically, a pocket square is smaller because it goes into your exterior jacket pocket. It is also made out of silk. A handkerchief on the other hand, is usually larger and made out of cotton so that you can wash and reuse it multiple times. A handkerchief is typically placed in your interior jacket pocket.
In the case of Simonnot-Godard, these two terms are interchangeable, as handkerchiefs are less commonly used and theirs are beautiful enough to be used as a pocket square. At Alex Crown, we have a penchant for larger cotton pocket squares because they fill up the jacket pocket better, create more dynamic shapes, and hold up better structurally than silk. You should also note that their pocket squares are traditionally woven, not printed, so don’t expect any of the dizzying designs typically found on printed silk. We feel that this gives their pocket squares a timeless quality and a refined, sophisticated look.
The quality-to-value ratio of Simonnot-Godard is unrivaled. When you own one of their pocket squares, you are unlocking almost 250 years of savoir faire and perfected handicraft in value alone. In addition, you are buying direct from a manufacturer that supplies some of the biggest luxury brands. Previously only distributed by one of the world's most prestigious retailers, Bergdorf Goodman, we are incredibly proud to represent the storied Simonnot-Godard at Alex Crown.
Simonnot-Godard continues to use age-old techniques to manufacture its products, keeping a tradition that has created an exceptional know-how for the brand for over 250 years. Their fabrics are cleaned using the purest water from the mountainous region of Vosges in eastern France, and then are hand-rolled and handmade before they are shipped to customers.