35 Cool French Fashion Brands That Every Girl Should Know
We can talk all day about how much we adore French brands, from the French styling tricks owned by the country's chicest girls to the stars and street style gurus you should look to for excellent Parisian style. But what about the best French fashion brands that enable all the above? There are loads of them.
Ranging from the super-luxe established designer Parisian fashion houses—Dior, Saint Laurent, Chanel—through to the newer, sparkier high-street startups like Sézane, there is a veritable gamut of Gallic labels to get to grips with. And that's before we even get started on the incredible midrange section the French industry has licked. Think of some of the names you know, such as Maje, Sandro, and Claudie Pierlot. They're just the cherry on top of a particularly tasty contemporary fashion sundae.
So to indulge your love for all things français, we've brought together 35 of the most important French brands—some you'll recognise, some you won't. But what's key to note is that not only have we assembled the coolest of the cool but we're also giving you pointers on exactly what you should look out for when shopping any of these labels. For example, Maje is always a trusted go-to for jackets, and we've chosen the best one to grab your attention today.
Go through the gallery below to see and shop from the 35 best French fashion brands in existence.
Amélie Pichard BB Mules ($334)
Style Notes: Amélie Pichard is probably one of the most adventurous shoe designers in the entire world, not just France. She recently collaborated with Pamela Anderson, and her shoes are instantly recognizable for their off-kilter heel shapes and wacky finishes.
What to Buy: There's something really sassy about Pichard's court shoes, thanks to their curved stilettos, but her platforms are just as popular.
Claudie Pierlot High Neck Lace Top ( $199 ) ($119)
Style Notes: Claudie Pierlot does a cute take on contemporary French style. Think sweet bows on blouses, patent miniskirts or swing coats. It's more youthful than its peers.
What to Buy: Right now it's a toss-up between bags and the copious amounts of chic lace blouses.
A.P.C. Sac Demi Lune ($470)
Style Notes: Atelier de Production et Création is loved for its utilitarian basics and has been a minimalist's go-to since the '80s, when the brand first launched during a time of great maximalism.
What to Buy: We have it on good authority that A.P.C. is currently serving up perfect everyday bags.
ROBERT CLERGERIE Jaly Oxford Mules ($495)
Style Notes: Over 30 years old and now going strong again under the creative directorship of David Tournier-Beauciel, Robert Clergerie has a host of bloggers who adore the wearable, slightly masculine styles.
What to Buy: We're seriously into these backless mule loafers.
What Goes Around Comes Around Chanel Quilted Round Earrings ($775)
Style Notes: What more can we say? Chanel is the Paris megalith that has, over the years via both Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, cemented some of the most important parts of any woman's wardrobe.
What to Buy: These pendant earrings are subtle and gorgeous.
Dior J'Adior Resille Slingback Ballerina ($1090)
Style Notes: Since former Valentino designer Maria Grazia Chiuri took over the reins, many women (celebs included) have enjoyed seeing her delicate style echoing through the brand.
What to Buy: The fashion editor set is smitten with the brand's slingbacks. We're partial to this mesh iteration.
Eres Paperwall Underwired bra ($420)
Style Notes: Lingerie connoisseurs will be more than aware that Eres make some of the best-quality underpinnings around. They're subtle and understated but so luxe at the same time.
What to Buy: Bras, bras, bras. We know many ladies who swear by them, no matter their size.
LANVIN One-Shoulder Silk Gown ($3890)
Style Notes: Founded in 1889 by Jeanne Lanvin, the brand has always been a source of fantastic eveningwear. Alber Elbaz stepped down in 2015, when Boucha Jarrar replaced him but recently departed. The new creative director is Olivier Lapidus, a Balmain Homme alumni.
What to Buy: A gown. Because you never know what you may get invited to next…
Aurélie Bidermann Tao Hoop Earrings ( $310 ) ($217)
Style Notes: There's something carefree and spirited about Aurélie's '70s-tinged, trinkety jewelry. From luxe boho festival bracelets to more delicate styles, it's the kind of brand you can mix and match, collecting throughout a lifetime.
