We can talk all day about how much we adore French brands, from the styling tricks owned by the country's chicest 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. From the super-luxe established designer Parisian fashion houses (Dior, Saint Laurent and Chanel) through to newer and more affordable startups like Sézane or The Frankie Shop, there's 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 the cherry on top of a particularly tasty contemporary fashion sundae.
French creator of Musier Paris Adenorah carrying a Chanel bag.
So to indulge your love for all things Français, we've brought together 45 of the most important French brands, some you'll recognise and some you won't. 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, Jacquemus is our trusted go-to for bags, tops and shoes, but today we've chosen one of the brand's body-con dresses. As we love all the following brands, you can expect to see the pieces we want to shop right now. Keep scrolling to see and shop from the 45 best French fashion brands in existence.
Style Notes: Simon Porte Jacquemus is one of the most trailblazing designers on the global fashion scene. His slightly surreal clothes and concepts never fail to impress editors, but there's something so inherently wearable and wantable about it all.
What to Buy: Bags, dresses, blouses, shoes and knitwear are all very popular Jacquemus choices, but the latest dresses have caught our eye.
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 their off-kilter heel shapes and wacky finishes.
What to Buy: There's something really sassy about Pichard's platforms.
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. However, you'll now only find its items on places like Vestiaire Collective, as it doesn't appear to be running anymore.
What to Buy: It has a slogan T-shirt for every day of the week—literally. Set up an alert on your favourite resale sites to find them.
Style Notes: Givenchy is now in the very wonderful hands of the American designer Matthew M Williams, taking over from Clare Waight Keller—aka Meghan Markle's wedding-dress creator—who made this storied house look rather delicate over the past few seasons and reinvented its iconic Antigona bag.
What to Buy: This dream bag will become part of your forever collection.
Style Notes: Balmain fans like their clothes tight, their hemlines short and their heels high. The crew that has assembled around the super-popular director Olivier Rousteing includes the likes of Gigi Hadid, Joan Smalls and Kim Kardashian West.
What to Buy: The blazers are always a good choice.
Style Notes: Kenzo Takada was born in Japan, but he founded his label in Paris. Sadly, he passed away in 2020. He retired in the late '90s to pursue a career in art, and many names have led the charge at the brand over time
What to Buy: The label's prints are always unique and intriguing.
Style Notes: If you feel like all of the brands in this gallery are too expensive, French catalogue La Redoute will be your savior. 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 knitwear that won't break the bank.
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: You can't put a step wrong in pared-back mid-heels like these, but the flats offering is always strong too.
Style Notes: Founded in 1889 by Jeanne Lanvin, it has always been a source of fantastic evening wear. When Alber Elbaz stepped down in 2015, Bouchra Jarrar replaced him but has since departed. The new creative director is Olivier Lapidus, a Balmain Homme alumni.
What to Buy: It's a brand known for its glam, so this dress still lives up to the spirit of the name.
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 our collective style psyche. This is partly down to his pared-back aesthetic becoming a perfect fit for Uniqlo.
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: The Archlight sneakers are still going strong.
Style Notes: Part of Chanel's special ateliers, Maison Michel is a mighty-fine purveyor of hats. From jaunty berets to fedoras and Minnie Mouse ears to tulle veils, if there's an accessory that changes every outfit, it can be found here.
What to Buy: Trade in your straw chapeau for a chic black hat for autumn.
Style Notes: Mid-priced Sandro should be on your list for when you're looking for staples with a twist. The brand knows what people 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 ruffle dresses 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 with a more accessible price point.
What to Buy: An entry-level designer handbag with all the traits of classic Chloé arm candy.
Style Notes: The Frankie Shop is the boutique to visit in Paris these days. It stocks other brands, but its in-house label has all of the trend-setting tailoring, separates and dresses that you'll find dotted around the hippest Instagram feeds.
What to Buy: It started the whole shoulder-pad T-shirt thing.
Style Notes: There's always a punky finish to everything Zadig puts into the world—whether it's a pair of rock-star boots like these or a slung-on velvet blazer you could wear to a concert with ripped jeans.
What to Buy: Chunky ankle boots you can style all year round.
Style Notes: There's a common misconception that French fashion isn't particularly sassy, but Alexandre Vauthier proves otherwise. From dresses to boots, this sharp take on French dressing really gives the wow factor.