35 of the Coolest French Fashion Brands 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 Parisian fashion houses—like Dior, Saint Laurent and 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 bumper gallery below to see and shop from the 35 best French fashion brands in existence.
35 of the Coolest French Fashion Brands Every Girl Should Know
Amélie Pichard Candy Pink Shearling (£432)
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 recognisable 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 Brave Shirt (£120)
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 girlish 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. Geneve Leather Shoulder Bag (£365)
Style Notes: Atelier de Production et Création is loved for its utilitarian basics for both men and women, 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 Pocket Devore Velvet Pumps (£345)
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 into these glove shoes because they're less pricey than many in the marketplace and work with pretty much everything in our current wardrobes.
Chanel Sling-Back Lambskin White and Black (£720)
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.
Dior Crystal Dior Earrings (£260)
Style Notes: Dior has just undergone a massive shake-up thanks to former Valentino designer Maria Grazia Chiuri taking over the reins—we're already enjoying seeing her feminine and delicate style echoing through the brand.
What to Buy: Everyone knows about the pearl-earring phenomenon, but there's a new raft of bling on the Dior site, and we like it. Although if you're partial to a pearl, you can still invest in a pair.
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 Appliquéd Silk-Mousseline Gown (£3760)
Style Notes: Founded in 1889 by Jeanne Lanvin, it has always been a source of fantastic eveningwear. Alber Elbaz stepped down in 2015, and the brand is now headed up by Bouchra Jarrar.
What to Buy: A gown. Because you never know what you may get invited to next…
Aurélie Bidermann Demetria Lily Earrings (£208)
Style Notes: There's something carefree and spirited about Aurélie's '70s-tinged, trinkety jewellery. From luxe boho festival bracelets to more ladylike 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 Long Asymmetrical Dress (£710)
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 they do so well.
What to Buy: An asymmetric midi dress in a statement check will do just fine.
The Kooples Grey T-Shirt With Stork Embroidery ( £128 ) (£90)
Style Notes: When The Kooples first landed in the UK a few years back, it was all about his 'n' hers dressing. While tailoring is still key, you'll find more feminine pieces in the mix these days.
What to Buy: We're mildly obsessed with this embellished tee.
Jérôme Dreyfuss Popoche O Textured-Leather Clutch (£155)
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 circular style ticks all the right boxes.
L'Autre Chose Zipped Ankle Boots (£397)
Style Notes: If you like your shoes to feature various points of difference, then L'Autre Chose should be marked in indelible ink on your shopping list.
What to Buy: In the summer, the midheel sandals are perfection, but for next season, invest in a pair of statement metallic ankle boots.
Lemaire Tee Shirt (£419)
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: Our editor has two Lemaire sweaterdresses and cannot rave about them enough. But right now, we're also loving the tees.
Isabel Marant Eley Wool and Alpaca-Blend Coat (£835)
Style Notes: The modern high priestess of boho girls and rock chicks alike, Marant spans every possible department with her must-haves, from party dresses to sneakers.
What to Buy: We have it on an A-list stylist's word that the oversize coats and blazers are TDF.
Maison Michel Virginie Straw Sunhat (£490)
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 wide-brim hats that are ideal for summer.
Zadig & Voltaire Kayak Jacket (£355)
Style Notes: There's always a punky finish to everything Zadig puts into the world—whether a studded bag like this 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 Silhouette Ankle Boot (£850)
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 girl goes loco over the ankle boots. Sure, it might be pretty warm right now, but you'll just be ready to tackle the autumn in style.
Balenciaga Bazar Medium Striped Textured-Leather Tote (£1045)
Style Notes: Thanks to creative director and Vetements chief Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga is going crazy on the street style circuit.
What to Buy: This tote may seem over the top, but trust us—it will be a collector's item one day.
Paul & Joe
Paul & Joe Erania Jeans ( £185 ) (£93)
Style Notes: One part Parisian schoolgirl, one part retro film icon, Paul & Joe (designed by Sophie Mechaly) 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 jeans in particular.
Saint Laurent Cat-Eye Acetate Mirrored Sunglasses (£210)
Style Notes: Saint Laurent has been under the groupie-style guidance of Hedi Slimane until now—Anthony Vaccarello is poised to present his first collection for the storied fashion house. Watch this space…
What to Buy: These are bound to suit everyone. Well worth the investment, merci.
Sonia Rykiel Metallic Striped Cotton-Blend Crepe Slim-Leg Pants ( £455 ) (£228)
Style Notes: Sad news came earlier this month when Sonia Rykiel passed away. Her brand's DNA (knitwear, stripes, Left Bank chic) lives on via Julie de Libran's designs.
What to Buy: Stripes and knits—even better if it's a knitted stripe.
Sandro Straight Cut Jeans (£185)
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 the mom jeans are particularly fresh.
Yves Salomon Shearling & Leather Wrap Coat (£3000)
Style Notes: Yves Salomon is a furrier of the highest degree and therefore comes with a rather hefty price point. Its fur-lined parkas have been a smash with fashion editors over the past few years.
What to Buy: These new shearling pieces are a more ladylike option.
See by Chloé:
See by Chloé Devoré Blouse ( £270 ) (£162)
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 frilly, blouson-y blouses, 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