Top 20 French Luxury Brands You Need to Know About

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If you are looking to inject some Parisian chic or French cool-girl style into your look, then let this guide to French luxury brands help you out.

With Paris often considered to be the fashion capital of the world, it’s not really a surprise that France has produced some of the most luxurious fashion and jewelry brands in the world. In this article, we’ll go over the 20 most important French luxury brands that you should know about and the key pieces you should consider purchasing from each.

 

20 Top French luxury brands

1. Chanel

Top French Luxury Brands: Chanel mini square flap bag

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Perhaps the most famous among haute couture brands, Chanel was founded by Coco Chanel in 1910.

The brand created clothes women wanted to wear, choosing softer fabrics and removing the corset – making women’s fashion more comfortable. The Little Black Dress is one of Chanel’s designs that has since transcended the brand to become an essential in every women’s wardrobe.

Chanel handbags are also world-famous, including the classic Flap Bag, with its leather-threaded chain strap and CC clasp hardware.

 

2. Hermès 

Top French Luxury Brands: Hermes Birkin Bag in grey

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French luxury fashion house, Hermès is the creator of perhaps the most desirable handbag in the world, the Birkin Bag.

The brand, founded by Thierry Hermès, started by creating luxury leather goods before expanding into perfume, jewelry, and ready-to-wear. Martin Margiela and Jean-Paul Gaultier are among the best-known creative directors for the brand.

British actress Jane Birkin complained that her bag was not practical for everyday use – and so the instantly-recognizable Birkin bag was created in 1984.

 

3. Louis Vuitton 

Top French Luxury Brands: Louis Vuitton Neonoe Bag in brown monogram

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The first Louis Vuitton handbag you buy is always a memorable experience – this may be down to LV’s world-renowned reputation and long history as one of France’s top luxury brands. 

Louis Vuitton was founded in 1854, beginning with luggage, then expanded into handbags – quickly becoming a major name in the fashion world even before releasing a fashion collection.

Still to this day, Louis Vuitton monogrammed bags are iconic in their own right, including the Speedy, Neverfull, and more recently the Néonoé bucket bag.

 
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4. Yves Saint Laurent

Top French Luxury Brands: YSL Lou Leather Camera Bag in Grey Khaki

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Yves Saint Laurent founded his eponymous brand in 1962 and it quickly become one of the most beloved French luxury fashion brands around the world.

Yves Saint Laurent, also known as YSL or simply as Saint Laurent, honed his craft at the House of Dior before creating his own brand– introducing some of the key trends, including the tuxedo suit for women, Le Smoking.

Now, many of the Saint Laurent’s handbags are iconic, and we especially love the Lou Matelassé Leather Camera Bag with its gorgeously quilted leather and YSL hardware.
 

5. Christian Dior 

 

Top French Luxury Brands: Christian Dior Micro Lady Dior bag in Rose

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As one of the oldest French luxury brands, every fashion enthusiast needs to own something from Dior.

Christian Dior may be best known for starting the New Look style, which became the most popular look of the 1950s with its narrow waist and full skirts, oozing femininity.

Dior’s famous handbags include the Lady Dior with its recognizable geometric-quilted design and Dior hanging charm – versatile as well with both a top handle and crossbody strap.

 

6. Cartier 

Top French Luxury Brands: Cartier love bracelet

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Louis-François Cartier founded his namesake brand in 1847 in Paris and is now regarded as one of the most prestigious jewelry manufacturers in the world.

Cartier has created some of the most famous, most expensive jewelry and watches you can find.

For example, the Love bracelet is a firm favorite from the brand. It was first introduced in 1969 and is designed to be closed and screwed around your wrist as a symbol of everlasting love.

 

7. Van Cleef and Arpels

Top French Luxury Brands: Van Cleef and Arpels bracelet

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This historic French jewelry brand was founded in 1896 and has since created jewelry for royal style icons from Grace Kelly to Queen Nazli of Egypt.

Van Cleef and Arpels pieces are incredibly detailed and made with the highest quality materials – meaning they are often heirloom pieces and hold their value very well.

This Yellow Gold and Black Onyx bracelet features their Alhambra four-leaf clover design that the brand is very well known for.

 

8. Christian Louboutin

 

Nude Christian Louboutin heels

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Parisian Christian Louboutin founded his footwear brands in 1991, with Princess Caroline of Monaco as his first customer.

Louboutin high heels are of course instantly recognizable because of their red soles – you can never go far wrong with a pair of Pigalle Follies pumps.

More recently, Louboutin has branched out into handbags and cosmetics, including the extravagant Velvet Matte Lip Colors with a beautiful crown cap.
 

9. Givenchy 

 

Black Givenchy Mini Antigona Tote

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Hubert de Givenchy founded his namesake brand in 1950 and quickly began designing some of the most famous silhouettes of the 1950s and 60s.

Givenchy was also well known for his relationship with Audrey Hepburn, creating her costumes for several films.

The brand quickly grew and included handbags in their repertoire – including the practical best-selling Antigona Tote bag. The bag’s unique shape and versatile handles made it an instant hit.

 

10. Chloé

 

Chloe Marcie Satchel in Tan

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When founder Gaby Aghion created the French fashion house, Chloé, in 1952, she offered women a new version of luxury ready-to-wear fashion.

