/ / 17 Best French Luxury Brands You Need To Own

17 Best French Luxury Brands You Need To Own

Looking for the best French luxury brands to add to your collection? Whether it’s shoes, perfumes, ready-to-wear, to designer clothes, this post covers them all.

France is known for being the birthplace of some of the most luxury brands in the world and for producing some of the most luxurious goods.

Names like Cartier, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and more have defined the entire fashion industry and continue to do some hundreds of years later.

However, France didn’t just stop at producing some of the most luxurious and creative fashion brands, it also introduced some of the popular phrases like haute couture, ateliers, prêt–à–porter, and avant-garde which are now used worldwide synonymously with fashion.

Best French Luxury Brands

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On top of this, its capital, Paris is also known as the capital of fashion and it hosts one of the biggest fashion shows in the world, the Paris Fashion Week.

With all those facts, it’s safe to say that you can’t go wrong with French luxury brands.

So, whether you want to pick up luxury shoes, perfume, jewelry, or even clothes, this list of luxurious French brands will show you the biggest names in the game and some of their signature items that have become a collector’s dream.

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Best French Luxury Brands

The French have gifted the world with some of the biggest names across various fashion industries, be it Cartier for jewelry, Chanel for fragrances, or Louboutin for heels.

This list of French luxury brands pays tribute to some of the most iconic names in the luxury space while giving you a glimpse into their journey to the top.

1. Cartier

In 1847, Louis-François Cartier founded the eponymous jewelry and watch Cartier brand that is now one of the oldest, most prestigious, and coveted luxurious French brands.

The brand quickly made a name for crafting stylish, high-end, and high-quality jewelry favored by celebrities and royalty alike.

Some of the prominent people who have adorned Cartier jewelry include Napoleon III’s wife, Eugenie, who commissioned a Cartier necklace, and Jackie Kennedy (former first lady of the United States) who wore their tank watch, which was designed by Louis Cartier himself in 1917.

Owning a Cartier ring, bracelet, watch, or necklace is symbolic of having a prized possession that will be handed down for generations — at least for some people. In fact, Cartier creates some of the most luxurious French watches.

The brand’s most popular piece is the Love Bracelet in case you want to treat yourself.

2. Christian Dior

Among luxurious French designer brands, a name that stands out is Christian Dior (commonly known as Dior), established in 1946 by French fashion designer Christian Dior.

Over the years, the fashion house has not only redefined women’s wear but has also groomed some of the biggest names in the industry.

The Dior house’s creative directors and designers have gone on to make a name for themselves, and a classic example of this is Yves Saint Laurent, who took over from Christian Dior himself.

The Maison also diversified into handbags, accessories, makeup, and fragrances which have all contributed to shaping the world of luxury beauty and fashion as we know it today.

Though Dior ventures in many types of luxury goods, the most popular is its Miss Dior perfume which is still very much a hit to date though it was created in 1947. It is actually one of the most famous French perfume brands.

3. Chanel

Founded in 1910 by Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel, Chanel is one of the most iconic luxury French brands making quite the name for itself over the years.

But did you know that the brand started by crafting and selling hats? Yes, Coco was a milliner before becoming the most famous fashion designer in the world who infiltrated the fashion industry at a time when the industry was run by men.

After finding success in dealing in hats and later sportswear, Channel expanded her creativity and designed her first haute couture collection.

From haute couture in boutiques and runways to comfortable but timeless pieces for daily wear, Chanel started creating inspiring collections of all kinds.

The Maison later expanded their portfolio to include fragrances, handbags, make up and footwear too. Their iconic Chanel No. 5 transformed the perfume industry and is still a hot favorite among women.

On top of this, the brand also created the little black dress which became an instant success and has since then become a trend almost every woman embarks on.

4. Lanvin

One of the oldest surviving French luxury fashion houses, Lanvin, is also one of the most famous French brands.

It was established in 1889, and much like Chanel, this brand was also a hat shop before branching out into fashion, which blossomed from its founder, Jeanne Lanvin’s love of designing outfits for her daughter, Marguerite.

Soon after, she realized that most people bought her children’s clothing compared to hats, so she switched gears and concentrated on clothing for children and women.

In addition to children’s and women’s clothing, the brand started designing men’s daily wear and lingerie.

But this wasn’t enough for Lavin’s creative eye! The brand ventured into perfumes and created one of the best fragrances at the time, Arpège.

Lanvin also quickly rose to fame for its 18th-century-styled full-skirted gowns and ball dresses in their signature elegant and feminine designs. Their gown dress style eventually came to be known as Robes de Style.

Today, the brand also sells bags, shoes, accessories, and perfumes.

5. Hermès

Hermès was one of the first few French luxury goods companies to be established in France.

What started in 1837 by Thierry Hermès as a leather goods company creating harnesses and saddles for the rich carriage owners in Europe later expanded into making bags, ready-to-wear clothes, perfumes, accessories, jewelry, and watches when Émile-Maurice (grandson of Hermès) took over the business.

