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 fashion houses—Dior, Saint Laurent, Chanel—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 recognize, 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, Maje is always a trusted go-to for tweed separates, and we've chosen the best one to grab your attention today. Go through the gallery below to see and shop from the 35 best French fashion brands in existence.
1. See by Chloé
Style Notes: Naturally, 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: If you don't get lured in by one of the many amazing shoes, we'd be surprised.
2. Maison Michel
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: We love this straw hat.
3. Isabel Marant
4. Amélie Pichard
Style Notes: Amélie Pichard is probably one of the most adventurous accessory designers in the entire world, not just France. She has even collaborated with Pamela Anderson, and her pieces are instantly recognizable for their off-kilter heel shapes and wacky finishes.
What to Buy: There's something really classic about Pichard's bags.
5. Claudie Pierlot
Style Notes: Claudie Pierlot does a cute take on contemporary French style. Think sweet bows on blouses, patent miniskirts, or swing coats. It's more youthful than its peers.
What to Buy: Right now, it's a toss-up between bags and the copious number of chic hats.
6. Annelise Michelson
Style Notes: Atelier de Production et Création is loved for its utilitarian basics 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 pieces.
11. Yves Salomon
Style Notes: Since former Valentino designer Maria Grazia Chiuri took over the reins, many people (celebs included) have enjoyed seeing her delicate style echoing through the brand.
What to Buy: The fashion-editor set is smitten with the brand's logo prints. We're partial to this sleek iteration.
Style Notes: Lingerie connoisseurs will be more than aware that Eres makes some of the best-quality underpinnings around. They're subtle and understated but so luxe at the same time.
What to Buy: Bras, bras, bras. We know many who swear by them, no matter their size.
Style Notes: Founded in 1889 by Jeanne Lanvin, the brand has always been a source of fantastic eveningwear. Alber Elbaz stepped down in 2015, when Bouchra Jarrar replaced him but recently departed. The new creative director is Olivier Lapidus, a Balmain Homme alumnus.
What to Buy: A runway piece because it's beyond stunning.
17. Aurélie Bidermann
Style Notes: There's something carefree and spirited about Aurélie's '70s-tinged, trinkety jewelry. From luxe boho festival bracelets to more delicate styles, it's the kind of brand you can mix and match and collect throughout a lifetime.
What to Buy: This beautiful ring.
18. Faith Connexion
Style Notes: Kenzō Takada was born in Japan but founded his label in Paris. These days, it's presided over by Felipe Oliveira Baptista, but there's still an irreverent Frenchness to the sports-luxe trend it does so well.
What to Buy: Sunglasses will do just fine.
21. The Kooples
22. Jérôme Dreyfuss
Style Notes: Jérôme Dreyfuss makes covetable bags and shoes, and he's married to Isabel Marant. He's basically the coolest man in French fashion. Oh, and he names all of the bags after boys—just another reason to buy them in bulk.
What to Buy: More often than not, his creations arrive in easy styles perfect for the weekend, and this bag ticks all the right boxes.
23. L'Autre Chose
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: Right now, we're loving the bags, which sit perfectly outside the relentless trend cycle.
25. Zadig & Voltaire
26. Louis Vuitton
28. Saint Laurent
31. Sonia Rykiel
Style Notes: Midpriced 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 much to choose from, but this dress is particularly lovely.