Birthplace of Coco Chanel, Brigitte Bardot, Pierre Balmain and countless other fashion icons, France boasts a long heritage of haute couture, boutiques, ateliers and fashion prestige in a larger sense. Today, the tradition lives on, as streetwear labels and contemporary menswear imprints are upholding France's status as a global fashion hub.
You've already heard of fashion houses like Dior and Louis Vuitton, but our latest list of the best French fashion brands runs through skate labels, streetwear brands and menswear imprints that you should know.
Once you're done here, be sure to check out Italian clothing brands and streetwear brands, too. Or, if you are simply on the hunt for some of the best brands for your rotation, be sure to stop by our top clothing brands in the world hub.
Check out the best French brands in 2023
Boiling down Carne Bollente's international success to that old adage "sex sells" is a lazy way to view the brand. It is a celebration of sex in all of its forms, faces, and shades. No-frills wardrobe basics act as a canvas for the Parisian brand's scenic and vivid sexual illustrations. Delving past Carne Bollente's explosive imagery, you'll find straightforward streetwear that easily works within any style choice or wardrobe.
Lemaire is a master of understated luxury. Launched in 1991 by Christophe Lemaire and his life partner Sarah-Linh Tran, Lemaire has helped reinvigorate our interest in minimalism due to the brand's precise balance of quality fabrics and design. At Lemaire, you will find artisanship, neutral-toned garment pants, croissant-shaped leather-trimmed bags, silk blouson shirts, suede leather jackets, and luxuriously comfortable balaclavas. So if you appreciate a simpler approach to fashion but still need those quality pieces, Lemaire is an excellent place to start.
Jean Paul Gaultier
Men's skirts, navy shirts, armored corsets from the banlieue to haute couture, Jean-Paul Gaultier, the enfant terrible of fashion, redefined beauty and disrupted gender boundaries with freedom and irreverence impossible to ignore. Simply put, he's your designer's favorite designer.
A self-taught fashion designer initiated into sewing by his grandmother in the suburbs of Paris, Jean-Paul Gaultier had Pierre Cardin as his master, and in 1976 he launched his own Jean Paul Gaultier label. With his brand, he began his very personal unabashed reflection on beauty and gender, on diversity and inclusion, in ways clearly ahead of their time.
At the fashion brand Casablanca you are either on your way to your family home in Morocco or have just stepped off the plane from your vibrant summer in Marrakesh. Casablanca's design language centers around elevated sportswear and athleisure essentials but with huge influences from creative director Charaf Tajer's close relationship with Parisian streetwear.
Clothing is equally vibrant, building a cult following for the label's selection of high-spirited graphics and lux materials across its selection of sports jackets, lounge trousers, and comfy knitwear. Casablanca's clothing feels laid back, comfortable, and accessible. Yet, those who wear Casablanca are very much the life of the party.
Salomon is a French brand known for its trail running sneakers. The brand is highly popular among sneakerheads, gorp-core enthusiasts, athletes, and celebrities for its combination of technology, functionality, and maximalist designs. Salomon sneakers are known for their comfort and reliability, as well as features such as Gore-Tex bodies, secure lacing systems, lightweight feel, and robust cushioning.
The brand, which was started 70 years ago in Annecy, a small town in the French Alps, originally built a name for itself with its commitment to innovative ski equipment. Despite this, the brand has become one of the most beloved labels in streetwear, due to its versatility and high-quality craftsmanship.
KAR L'Art De L'Automobile
Founder Arthur has turned his love for the automotive into a vibrant fashion brand and a loyal community. The French brand blends rap culture with art, music, car design, and, of course, fashion to create a label that looks good and feels experiential. Clothing by the brand wouldn't feel out of place behind the wheel of a Ferrari Enzo, on the Circuit de Monaco, or during a fast-paced Parisian night. If you love French fashion and have an appreciation for racing motifs, KAR L'Art De L'Automobile absolutely makes sense in your rotation.
Fashion's sweetheart and viral sensation Jacquemus has used his medium to transport us to the French countryside during the summer and the South of France during the winter. Whether you've encountered the brand through its fashion shows, held in picturesque lavender and wheat fields, or seen Simon Porte Jacquemus's creations up close, it's clear that the designer has tapped into something special. Jacquemus pours his deeply personal story straight into his clothing while pulling from South France's rich art, tourism, and fashion history. His garments are unmistakably French — channeling Provencial romance with beautifully tailored, and luxuriously understated pieces.
Jacquemus's bright beach-friendly oversized shirts, massive raffia hats, geometric knitwear, farm-ready workwear, and cheeky leather accessories have all become a mainstay on our wishlists.