Over the years, the brand has created iconic pieces but the most famous is the iconic Birkin bag inspired by Jane Birkin, a fashion icon of her time followed by the Kelly bag inspired by American actress, Grace Kelly.

Today, the Birkin bag has gained the stature of not only being the most expensive handbag in the world but also the most desired in that most celebrities and famous people join a months-long waitlist just to get their hands on it.

Although it has become a collectible item, its practical “fits-everything-in-it” USP still works for people today.

6. Givenchy

House of Givenchy was established in 1952 by Hubert de Givenchy, mentored by none other than Spanish fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga.

The brand is known for its iconic relationship with Audrey Hepburn, Givenchy’s lifelong friend, and muse. She collaborated with the brand on multiple occasions and remained a loyalist.

Audrey’s Little Black Dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s was one of the most iconic dresses created by Givenchy.

He even formulated a fragrance for her called L’Interdit, which she wore long before it was released to the public. To date, it is one of the most popular perfumes ever sold worldwide.

Besides haute couture, the brand diversified into creating men’s clothing and ready-to-wear clothes for women. Eventually, it became a part of the French luxury conglomerate LVMH.

7. Chloé

Chloé is one of the most famous Paris luxury brands, especially known for its gorgeous feminine luxury prêt-à-porter designs.

It was established in 1952 by Egyptian-born Parisian designer Gaby Aghion and has been helmed by some of the most talented and renowned creative directors in the industry, like Karl Lagerfeld, Martine Sitbon, and Stella McCartney.

Like Gaby’s vision of providing items that will make people happy, its the bohemian and romantic styles of Chloé’s collections that appealed to its audience — the modern Parisian woman.

In the early 2000’s, Chloé also ventured into creating luxury handbags, retaining the same design style as its clothing collections. The most popular are the Paddington bag and the Marcie saddle bag.

The brand counts celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Natalie Portman, and Katie Holmes as its fans.

8. Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin created one of the most recognizable and luxurious French brands for footwear when he launched his eponymous brand in 1991.

His creation of the iconic red-lacquered soles which have become favorites among the elite came from his rebellious nature of wanting to do something that is against the norm.

Louboutin recalls seeing a sign from Africa when he visited a museum that forbid women from wearing stilettos as they would damage the wooden floor and that’s what inspired him to make stilettos — as a way of going against the rules.

However, the popular red bottom was born when he decided to put red nail polish he got from his assistant on the shoes. The new style was an instant hit, and an empire was born.

Since then, luxury shoe collectors have been crowding stores to pick up a pair but the most impressive collector is American novelist Danielle Steele who owns over 6000 pairs of shoes from Louboutin.

To date, Louboutins are considered a must-have, especially if you’re in affluent circles.

But before creating one of the best French shoe brands, Christian Louboutin had done some freelance work designing shoes for big brands like Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Maud Frizon.

In addition to heels and other women’s footwear, Louboutin also sells men’s footwear, handbags, cosmetics, and fragrances.

9. Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent started his career as a fashion designer by working in Maison Dior and eventually took over the Creative Director position after Christian Dior’s sudden demise.

Subsequently, in 1962, he established his own eponymous brand. Known for introducing padded shoulders in the 80s, YSL or Saint Laurent introduced other trends in women’s fashion too, like Le Smoking tuxedo suits, Mondrian dresses, ready-to-wear clothes, and cinched waist dresses.

YSL also championed gender equality and celebrated feminine power and freedom. He also made androgynous fashion a thing before it actually became one!

As the brand expanded, it also ventured into selling perfumes, shoes, handbags, accessories, and jewelry.

10. Celine

Celine was established in 1945 by Céline Vipiana and her husband, Robert, as a custom-made children’s footwear brand.

It was only in 1960 that they forayed into fashion and started making ready-to-wear designs.

Celine focussed on keeping clothes comfortable yet sophisticated, which appealed to women.

The brand has been worn by Prince Albert and Princess Charlotte of Monaco, on top of celebrities like Natalie Portman and Naomi Watts.

Soon, Celine ventured into making bags, fragrances, shoes, leather goods, and men’s clothing, all while keeping the brand ethos intact. The brand is now under the LVMH group since 1996.

11. Jacquemus

One of the youngest Paris luxury brands on the list is Jacquemus, established in 2009 by self-taught French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, who was only 20 years by then.

This budding brand took the fashion world by surprise with its unique designs and collections.

His experimental, avant-garde designs had a different and fresh perspective earning him a spot in the Paris Fashion Week at just 22 and he became one of the youngest designers to showcase his collection at Paris Fashion Week. Jacquemus also won a Special Prize in the 2015 edition of the LVMH Prize.

While he has designed several pieces, the Jacquemus mini handbag and Le Chiquito Noeud Satchel Bag are some of his most popular designs, having grabbed the attention of celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Rihanna.

To date, Jacquemus has expanded into creating footwear, menswear, handbags, and hats.

