Why Are Parisians Obsessed With Los Angeles? One Editor Investigates

Parisians have had a love affair with Los Angeles for a while now, but in recent years fashion types have seemed particularly drawn to the city. The casual California aesthetic can be found at the core of many Parisian-designed collections, while French fashion bloggers are regularly spotted posing amongst L.A.’s palm trees in those very wares. When Hedi Slimane boldly decided to move the Saint Laurent studio from Paris to the West Coast city, it was clear the infatuation had reached its peak.

Though the area does have a robust garment industry, it’s of no use to designers like Slimane, whose collections are currently executed in France. “Los Angeles has a vibrant mythology that I find rather inspiring,” Slimane has explained to The New York Times. Curious to know why some of our other favourite Parisian designers and influencers appeared so drawn to the area, we decided to go straight to the source! Find out what everyone from Isabel Marant to Garance Doré had to say, below.

Scroll down to discover why some of our favourite Parisians love L.A. and shop some of their California-inspired products!

"I think what Parisians really appreciate about California is the amazing weather, the great nature and the lifestyle that comes with it. In L.A. you can have the city life and feel like you’re on holiday at the same time! California is a great source of inspiration for me. The 'sporty' look of L.A. has influenced me a lot—I’m a big lover of American sportswear (especially skate, surf, scuba, and baseball apparel) and L.A. has always been my favourite place to shop for it." —Isabel Marant

"Los Angeles is filled with some of the most awe-inspiring places on earth. It’s an incredible place where the red of the desert, the blue of the surfer beaches, the green of the giant Sequoia forest, and the yellow of the sun can all be found nearby. L.A. also has an amazing diversity of people, which makes the city so rich. It offers great culture around film, music, theatre, dance, and even art now, too. I also always find the best vintage shops in Los Angeles and the spirit of the Sixties is everywhere. It’s always a pleasure for me to go to Los Angeles because I know that I will come back with new ideas for my collections. That, and the laid-back and light atmosphere!" —Aurélie Bidermann

"Los Angeles has everything that Parisians are looking for—the relaxed California attitude, sun, and a growing culture of art, music, and movies. The quintessential California Girl is a main source of inspiration for me. Joie especially embodies the polished Parisian sense of style combined with California’s casual ease. The combination of these two distinct philosophies creates a perfect harmony, and inspires a certain lifestyle." —Serge Azria

"There’s a laidback attitude in California that’s very refreshing. I’m thinking of Venice Beach, for instance, where it’s less about looking perfect and more about feeling comfortable while still stylish. California embodies the cool vibe that we always want to create within our collections. This attitude was central to our SS15 collection, with many items inspired by sportswear, as well as our Reebok Classic x Sandro collaboration." —Evelyne Chetrite

"As designers and as a brand we are very much inspired by the laidback coastal vibe of sunny Los Angeles. It perfectly juxtaposes the darker, metropolitan edge of our home in Paris.” –Alexandre Elicha

"Los Angeles embodies the easiness of the American way of life. The light totally contrasts with the great skies you see in Paris, and that is endlessly inspiring. New York feels very European, but when you’re in L.A., you can forget who you are, and take part in the American dream. Thinking of L.A. (and visiting as often as possible) is inspiring on many levels. The fashion scene, the lifestyle and the whole health food movement make it a very happy place. It’s funny because the first time I went, I didn’t really like it! But L.A grows on you. I think I’m reacting to the harshness of our winter and the crazy speed of the New York life." —Garance Doré

 

"Parisians are drawn to the sunshine and super cool atmosphere of Los Angeles. We love the surf/skate culture and the relaxing vibe. Everything is colourful, but in a super trendy way! I am from Biarritz, which some refer to as the 'French California,' so of course I love the West Coast culture. People always seem so cool in LA, they don't care about style but they still look very stylish. It’s a mix of bohemian, surf wear and vintage—and that’s what I really like!" —Adénorah

Why else might Parisians be so drawn to Los Angeles? Share your thoughts in the comments!