Bastille Day is a French national holiday celebrated annually on 14 July to signify the turning point of the French Revolution.
In honour of this, we bring you the coolest French fashion brands you need to know about.
From the styling tricks, notably the French tuck, to the street style gurus, if you ever find yourself in a wardrobe rut, look to the excellence of Parisian style.
As for French fashion brands, there is a superior range out there – from the super-luxe established fashion houses, including Chanel, Dior and Saint Laurent, to the newer, independent brands, such as Sézane, Maje and Sandro.
To indulge your love for all things Français, here is a round-up of our all time favourite brands.
While some you will know, there are others just waiting to be discovered. But, all of them are the coolest of the cool.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Founded in 2003 by best friends Barbara and Sharon on a shared love of fashion, ba&sh is made by women, for women. And 17 years later, the brand remains distinctly Parisian – uniting feminine elegance and easy going designs with rock’n’roll boho chic.
The French fashion house embodies femininity by balancing innovation with classic Parisian style. Acclaimed for its luxury boho designs and effortlessly chic aesthetic, it’s a firm favourite within the streetwear scene. While only a few seasons in, Chloé’s creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi is producing just the collections that you’d expect for the Chloe girl – hippy designs and city chic accessories.
Trendsetter Isabel Marant launched the affordable little sister line Isabel Marant Étoile, to her namesake brand in 2000, which has since graduated into an A-list must-have label, thanks to the likes of Rihanna and Rosie Huntington-Whitley sporting the designs. Each season brings new designs that are still timeless and will never go out of fashion, with collections that are the epitome of relaxed and off-duty and are the ultimate cool-girl staples.
With Simon Porte Jacquemus, one of the most trailblazing designers, at its helm, this really is one to know. From exaggerated silhouettes to hotly coveted accessories, this brand produces lines that are inherently wearable and everyone will want. The SS20 show was a sight to behold, too – held in Provence the runway flanked by lavender fields, something that was inspired by Jacquemus’ passion for art, in particular David Hockney. From the collection, we loved the oversized blazer balanced by sheer lace; androgyne at its best.
French eyewear designer Jimmy Fairly produces high quality, ultra resistant glasses at an affordable price point. Similarly to another brand on this list, it is all about philanthropic donations – by partnering with Restoring Vision, a non-profit health organisation, for every purchase made, it donates a pair to a person in need.
Run by mother-daughter duo who use reclaimed fabric surplus to create relaxed and vintage-inspired designs in a bid to change consumption, there are no collections, but new designs according to seasons, desires and fabrics. Only open on Wednesdays, MaisonCléo produces limited runs, but thankfully the brand has also worked with Net-A-Porter, meaning you can access selected styles 24/7. Everything on the website is handmade-to-order, so adjustments can be made if you specify measurements. For full transparency, all information – from fabric costs to time spent making are outlined.
Founded by Jeanne Damas on the mission of creating a brand that would create a “feminine wardrobe with a masculine touch” and “‘feel good’ pieces for your best silhouette”. It succeeds on this, and then some. Make Rouje your first port of call for French-inspired floral dresses, breezy maxis, and delicate blouses.
What begun as a start-up in 2013 has broken boundaries and has accumulated a cult following thanks to its smart casual clothing. Dedicated to making more eco-conscious and sustainable decisions, Sezane does not have seasonal sales, rather produces a finite number of items within each collection, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. It is committed to its philanthropic donations, and has even initiated its own charity, Demain, raising more than £2.6m for children’s programmes. When it comes to what to buy, it’s got to be its chic, oversized knitwear, or a boho-inspired flouncy dress – you can’t go wrong.
What started as a boutique in the heart of Marais, Sandro is loved today globally by the likes of Gigi Hadid. The epitome of Parisian cool, think lace dresses, sleek tailoring and staples with a twist; high-quality pieces that are designed. If you’re after effortless elegance, allow these pieces to elevate your everyday wardrobe.
Sustainable footwear and accessories brand, Veja has boomed in popularity thanks to it being a firm favourite among the likes of Meghan Markle and Emily Ratajkowski. The brand offers full transparency into its manufacturing process and all of its shoes are made in a factory in Brazil that honours workers’ rights.