Y/Project, as we all know it today, is a brand that probably would never have existed without the figure of Glenn Martens. The founding of the actual brand, actually, took place in 2011 by designer Yohan Sarfaty (from whose name the Y is derived), who sadly passed away only two years later. It is at this point that Glenn takes over as Creative Director: we are in Paris and the year is 2013.
Y/Project is distinguished by its elaborate design, often consisting of a layering of fabrics that plays with different symmetries. It thus manages to combine the energy of streetwear with the classic elegance of silhouettes, shaping feminine and masculine tendencies until they merge into an intriguing unisex look.
Balmain is one of those French brands that everyone has been obsessed with at some point. The fashion house was one of the first brands to flirt with the notion of juxtaposing high fashion and streetwear in the 2010s. But Balmain has a deep and rich history that extends far beyond military-inspired jackets and biker denim. Pierre Balmain founded the brand in 1945 and would play a central role in revolutionizing French fashion by breaking away from conservative designer tropes and embracing curve-enhancing silhouettes. Even today, those themes are still present throughout each new spring and winter collection. Balmain is beloved by celebrities, musicians, artists, and designers worldwide.
Longchamp has emerged as an essential to anyone interested in owning a handbag, and for a good reason. The French brand makes some of the best quality luxury accessories globally at an accessible price. Longchamp was founded in 1948 by Jean Cassegrain. Interestingly, the label started producing luxury leather pipes before transitioning into small leather goods. Today, the brand produces leather and canvas bags, ready-to-wear, shoes, and stylish luggage for those weekend trips to the French Riveria. If you want to get your hands on a Longchamp, you can't go wrong with the Le Pilage Tote Bag.
Started in 1994 by Isabel Marant, her eponymous brand is one of those labels absolutely adored by fashion insiders. Why? Marant's clothing is incredibly wearable, with the designer's motto being, "You shouldn't want others to wear things that you won't wear yourself." Marant's clothing is simple and minimalistic, balancing rock chic with boho style cues. It is easy to build a wardrobe around Marant's quality staples.
Named after Paris's notoriously raunchy Quartier Pigalle neighborhood, Pigalle is the brainchild of designer Stephane Ashpool. While the brand's more accessible, streetwear-oriented offerings are championed by hip-hop artists and skaters, Pigalle's runway offerings air on the other end of the spectrum, often highly avant-garde in nature.
Founded by designer Hubert de Givenchy in 1952, the Givenchy is another beloved fashion brand that has walked the line between timeless luxury and forward thinking streetwear. From the iconic "little black dress" worn by Audrey Hepburn to the streetwear-inspired collections of the current Creative Director, Givenchy's designs are characterized by their attention to detail, use of high-quality materials and a bold yet elegant aesthetic. Givenchy's collections include clothing, footwear, jewelry, and accessories for both men and women, and the brand is renowned for its haute couture collections, which are hand-made to order and feature the finest materials and craftsmanship.
Givenchy's designs are favored by fashion icons, celebrities, and those who appreciate the finer things in life. The brand's aesthetic is often described as daring, yet refined and sophisticated, making it the perfect choice for those who want to make a statement with their style and stand out from the crowd. With a rich heritage and a commitment to innovation, Givenchy continues to be a leader in the luxury fashion industry and one of the most sought-after high-end brands among the fashion-conscious audience.
Chanel is a French luxury fashion brand founded by Coco Chanel in 1909. It is considered a legend in the fashion industry, known for its elegance, style and sophistication. The brand has created some of the most iconic and recognizable products in the fashion world, such as the iconic Chanel suit and the famous Chanel No. 5 perfume. Chanel's aesthetic is characterized by its clean lines, timeless designs, and high-quality materials. The brand's collections include clothing, footwear, jewelry, and accessories for both men and women, with a strong focus on haute couture collections, which are hand-made to order, featuring the finest materials and craftsmanship.
Chanel's designs are favored by fashion icons and celebrities alike, and its products are highly sought after by those who appreciate the finer things in life. With a strong heritage and a commitment to innovation, Chanel continues to be a leader in the fashion industry and one of the most respected luxury brands in the world.
Hoka is on everyone's wishlist in 2023. The French-based running brand that has gained popularity for its performance footwear and strategic collaborations with brands like Opening Ceremony and Engineered Garments. The brand was founded in 2009 by Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, former employees of Salomon, with the goal of creating a shoe that would allow them to run downhill faster. Hoka's early success is due to its focus on creating shoes that are well-cushioned, lightweight and provide stability on the trails.
Over the years, the brand has capitalized on the trend of chunky sneakers with popular models like the Clifton, Bondi, and Mafate and recently, it has also introduced more fashion-conscious sneakers into its collection which are easy to pair with different outfits. Hoka is a favorite among sneaker enthusiasts and is known for its quality and comfort.