What to Buy: As earrings are having such a moment, we'd opt for this category first.
Kenzo High Collar Long Sleeve Sweater ( $445 ) ($312)
Style Notes: Kenzo Takada was born in Japan but founded his label in Paris. These days, it's presided over by Opening Ceremony's Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, but there's still an irreverent Frenchness to the sports-luxe trend it does so well.
What to Buy: A graphic sweatshirt will do just fine.
Jerome Dreyfuss Gilles Tote Bag ($670)
Style Notes: Jérôme Dreyfuss makes covetable bags and shoes, and he's married to Isabel Marant. He's basically the coolest and most chilled man in French fashion. Oh, and he names all of the bags after boys—just another reason to buy them in bulk.
What to Buy: More often than not, his creations arrive in easy styles perfect for the weekend, and this tote style ticks all the right boxes.
Lemaire Egg Crocodile-Effect Leather Bag ($2085)
Style Notes: Christophe Lemaire has been around for some time, but it's only in the past few years that his name has shot into the mass style psyche. This is partly down to his pared-back aesthetic becoming a perfect fit for Uniqlo.
What to Buy: Right now we're loving the bags, which sit perfectly outside the relentless trend cycle.
Maison Michel Pina Embellished Crochet-Trimmed Straw Hat ($950)
Style Notes: Part of Chanel's special ateliers, Maison Michel is a mighty fine purveyor of hats. From jaunty berets to fedoras, Minnie Mouse ears to tulle veils, if there's an accessory that changes every outfit, it can be found here.
What to Buy: We love the fedora hats that are ideal for any weather.
Zadig & Voltaire Kavy Watercolor Camouflage Cotton Jacket ($398)
Style Notes: There's always a punky finish to everything Zadig puts into the world, whether it's a studded bag or a slung-on velvet blazer you could wear to a concert with ripped jeans.
What to Buy: The most impressive two things this season are jackets and bags.
Louis Vuitton Laureate Platform Desert Boots ($1230)
Style Notes: With Nicolas Ghesquière leading the charge, LV has become a trusted source of burgeoning trends and directional fashion, from the incredible leather jackets down to the equally intricate footwear.
What to Buy: We love the bags, sure, but every fashion influencer goes loco over the ankle boots.
Paul & Joe Striped Satin-Twill Straight-Leg Pants ($405)
Style Notes: One part Parisian schoolgirl, one part retro film icon, Paul & Joe (designed by Sophie Mechaly) style often references the '70s. Somehow the brand always makes vintage style more wearable, though. Clever.
What to Buy: The brand cuts a mean flare—and we like these striped pants in particular.
Sezane Lea Genuine Calf Hair Bootie ($230)
Style Notes: Set up initially as an online-only fashion store in 2013 by Morgane Sezalory, Sézane has been breaking boundaries and supplying great casual clothes for the past few years.
What to Buy: We're feeling the stand out vibes of these leopard booties.
Sonia Rykiel Pinstripe Cargo Trousers ($739)
Style Notes: Sonia Rykiel's brand DNA (knitwear, stripes, Left Bank chic) lives on via Julie de Libran's designs.
What to Buy: Stripes and knits are the main attraction—even better if it's a knitted stripe. However, we're so into these pants that we couldn't resist showcasing them.
Sandro Colere Houndstooth Coat ($775)
Style Notes: Midpriced Sandro should be on your list for when you're looking for staples with a twist. The brand knows what girls like wearing on a day-to-day basis and gives each of those items a little extra oomph every time.
What to Buy: There's much to choose from, but this coat is particularly fresh.
See by Chloé Striped Tie Neck Dress ($695)
Style Notes: Naturellement, we love Chloé's mainline collection, but there's something particularly exciting again about the diffusion collection. It has the floaty attitude of Chloé girls with a more accessible price point.
What to Buy: If you don't get lured in by one of the many darling dresses, we'd be surprised.
Can't get enough of French style? Then check out these eight secrets to dressing like the world's chicest women.
Opening Images: @adenorah
This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK at an earlier date and has since been updated.