12. Louis Vuitton

Established in 1854, Louis Vuitton is one of the biggest luxurious fashion houses not only in France but around the world.

The brand started as a luggage maker to meet the needs of carriage travelers at the time and has since remained one of the highly respected brands when it comes to making luxurious and high-quality luggage and handbags.

In fact, it is the biggest brand in the luxury leather goods industry today and has been the most valuable luxury brand for several years.

The signature LV monogram can be spotted from a mile away on all their items and has become a symbol of indulgence and affluence.

Though they started with bags and continue to be leaders in this section, they eventually started producing other leather goods, accessories, ready-to-wear clothes, shoes, jewelry, and watches.

Louis Vuitton is also so valued that it’s considered a collector’s item!

13. Isabel Marant

Before the launch of her famous brand, Isabel Marant initially launched several other labels including a jewelry label and a knitwear label “Twen” together with her mother.

4 years later, in 1994, Isabel Marant launched her brand of the same name and showcased her first collection at the Paris Fashion Week in 1995.

Her French chic and bohemian designs not only drew the attention of Parisians but have also attracted the likes of Kate Moss, Emma Watson, Katie Holmes, Rachel Weisz, Blake Lively, and Anne Hathaway, among others.

The brand also created a childrenswear line and later launched its footwear collection which has been loved by royals like Princess Eugenie who fell in love with their boots. The brand also deals in bags, accessories, and jewelry now.

Marant’s creative work has been awarded numerous accolades from the Whirlpool Award for the best female designer in 1998, the Fashion Designer of the Year at British Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards in 2012, to the Contemporary Designer of the Year at the Elle Style Awards in 2014, and more.

14. Van Cleef & Arpels

When it comes to jewelry, Van Cleef & Arpels is among the most popular luxury French brands.

It was founded in 1906 after the unification of the Van Cleef and the Arpels, following the marriage of Alfred Van Cleef and Estelle Arpels.

Alfred was a Dutch diamond-cutter, while Estelle’s father, Salomon Arpels, was a precious stones dealer hence creating an unstoppable duo in the jewelry world.

The brand quickly gained popularity with royalty with the likes of Grace Kelly (Princess of Monaco), Eva Perón (First Lady of Argentina), Kate Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge), and Wallis Simpson (Duchess of Windsor), among others adorning its jewels.

The brand has also had the honor of creating the crowns for Empress of Iran, Farah Pahlavi, and Queen of Egypt, Nazli Sabri.

Unlike other French jewelry brands, the jewels of Van Cleef & Arpels have a distinctive style and feature flora, fauna, and fairies to them.

15. Longchamp

You might be surprised to know that Longchamp started as a tobacco store in 1948 before becoming one of the most famous French luxury goods companies that we know today.

Jean Cassegrain established it as a leather pipe maker before realizing the potential in leather and pivoting to luxury leather goods and handbags.

Jean’s son, Philippe, who was only 11 years old when the Maison was founded, assisted in making cigarette cases and he developed skills as a craftsman.

The work was of high quality and made by highly skilled craftsmen, which is why the brand got a national and international clientele.

Fast forward to today, they have become one of the most respected leather goods brands in the business making small leather goods, travel accessories, shoes, and even ready-to-wear for both men and women. Their most popular handbag design is the Le Pliage bag.

16. Balmain

On the list of French luxury brands, one cannot forget Balmain. French designer Pierre Balmain founded the eponymous brand in 1945 as a luxury French fashion house.

The brand had the most glamourous designs, was inspired by royalty, and was worn by some of the most famous celebrities.

Balmain’s designs have been adorned by yesteryear actresses like Liz Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, and Sophia Loren to current faves like Penelope Cruz, Rihanna, Kendall Jenner, and Gigi Hadid.

Though it started as a clothes brand, Balmain ventured into creating bags, footwear, and accessories, and they even added kids’ wear too.

17. Jean Paul Gaultier

Last but not least on this list of French luxury brands is the eponymous fashion house founded in 1982 by French designer Jean Paul Gaultier.

He worked with Pierre Cardin before launching his brand even though he had had no formal education in fashion. His innovative and avant-garde designs are the fruits of his talent and vision.

Gaultier is credited with the idea of designing skirts for men, also known as kilts, but that didn’t come without controversy.

If Givenchy is synonymous with Audrey Hepburn, then Jean Paul Gaultier is known for their collaborations with Madonna, for whom they designed stage costumes for her world tour.

Apart from their clothing collections, Gaultier also makes perfumes with the most popular being Le Male, Le Beau, and La Belle.

Final Thoughts on the Best French Luxury Brands

Though most things “French” are considered fancy, some brands stand out from the crowd with their luxurious appeal.

Be it Haute-couture, shoes, jewelry handbags, or even accessories, you can’t go wrong with any of these French luxury brands.

However, you should know that their elegance and high-quality craftmanship comes with a huge price tag, but for those who can afford them, you can be guaranteed of getting the best.

Do you have a favorite among these famous French brands or do you own any of these? Let me know in the comments below.


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