When it comes to fashion, we often hear the words “Dress like a French woman.” Well, this does not come as a surprise at all because French women are indeed stylish and known to have an exquisite taste in fashion. Talking about style, the French indeed are a league of its own. When you see it, you would easily tell apart a French fashion from what is not.
Just like there are French ladies and gentlemen who are rocking the streets with their effortless and distinct style, there are the French clothing brands that make all these things possible. These brands have been significant not only for French men and women, but also to many men and women from different corners of the world. Of course, there are so many fashion lines in the market, but today we round up to 28 French clothing brands every fashionista should know. Note that these brands are not listed in a specific order. So have fun checking them one by one
Founded in 1994, Isabel Marant is one of the leading French fashion houses, which embodies the feminine and chic Parisian style. Started as a brand that offers jerseys and knitwear, Isabel Marant is now known for its minimalist with bohemian aesthetic. The designer herself, Isabel Marant, consistently creates stylish and comfortable clothes that she herself would love to wear. This brand has dressed up Katie Holmes and Anne Hathaway, among others.
Men and women who are into minimalist style clothing would find a great friend in Atelier de Production et de Creation (A.P.C.). The brand is a brainchild of designer Jean Touitou back in 1988, a deviating move from the designer during the years of maximalism. A.P.C feature tomboy-chic clothing pieces that appeal to many girls because of clean lines and simple patterns. When trends just easily come and go, A.P.C is here to stay.
Pigalle is a home to cool street wear fashion apparel. The brand was established by Stephane Ashpool in 2008, which bears curated collection of street wear, sneakers, and other elusive Japanese brands. It is heavily inspired by both the skating and hip-hop industry. It previously collaborated with Nike to create limited edition of LeBron 12 Elite sneakers.
In 2005, two French brothers created a world-class brand that translates luxury and casual wear in modern female silhouette. Arik and Laurent Bitton came from the music industry, but they have picked another medium to channel their art: fashion. Their fashion pieces are distinct for their strong rock-chic personalities. Among the stylish women chanced upon wearing IRO include Kate Moss and Gwyneth Paltrow.
A French family is always expected to be a stylish family. This is why there are clothing brands that specializes in children’s clothing and one of them is Petit-Bateau. It was founded in as early as 1893 and the name was taken from the nursery rhyme ‘Maman les p’tits bateaux qui vont sur l’eau ont-ils des jambes?’ It is a go-to brand for its playful and young vibe just right for the innocent and vibrant kids. The brand banks and emphasizes on quality and comfort.
Poyz & Pirlz
Giving you an experience of French street wear is the brand Poyz & Pirlz, a Paris-based fashion retailer that offers a collection of staple garments that include t-shirts and hoodies. The brand comes up with newlines every three months and release new items in a limited number, some at a hundred. Cool men and women will absolutely love to hit the streets in Poyz & Pirlz.
Yves Saint Laurent
Founded in 1961 by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge, the house has grown into one of the leading French houses in the world known for its modern and sophisticated fashion pieces. Yves Saint Laurent is globally acclaimed being the first to introduce the concept of luxury prêt-à-porter in the fashion industry.
Vetements is a French “design collective” and brand founded in 2009. Vetements is a French word, which means “clothes”. Pretty like its brand name, the clothes they create are likewise straightforward. The brand is lead by Demna Gvasalia along with other designers who have remained anonymous. The Vetements is a controversial brand because of its down-to-earth aesthetic at an extravagant price.
Designing exquisite pieces since 1975 is Agnès b. The brand was founded by Agnes Trouble who designs clothes that a person could play with. The brand features timeless fashion apparel, something that you can wear multiple times and even wear growing up. She started with women’s wear but has expanded to include men’s wear even dressing up male icons including David Bowie. Today, the selection includes jewelry, sunglasses, watches, and accessories. Agnès b. is known for snap cardigans, long tees, and streamlined suits.
French fashion is known for its minimalist and effortless look. AMI, a brand founded by designer Alexandre Mattiussi in 2011, shows just that. AMI, or ‘friend’ in English, offers youthful fashion apparels for men incorporating chic and casual wear. The selection builds up an effortless wardrobe that goes beyond the trend. AMI now has six boutiques in Paris alone, and some more in selected countries.
Popular for its iconic green crocodile logo, Lacoste is a French clothing line established in 1933. It is a sports brand founded by Rene Lacoste and Andre Gillier. It is a leading fashion brand that shows passion for game in distinct French elegance.
Charvet Place Vendome
Charvet Place Vendome, or simply Charvet, is popular being the first ever shirt shop in the world after it was founded in 1838. The brand is a high-end tailor and shirt maker that designs and produces ready-to-wear apparels like blouses, shirts, pajamas, suits, and ties. It has then supplied exquisite pieces to prestigious personalities like the presidents and royalties. The brand is almost synonymous to quality because of the made of its products.