Karl Lagerfeld joined the brand in 1966 and grew the brand to become of the best-known in the 1970s. Stella McCartney and subsequently Phoebe Philo became creative directors– designing clothes of the modern, minimalist woman.

In 2002, Chloe began creating handbags, including the now-famous Marcie bag. This curved, satchel-style bag is spacious yet sophisticated, becoming a favorite among both French and American women.

 

11. Celine
Celine Luggage tote in black

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Celine began in 1945 as a children’s shoe brand before it evolved to become one of modern women’s favorite ready-to-wear and luxury goods brands for chic, office-appropriate looks.

Celine took the fashion industry by storm when Phoebe Philo took over as creative director and offered women elegant and sophisticated fashions with the aim of making them feel powerful.

One of their best-known products from the brand is the beautiful Luggage tote – the recognizable trapeze shape and versatility have made it a staple in many women’s luxury collections.

 

12. Balmain  

 

Black Balmain blazer suit

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Now a beloved brand among models, Balmain is well-known for its blazers and beautiful cocktail dresses. Balmain was founded by Pierre Balmain in 1945 and quickly became known as ‘a king of French fashion’ with his elegant silhouettes.

More recently, Olivier Rousteing has brought the brand into the 21st century but kept the timelessness of the brand – an example of which is the Logo tote bag. This gorgeously minimalist tote will suit every style and remain fashionable for decades.  

 

13. Goyard

 

Black Goyard St Louis Tote

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As predominantly a bag maker, it is only right that you should consider buying the famed St Louis Goyard Tote from Goyard.

The brand dates back to the 1850s when it began making trunks, before expanding into other leather goods.

Goyard is known for its craftsmanship, sophistication, and the iconic Goyardine chevron pattern – as shown in this exquisite St Louis tote with a matching removable pouch.

 

14. Longchamp 

Longchamp Le Pliage small tote in red

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Longchamp was founded in 1948 by Jean Cassegrain, but it wasn’t until 1971 they began designing handbags.

Longchamp quickly became known for their use of nylon, and soon after a nylon luggage collection, they created the now-world famous Le Pliage bag.

This bag is essential for all women – it is spacious yet lightweight and foldable, and has now been created in a whole variety of different colors, sizes, and prints, meaning there is an option for everyone.

 

15. Jacquemus 

 

Black Jacquemus mini satchel in black

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Jacquemus has quickly solidified its name among the top luxury brands worldwide, even though the brand might just be the youngest one around.

Founded by Simon Porte Jacquemus, the eponymous brand got its start in 2009 when Simon was just 20 years old. His designs, often inspired by his life in the south of France, quickly grew in popularity, and in 2012 he showed his collection at Paris Fashion Week.

Jacquemus is relatively new to leather goods, but his Le Chiquito Noeud Satchel Bag became an instant hit and was seen as an accessory for countless models and actresses. Surprisingly, you can fit quite a lot in this adorable little bag.

 

16. Isabel Marant

 

Fuchsia jacket by Isabel Marant

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In 1994, Isabel Marant launched her eponymous brand and soon began showing her collections at Paris Fashion Week.

Marant’s label quickly became known for creating clothes that have a French-cool-girl vibe, allowing anyone, anywhere in the world to bring this style into their own lives. At first, the brand was only available in Paris, but recently opened stores in New York and Los Angeles.

The brand is particularly famous for its jackets, coats, and boots.

 

17. Lanvin

 

Beautiful brown cape dress

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As one of the oldest French fashion houses, Lanvin has been around since 1889, after it was founded by Jeanne Lanvin.

The Lanvin brand grew in the early 20th century, opening home décor, menswear, and perfume stores. The brand was transformed under the guidance of the legendary Alber Elbaz from 2001 to 2016 to become a world-renowned name once again.

Nowadays, Lanvin is best known for its perfumes, but we also urge you to take a look at their collection of sneakers and beautiful evening dresses, like the one featured above.

 

18. Thierry Mugler

 

Mugler black blazer outfit

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Although Mugler is best known for his best-selling Angel perfume, the brand started out as an avant-garde fashion house in the 70s.

The brand’s clothing is best known for its hyper-feminine and sometimes even theatrical grandeur, with interesting shapes and silhouettes all around.

 

19. Sandro

 

Beige belted Sandro dress

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Sandro’s founder Evelyne Chetrite was inspired by her childhood in Morocco and teenage years in Paris to start her own label in 1984.

Sandro mixes masculine with feminine, and a dash of Parisian elegance to create her womenswear collections. Sandro may be your perfect brand if you are looking for a more affordable French fashion brand with sophisticated designs.

 

20. Courrèges 

 

Courrèges outfit with white blazer

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André Courrèges launched his own fashion house in 1961 and instantly created the futurist look emblematic of the 1960s.

He was known for geomantic, modern designs and his little white ankle books that quickly evolved into the go-go boot. Courrèges also loved to include unconventional materials into his couture collections, such as PVC and plastic.

If you are looking to get your hands on a slice of this iconic French designer, then look no further than the Logo-Print Crossbody bag.

We hope you enjoyed our roundup of the best French luxury brands! Did we miss any key brands? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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