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 and Chanel and more—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. Keep scrolling to see and shop from the 35 best French fashion brands in existence.
Style Notes: Amélie Pichard is probably one of the most adventurous shoe designers in the entire world, not just in France. She recently collaborated with Pamela Anderson and her shoes are instantly recognisable for its off-kilter heel shapes and wacky finishes.
What to Buy: There's something really sassy about Pichard's court shoes, thanks to the brand's V-neck silhouettes, but her platforms are just as popular.
Style Notes: Worn by Rihanna, FKA Twigs and Alexa Chung, Annelise's bold but refined pieces of jewellery are all handmade in her Paris atelier.
What to Buy: We're hooked her molten metalwork pieces.
Style Notes: Atelier de Production et Création (A.P.C.) 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—but we couldn't resist this ever-so-slightly less practical basket version.
Style Notes: Thanks to creative director and Vetements chief Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga is going crazy on the street style circuit.
What to Buy: We've got eyes on the tote bags.
Style Notes: Balmain girls like their clothes tight, their hemlines short and their heels to be high. The crew that has assembled around the super-popular director Olivier Rousteing includes the likes of Gigi Hadid, Joan Smalls and Kim Kardashian.
What to Buy: The logo pieces are particularly strong this season.
Style Notes: Under the agenda-setting guidance of Phoebe Philo since 2008 (she has now created her last collection for the brand), this French heritage brand has become one of the most influential designer labels in the world.
What to Buy: Who wouldn't love a Céline bag?
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 many peoples' wardrobes.
Style Notes: Chloé's new designer is but a few seasons in and already making a real impact on the street style scene. Natacha Ramsay-Levi's '70s lilt is precisely what you'd expect of a Chloé girl, only her take is slightly less hippy and more city slicker.
What to Buy: This horse-emblazoned jacket will be a collectors' item one day.
Style Notes: Claudie Pierlot does a cute take on contemporary French style—think sweet bows on blouses, patent miniskirts and swing coats. It's more innocent than its peers.
What to Buy: Right now it's a toss-up between the cute floral prints and a whole host of great jackets.
Style Notes: Clergerie shoes are well known for being beautifully made and very practical in their design. As such you'll find an array of influencers who adore the wearable, slightly masculine styles.
What to Buy: We're seriously into raffia slip-on beauties.
Style Notes: Since former Valentino designer Maria Grazia Chiuri took over the reins, many people (celebs included) have enjoyed seeing her classic and delicate style echoing through the brand.
What to Buy: Anything with the Dior logo on is golden right now, but these shoes are at the top of our list.
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 luxe at the same time.
What to Buy: Bras, bras, bras. And as it's holiday season, definitely invest in a sculpting, chic swimsuit.
Style Notes: Emmanuelle Alt is a big fan of this label and often wears its bold and unusual pieces to fashion week.
What to Buy: This mad jacket-turned-into-a-skirt vibe is really luring us in.
Style Notes: Ba&sh, designed by the very chic Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief, is for the true bohemian—a point that was proven during the summer festival period.
What to Buy: Floral prints are a huge focus for the brand right now, with this cut-out maxi being our top choice.
Style Notes: Givenchy is now in the very wonderful hands of the British designer Clare Waight Keller—aka Meghan Markle's wedding dress createur—and she's been making this storied house look rather delicate over the past few seasons.
What to Buy: We're obsessed with the zodiac jewellery.
Style Notes: As Iro was founded by onetime music producers, it's understandable why there's such a strong rock-chic vibe running through each collection.
What to Buy: If you don't find a natty little jacket you love from this brand, we'll eat our berets.
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: I always head to Marant for summery boho staples like a broderie anglaise blouse.
Style Notes: Jour/Né essentially means "day to night," so this brand is all about the clothes that do the job for you—with lots of humour thrown in to boot.
What to Buy: Anything printed or statement silhouette is guaranteed to raise a smile.
Style Notes: Jérôme Dreyfuss makes covetable bags and shoes (he's also married to Isabel Marant). He's basically the coolest and most chilled man in French fashion.
What to Buy: More often than not, his creations arrive in easy styles that are perfect for the weekend. This belt-bag style ticks all the boxes.
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: Although the tiger motif may feel a little dated, I'd say the branded pieces are still very now.
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: The almost-sheer midi dresses are particularly chic for high summer.
Style Notes: Jacquemus, created by Simon Porte Jacquemus, is one of the most trailblazing designers on the global fashion scene right now. His slightly surreal clothes and concepts never fail to impress editors, but there's something so inherently wearable and wantable about it all that you'll never feel unable to throw on a little Jacquemus and go.
What to Buy: Bags, dresses, blouses, shoes and knitwear are all very popular Jacquemus choices, but his earrings keep selling out.
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: The chunky-heel sandals are perfect for summer.
Style Notes: If you feel like all of the brands in this gallery are too expensive, then French catalogue La Redoute will be your saviour. Full of classic pieces at a much lower price point (its in-house labels are really quite good), this website also stocks other designer brands.
What to Buy: It's where I'll be stocking up on holiday pieces—like this little cami.
Style Notes: Founded in 1889 by Jeanne Lanvin, it has always been a source of fantastic eveningwear. Alber Elbaz stepped down in 2015, 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).
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: One of our editors has two Lemaire sweaterdresses and cannot rave about them enough. But right now, we're also loving the sailor pants.
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: This season the runaway success has to be the Archlight sneakers.
Style Notes: This Parisian model turned designer is all about shirts—and they couldn't have landed at a better time, considering the widespread mania for button-downs.
What to Buy: A shirt, bien sûr.
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: Trump everyone else's straw hats with this absolute knockout.
Style Notes: Maje has plenty to offer across the board, but we often gravitate towards the more rock chick pieces the brand specialises in.
What to Buy: This leather mini is so cool, but we'd suggest you scope out the brand's bomber jackets too.
Style Notes: Created by French influencer Anne-Laure Mais of Adenorah, you'll find this is everything your favourite Parisians on Instagram will be wearing this summer.
What to Buy: Anything slinky (like this wrap dress) is a good place to start.
Style Notes: Created by French style icon Jeanne Damas, Rouje is a blogger's favourite for its barely-there blouses, flirty sundresses and high-waisted denim.
What to Buy: Everything sells out equally fast, but these jumpsuits are at the top of our wishlist.
Style Notes: Mid-priced 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 so much to choose from, but the jeans are particularly fresh.
Style Notes: Saint Laurent is designed by Anthony Vaccarello and boy, is he bringing the sensual Parisian out of us all or what? Thigh splits, plenty of leather and all of the vital accessories to be our most glam selves 24/7.
What to Buy: These are bound to suit everyone. Well worth the investment, merci.
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: There are some really chic shoes to choose from right now.
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: This swimwear collab with Ysé is just lovely.
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.
Style Notes: This conscious sneaker brand has really boomed in the past few months with celebrities and influencers flocking to Veja's pared-back (and super-comfy) styles.
What to Buy: Literally any pair and you're set.
Style Notes: There's always a punky finish to everything Zadig puts into the world—whether it's a pair of rockstar trousers like these or a slung-on velvet blazer you could wear to a concert with ripped jeans.
What to Buy: Fancy pants!
Can't get enough of French style? Then see the secrets to dressing like the world's chicest women.