Armor Lux is a French clothing label known for its ready-to-wear apparel for workmen and sailors. The brand takes cues from the maritime culture of Brittany as embodied by its timeless and exceptional aesthetic. The clothes speak volumes of quality and originality as they continue to explore and mix and match various fabrics and textures. It caters to both men and women with Breton-striped shirts as the most iconic.
This next clothing brand is not your ordinary French clothing line. Well first, it does not sound French, but that is because it was founded by a Japanese designer Kenzo Takada in 1970. While born in Japan, Kenzo moved to Paris to work on his dreams. The brand’s aesthetic is a combination of boldness and elegance. It embodies east-meets-west designs featuring colorful and fun prints, florals, and textures. KENZO now includes ladies, menswear, fragrance, and skin care.
A paradise for the chic and sophisticated women out there, Tara Jarmon is a French eponymous label of Canadian designer, Tara Jarmon. The brand pays attention to its cut, form, use of colors, and details, as these are what make a French woman standout. The brand was launched in 1986 and came with feminine and modern chic apparels even up to this day. It combines playful and vibrant colors and prints to its collection, which is available in over 50 boutiques and 500 specialty stores across the globe.
Chanel, took the industry by storm with its chequered bags. It was found by Gabrielle Chanel or popularly known as Coco Chanel in 1909. It features a wide selection of luxurious items from bags, shoes, suits, blouses, and evening gowns. It is likewise famous for its Chanel No. 5 fragrance and tweed jackets.
Comptoir Des Cotonniers
Comptoir Des Cotonniers is a French clothing label that caters to chic and sophisticated women with its collection of essential pieces a woman needs in her closet. The brand opened its first store in 1995 and since then, it has created elegant, easy-to-wear pieces for women that would show and fit her personality and style. Comptoir Des Cotonniers is known to reinvent its iconic and staple pieces that include a denim jacket, white shirt, chinos, knit pieces, breton top, parka, and the iconic “trompe l’oeil” piece.
French men are also remarkably stylish and they wear their fashion effortlessly. Well, one brand that these men love is Façonnable. It was founded in 1950 in Nice, France by Jean Goldberg. In 1950s, Goldberg was a dressmaker for the stars and has been creating cutting-edge luxury items that reflect what is quintessentially French. The brand is most popular for its selection of cool and urbane suits and shirts. A Façonnable look was so relevant that in 1987, eyewear maker, ODLM, collaborated with the brand to create sunglasses and frames that would fit a Façonnable man. From the ownership of the Façonnable family, the same has been acquired by the M1 group.
A French luxury brand, Hermes is a global brand, which was established in 1837 by Thierry Hermes. It offers a broad range of ready-to-wear items like clothing, accessories, and now includes perfume. Hermes is popular for its selection of bags, which are already considered as status symbols.
In 2011, co-founder of BWGH launched another fashion line in the name of Harmony Clothing, a brand that provides minimalist and elegant clothing day in and day out. The brand features fashion items that make up a timeless, creative, and contemporary collection from deconstructed staples. Harmony desires to create luxury that is grounded on traceability and quality. It is governed by its highest attention to cuts, print, and details.
Louis Vuitton is among the most, if not the most, respected designer brands in the world. It was founded in 1854 with its roots in France. This fashion house is known for its luxury leather goods like clothing and shoes. Known for its iconic beige and brown pattern and LV monogram, it is represented by some of the top-paid singers and actors like Jennifer Lopez, Emma Stone, and Madonna.
A high-end French clothing line, Monsieur Lacenaire specializes in knit menswear since 2011 by Garance Broca. The brand was heavily inspired by the humor and wit of poet and high-society criminal Monsieur Pierre François Lacenaire. Its collection consists of masculine and chic knitwear of different colors made from quality fabrics like the 100% Peruvian superfine alpaca wool and Italian merino.
Etudes Studio is a collective that does visual culture at a different level operating from menswear to publishing. The brand was founded in 2012 and while it has its roots in France, the founders would claim they are not from anywhere particular but the world. They are known for their play with patterns, which are mostly designed in-house. Etudes Studio’s silhouettes are androgynous that is in-between high fashion and streetwear.
In 1945, a couture house was established by Carmen de Tomasso or Marie Louise-Carven in Paris. She was famous for her designs specifically created for petite women and for her use of lightweight materials like lace. Apart from this, she was also remarkable for the use of exotic fabric like batik and African wax cloth. Today, Carven is about chic pieces that are perfect for any proportion.
Drôle de Monsieur
This French clothing brand, Drôle de Monsieur, was established in 2014 by two friends who wanted to create fresh and modern clothing in the eye of a minimalist. They employ quality materials and natural tones to create timeless and stylish streetwear collection distinct for its clean lines, modern designs with retro aesthetic, and excellent detailing.
Who knew that a family-owned tobacco business can grow to become a luxury leather goods empire? Back in the late 1940s and the 1950s, Jean Cassegrain led a tobacco manufacturer that also sold leather accessories. As the years went by, his company’s high-quality leathers grew increasingly popular, and from mere leather-bound pipes came wallets, purses, bags, and briefcases. Today, that brand is now called Longchamp, one of the biggest leather companies in the retail world.