Dior is another legendary French luxury fashion brand. Founded in 1946 by the iconic designer Christian Dior, the brand has become synonymous with the highest standards of style and craftsmanship. From its timeless "New Look" silhouette to the contemporary designs of the current Creative Director, Dior's collections are characterized by their attention to detail and use of the finest materials. Dior's collections include clothing, footwear, jewelry, and accessories for both men and women, and the brand is renowned for its haute couture collections, which are hand-made to order and feature the finest materials and craftsmanship.
Dior's designs are favored by fashion icons, celebrities and those who appreciate the finer things in life. The brand's iconic "Lady Dior" bag and J'Adior slogan has become a symbol of luxury, style and elegance. With a rich heritage and a commitment to innovation, Dior continues to be a leader in the luxury fashion industry, creating timeless and iconic designs that are respected and coveted by fashion enthusiasts around the world.
KENZO is a French luxury fashion brand known for its bold colors and minimalist shapes. The brand is synonymous with its iconic Tiger print tees and sweaters, which have become a must-have for fashion enthusiasts worldwide. Kenzo clothing is considered luxury quality at affordable prices. The brand's collections feature bold flower prints, boxlike shirts, easy-going sweaters, and loose-fitting cargo pants. With the new head designer NIGO, the brand continues to extend its legacy with a fresh wave of streetwear-friendly wardrobe-builders that cater to a wide audience. Kenzo's clothing, especially their statement sweaters, have become a popular choice for those looking to add a touch of boldness and warmth to their winter wardrobe.
A.P.C. has carved out a niche for itself in the fashion world as a brand that offers luxurious wardrobe essentials for everyday. Founded in 1987 by Jean Touitou, the Parisian brand was created as a direct response to the over-designed and over-hyped seasonal fashion trends that often plague the fashion world. For 30 plus years, Touitou has been committed to showing the world that functional basics in high quality fabrics are the true epitome of luxury.
Standing for Atelier de Production et de Création, A.P.C.'s true claim to fame is its use of Japanese raw selvedge denim in its jeans — denim that has not been wet, processed, or manipulated in any way before being purchased. This gives wearers the opportunity to control how their jeans age, something that has become an obsession among the brand's fans. Though the French brand has widely expanded its offerings, A.P.C.'s classic denim is still one of its bestsellers.
Maison Margiela is a Belgian/French luxury fashion house, founded in 1988 by Martin Margiela. It is known for its avant-garde, deconstructivist designs and meticulous tailoring. The brand's aesthetic, from its inception, has been characterized by its ability to reinvent classic garments in a manner that is emotionally and culturally resonant. The brand's approach is to challenge the norm by juxtaposing its unparalleled attention to detail with its deconstructed aesthetic.
This aesthetic is still very much a part of the brand today, taking form in imaginative, playful, and sometimes ironic designs. While more subtle design choices, like the now-iconic reverse boxed stitching, have become a symbol of quiet confidence and exclusivity. Margiela is considered one of the most important and influential brands in avant-garde fashion, past and present.
Celine is a luxury fashion brand that has established itself as a go-to destination for those seeking to elevate their streetwear style. Founded in 1945 by designer Celine Vipiana, the brand has built a reputation for its unwavering commitment to quality, attention to detail and use of high-end materials. From the iconic leather goods to the contemporary collections of the current Creative Director, Celine's designs are characterized by their minimalist yet edgy aesthetic, making them the perfect choice for fashion-conscious individuals who want to stand out.
The brand's haute couture collections are particularly noteworthy, as they are hand-made to order and feature only the finest materials and craftsmanship. These collections are a true reflection of Celine's dedication to luxury and attention to detail.
Based between Paris and New York, Études Studio operates as a creative collective, established in 2012. Études designs and produces men's contemporary fashion, while producing limited edition books and providing creative consulting. Over the past few years, Études introduced a new "É" capsule collection.
Balenciaga is a luxury fashion brand founded in 1919 by Cristobal Balenciaga. Known for its avant-garde and innovative designs, the French brand has a reputation for pushing the boundaries of fashion and creating trendsetting pieces. The brand's collections include clothing, footwear, jewelry, and accessories for both men and women, characterized by bold and unique aesthetic, experimentation with new materials and silhouettes.
Balenciaga's aesthetic is often described as edgy and unconventional, making it a popular choice among fashion-conscious millennials who want to make a statement with their style. With a strong commitment to innovation and heritage, Balenciaga continues to be a leader in the fashion industry, consistently producing highly sought-after collections.
