The top French fashion brands, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel and Dior, are world famous. Many lesser known fashion houses maintain the French touch mixing elegance and design. Great new brands are created every year and justify the reputation of Paris as the world's fashion capital. French shoe brands. French handbag brands. More French fashion facts.
Louis Vuitton was founded in 1854 as a luxury luggage producer. Today, Louis Vuitton is above all famous for its handbags. The LV monogram appears on most of its products, ranging from luxury trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes, watches, jewelry, accessories, sunglasses and books. Louis Vuitton is one of the world's leading international fashion houses. Louis Vuitton has more than 460 stores worldwide.
Louis Vuitton flagship store is at 101 Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris. This multistorey store is a must do for fashion lovers and shoppers in the City of Lights. Louis Vuitton has a 700 m² museum near Paris. On the premises dating back to 1860, you can discover exceptional collectibles related with the brand. Museum web site.
Hermes began in 1837 as a producer of horse harnesses and bridles, which it still produces today. Hermes is nowadays associated with supreme craftsmanship and elegant designs. The brand is deeply entrenched as a quality and refinement brand. It has always shunned mass production, manufacturing lines and outsourcing.
Each product coming out reflects the hard work put into it. All Hermes products are made almost entirely in France in workshops placing strong emphasis on quality. They are entirely manufactured by hand by only one craftsman. Hermes is now a full-blown fashion house.
Its most famous products are Carre Hermes, the most famous silk scarves in the world.
The two iconic Hermes stores in Paris are 17, rue de Sevres 75006 and 24, rue du Faubourg Saint Honore 75008.
Chanel is a French high fashion house that specializes in haute couture and ready-to-wear clothes. In her youth before WW2, the founder Gabrielle Chanel gained the nickname Coco from her time as a singer.
As a fashion designer, Coco Chanel catered to women’s taste for elegance in dress, with blouses and suits, trousers and dresses, and jewelry of simple design, that replaced the opulent, over-designed, and constrictive clothes and accessories of 19th-century fashion.
The Chanel products have been personified by fashion models and actresses, including Inèe de La Fressange, Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Vanessa Paradis, Nicole Kidman and Marilyn Monroe
The two iconic Chanel stores in Paris are 31, rue Cambon 75001 and 51, avenue Montaigne 75008.
In 1946, Christian Dior founded the Dior fashion house. The designer opened his first boutique at the now legendary 30 avenue Montaigne in Paris. The avant-garde designer gave birth to a new silhouette: delicate shoulders and a high chest with a belted waist and full skirts that fell to the mid-calf. By 1957, the Christian Dior fashion house provided more than half of French haute couture exports.
Christian Dior died suddenly in 1957 of a heart attack. Twenty-one year-old Yves Saint Laurent took over the Parisian label and after only having worked at Dior for two years, the young designer released his first collection as creative director to rave reviews. Famous designers have been working at Dior, including John Galliano.
The flagship store of Dior is located at 30, avenue Montaigne 75008. Perfumes are sold 5, rue de Babylone 75006.
To discover at best French fashion while in Paris, experience a luxury fashion tour escorted by en expert Parisian stylist.
Meet your guide on Place Colette near Louvre Museum. Visit Palais Royal. Built in 1781, the place has been the first shopping center of the city. See the first designer boutiques that gave Paris its fashion fame. A special atmosphere emerges from this beautiful setting characterized by the arcades surrounding the garden of the Palace.
Explore Rue Saint-Honoré where the crème de la crème of iconic french fashion houses are present. Hear about Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent. Discover luxury brands, such as Ungaro, Balmain, Lanvin, Chloe, Balenciaga, Hermès. Visit Place Vendôme where Boucheron, Cartier or Cleef & Arpels have settled down their luxury boutiques. Hear fascinating anecdotes about some of these high-end jewelries located on this royal square.
Our selection of what we consider the best brands, the brands we love and wear in Paris, is not limitative.
Cyrillus is designing perfect classical French apparel of prime quality. Their well made clothes are ideal for families with children. Everybody can wear Cyrillus.
French fashion brand Armor Lux is known for the originality of its collections inspired by the ocean in Brittany. They provide a mix of quality and tradition.
Tara Jarmon clothes are adapted to elegant and dynamic women. The Tara Jarmon French fashion brand is the embodiment of feminine simplicity. You will find fantastic evening dresses in their stores.
Comptoir des Cotonniers is a very trendy French fashion brand focusing on girls and their mothers. They have high quality clothes at reasonable prices.
Don't miss the inventive king of sportswear, Lacoste, famous for the green crocodile on their polos.
For children, we recommend Petit-Bateau, a traditional quality French brand, and cheaper Du Pareil au Meme.
Well informed Parisians know Sezane is the trend as far as young woman fashion is concerned. As they say, Sezane offers a different kind of fashion. 100% on-line, no intermediaries, straight from the most beautiful workshops to the customer. Original creations, an obsession with the perfect cut, the quest for the most magnificent fabrics. Sezane proposes four main collections each year which are completed each month with new "capsule collections."
Their "Apartement" is a unique concept, more a showroom than a store. You can try on clothes and order online with 48 hour home delivery. Not the most practical, but the place is crowded with young parisians. This is Paris.
L'Appartement 1, rue Saint-Fiacre 75002 Paris. From Wednesday to Saturday, from 11am to 8pm
Sezane web site
Paris women have a reputation for elegance. This is justified and you will see that in Paris. One of the french attributes of elegance is the handbag women carry in all circumstances.
As most women buy at least a handbag each year, a number of typically French handbag brands are competing fiercely to provide the best quality and stay at the top of what is fashionable in Paris.
Gerard Darel is famous for their lovely and high quality handbags. See other french handbag brands.
Christian Louboutin is the most extraordinary French shoe designer. His footwear incorporates shiny, red-lacquered soles that have become his signature.Louboutin helped bring stilettos back into fashion in the 1990s and 2000s. The designer's professed goal has been to "make a woman look sexy, beautiful, to make her legs look as long as [he] can".
Among the French brands of shoes, we also recommend Jonak and their boots, casual Lacoste shoes.
Comptoir des cotonniers
Du Pareil au meme
Paul & Joe
Zadig & Voltaire
The luxury brands, Chanel, Dior, Hermes, Vuitton, have their main stores in Avenue Montaigne and rue du Faubourg Saint Honore. The lesser known French fashion brands which maintain the French style combining elegance and design can be found in Paris Department Stores, Paris Shopping Malls and in Le Marais Paris shopping streets. Champs-Elysées shops are the largest and include stores of the most important international fashion brands.
Monoprix retail stores have excellent French fashion at reasonable prices. Check list of Monoprix Paris stores.
During the reign of King Louis XIV between the mid 1600s to early 1700s, there was a significant boost in the country’s economic power as he ceased the import of foreign goods.
The King encouraged French industries to become the largest producers of luxury fabrics such as silk, lace, ribbons and other fine textiles and export them throughout Europe. French fashion consequently rose to prominence and recognition on a worldwide scale.
Today, Paris is home to one of the largest textile industries in the world, working with numerous couture design houses and manufacturing facilities.
French designers continue to experiment with fashion, using different styles and numerous textiles, while starting new trends that influence future generations of the fashion industry, as well as fashion devotees.