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Oui, you can shop them Stateside.
You don’t need a passport to Paris in order to shop for an array of excellent fashion brands that have emerged from France over the past several years. Gone are the days of flying across the Atlantic for exclusive couture shows and seasonal wardrobe fittings; thanks to social media and the incredible efficiency of e-commerce, it’s easy — almost too easy — to shop the most gorgeous global brands from the comfort of home.
Of course, with great purchasing power comes great responsibility. And, while spending an afternoon scrolling through the myriad of storied French fashion labels and Instagram-approved indie brands can be fun, we’d much rather spend the time enjoying delectable French pastries and increasing our vocabulary on Duo Lingo while overlooking the Seine. Or, the East River. Whichever body of water is closest.
Given these time constraints (and that our favorite local French bakery usually sells out before noon), we reached out to five stylish female entrepreneurs we know in the fashion space to get the scoop on the French clothing brands that are filling up digital shopping carts worldwide. Whether you’re looking to splurge on an accessory made by a historic fashion house, or just seeking a new outfit with a certain je ne c'est quoi, we’re pretty confident that you’ll find something from one of the 10 brands listed below. Bonne chance!
Not to state the obvious, but when we asked almost anyone about their favorite French brands, Chanel was the first that came to mind. Founded in 1910 by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, this label is widely known for its feminine suiting, seasonal tweeds, and luxurious leather goods. Priyanka Murthy, founder and CEO of the direct-to-consumer fine jewelry brand Array, declares Chanel the “ultimate and arguably original French girl luxury brand,” noting that the quality craftsmanship and history of the storied fashion house make this label almost universally appealing.
It is difficult if not impossible to purchase authentic ready-to-wear designs from Chanel online, as they continue to be one of the few luxury brands to prioritize the in-store shopping experience. It is, however, possible to purchase Chanel bags on the secondary market. They have great resale value and can be a solid investment, provided the material is cared for properly. While a classic black tweed item will always be in style, Murthy’s favorite pieces are pieces that make a statement, like sparkly or quilted bags in pastels and neon colors. So, if you’re down to splurge, we recommend visiting one of their standalone boutiques to get the full customer experience.
Thanks in large part to its gorgeous brick-and-mortar store in NYC, Sézane, one of the more accessible brands on the list, was also a top recommendation. Longtime fashion buyer and boutique owner Jaclyn Goldgrub, identifies Sézane as a fashion brand with a fresh new take on traditional French fashion tropes. “For a long time, people have associated French style with classic pieces like stripes and berets, which can feel a bit cliché,” Goldgrub says. “I was delighted to discover Sézane, whose fabrics, prints, and overall brand DNA makes each piece feel special, like a unique find from a chic vintage shop in Paris.” She also notes that shopping in-store is delightful, lauding stunning, Instagram-worthy floral installations and smart styling suggestions from helpful staffers.
If you’ve ever wanted to channel “model-off-duty” style, odds are you’re already a fan of Isabel Marant. Described as always having a “relaxed, cool girl vibe,” Margot Janks, founder of the homeware brand MJ Tablescapes, loves the brand's shoes, bags, boho chic dresses, and blouses. “The collections all work together, and you can wear the pieces year after year without getting sick of them.” And, if you prefer purchasing just one item from the brand at a time, Janks suggests starting with the shoes. “The sneakers are one of my favorite-ever purchases — I currently wear four pairs on rotation.”
As a personal stylist, Jamie Lewis knows the contemporary market inside and out, so when she recommends Zadig & Voltaire, I'm all ears. “It’s a bit of an edgier brand, with an easy-to-wear rock-and-roll vibe,” she explains. “While their sweaters and tees are a constant favorite among my clients, it’s their iconic blazers that keep me coming back — there’s always something intriguing that I have yet to see another designer do with such wearability.”
If you’re looking to add a few more feminine pieces to your wardrobe, look no further than Maje. Lewis adores the brand’s day dresses and flirty romantic sets which she uses to incorporate more feminine looks into her clients’ wardrobes. “You can always find little day dresses that feel more elevated from your typical finds, and their sets are easily interchangeable with other pieces in your wardrobe, making them smart pieces to add to your collection,” she shares.
Though it's founded by "Française-turned-New Yorker" Gaëlle Drevet, The Frankie Shop's ethos is as Parisian as it is Lower East Side. Lindy Segal, InStyle contributor and writer of the anti-insider newsletter Gatekeeping, first learned about the label on TikTok and immediately became obsessed. “Not only is The Frankie Shop the perfect destination for all things minimalist — hello, quiet luxury — they also make trendier items like cool cargo pants and all things cropped,” she shares. And, while the prices are somewhat splurge-y, each piece feels special but is still relatively affordable compared to the more established French heritage brands on this list.
Founded by Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief in 2003, Ba&sh (pronounced Bash) is the epitome of modern-day Parisian chic. Janks describes the label as a “less expensive Isabel Marant,” with a similar boho aesthetic. She especially loves the brand’s more structured pieces, like boots, and winter coats. Lewis agrees, noting that the brand’s selection of cardigans, summer dresses, and jeans is perfect for the woman who wants simple yet elevated outfit options to mix and match.
Sonia Rykiel is one of those brands that falls slightly under the radar for those who aren’t super into fashion. The eponymous brand was founded in 1968 and continues to be beloved for its close-fitting silhouettes, stripes, and timeless knitwear. Murthy first encountered the French heritage brand while studying abroad in Paris in her 20s. “Sonia Rykiel has a way of making casual everyday looks appear much more elevated,” she shares. “I own her 'Poorboy' sweater in so many different colors, and the fit manages to be equal parts laid-back and sexy. It’s so versatile, you can wear them with jeans or even a metallic skirt.”
If you’re into the rocker vibe and aspire to narrow down your closet to a capsule wardrobe, then Iro is the place to shop. We recommend investing in the brand’s incredible leather goods (a biker jacket is forever on the wishlist), and Janks touts their amazing accessories, too. “Iro is a bit edgy for my everyday style, but I always feel good in their clothes,” she shares.
Several of the French fashion aficionados who contributed to this story identified the minimalist chic brand A.P.C. (the abbreviation for Atelier de Production et de Création) as a forever favorite. “One step into an A.P.C. shop and you’ll see why the brand has endured since the late ‘80s,” explains Segal. “From denim — it's signature — to jumpsuits and leather bags, the line is the ultimate in French cool for both men and women.”
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