Alexandre Mattiussi's AMI was launched in 2011 in Paris, with the aim of offering a casual and chic aesthetic to discerning shoppers. Mattiussi's mature vision has won favor with some of the best boutiques around the world, and his seasonal offerings continue to remain amongst the most understated coming out of the French capital. AMI also operates three Paris boutiques and one in Tokyo.
At some point, you have wanted some LV in your rotation. One of the most iconic and desired brands in the world, Louis Vuitton is very much responsible for the modern luxury landscape. Louis Vuitton, also known as LV, was founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The brand started as a luxury trunk maker, and it quickly became the go-to brand for the elite and fashionable travelers of the time, and it continued to innovate and expand its offerings over the years, eventually becoming one of the most well-known and respected luxury fashion houses in the world.
Louis Vuitton is a luxury fashion brand that has had a number of accomplished designers serving as its creative director over the years. These designers, including Marc Jacobs, Nicolas Ghesquière, and the late Virgil Abloh, have brought their own unique perspectives and designs to the brand and have helped to elevate Louis Vuitton's reputation as a fashion leader.
Each of these designers have brought their own vision and aesthetic to the brand, which has helped to keep the brand relevant, fresh, and exciting. Louis Vuitton is known for its luxury leather goods, ready-to-wear clothing, shoes, watches, jewelry, and accessories, and these designers have helped to bring the brand even more recognition and success in the fashion industry.
A near-perfect example of Parisian chic executed with modern sensibilities, French label Maison Kitsuné got its start in 2002. Music constitutes a significant portion of the brand's creative wheelhouse, as Kitsuné holds a large catalog of guest mixtapes and exclusive releases. This year Kitsuné aligned with British footwear brand Reebok for a well-appointed collection of sneakers and baseball-inspired gear.
Founded in 1933, Lacoste is the namesake of tennis professional René Lacoste. While the brand is likely best-known for its signature polo shirts, Lacoste also includes fragrances, footwear, accessories and luggage as part of its seasonal offerings. The brand's green crocodile logo was assigned after René made a bet with colleague Pierre Gillou, where he had promised René a suitcase in crocodile skin if he won a game that was important for the team. In the end, René didn´t win the game but a journalist covered the anecdote, writing "The young Lacoste did not win the leather bag, but fought like a real crocodile."
Merging a modern, minimalist approach together with a keen sense of ergonomics, Côte&Ciel has certainly carved out a place for its distinct accessory range. Although Côte&Ciel is best known for its backpacks, the brand's catalog also includes small pouches, electronics sleeves, wallets and other small accessories. Côte&Ciel’s founders also work closely with Apple on its accessories divisions and support the fashion designer Damir Doma.
Carrying over where the relatively short-lived Brooklyn We Go Hard (BWGH) left off, David Obadia's efforts with Harmony continued through 2015. Bolstered by a flagship store in the brand's hometown of Paris, the brand's offerings have remained on the radar of minimalist menswear fans.
Drôle de Monsieur
Started by two friends with a shared vision of modernism and minimalism, French label Drôle de Monsieur unwrapped their debut collection earlier this year, based around the motto "Not from Paris, madame." The label was created with the goal of sharing products that merge simplicity, timelessness and efficiency.
Lanvin is a luxury fashion brand with a rich history dating back to 1889. Founded by Jeanne Lanvin, it is one of the oldest French fashion houses still in existence. The brand is known for its elegant and refined designs, which are often characterized by intricate details and luxurious fabrics. Its collections include clothing, footwear, and accessories for both men and women, and the brand has a reputation for creating timeless, classic pieces.
The brand's aesthetic is often described as feminine, romantic, and elegant. Lanvin is also recognized for its haute couture collections, which are hand-made to order, featuring the finest materials and craftsmanship. Over the years, Lanvin has been led by some of the most talented designers in the fashion industry and it continues to be a leader in the luxury fashion world, known for its timeless and elegant style, favored by fashion connoisseurs and celebrities alike.
Paradoxe Paris is a French fashion brand known for its timeless designs heavily inspired by the 90s. The brand takes popular underground trends and reworks them by playing with cuts, materials, color palettes, and volumes to create eye-catching wardrobe statement pieces. Paradoxe Paris's collections feature bold black bush denim, distressed dark t-shirts, and wide-leg exotic track pants, designed to be universally worn and accessible to everyone. The clothing is made in France from French-sourced fabrics in their Parisian workshop. The brand's focus on high-quality craftsmanship and timeless designs makes it a strong player in the fashion industry.
Helas is a French apparel company that was formed in 2011 by three skateboarders, Lucas Puig, Clem Brunel and Steph Khou. The trios combined strengths in design, skateboarding and networking have lead this skater-owned outfit to quickly become a globally recognised skate imprint.