Coco Chanel may have invented chic but contemporary French designers are to thank for keeping the flame of French fashion burning bright. You may already be familiar with major star labels like A.P.C., Isabel Marant, or the Maje and Sandro boutiques which have recently expanded into the USA and internationally. Despite the ever increasing homogeneity of the modern world there are still a few French clothing brands that you won’t easily find outside of the country. We compiled a short list of the best local joints to get your chic on, enjoy!
Many of these shops have multiple locations in Paris but – insider’s tip – everything listed here can be found on a stroll through the Marais.
Decidedly Parisian in its conception Claudie Pierlot provides elegant classics updated for the modern city-dweller. Think pretty dresses and cardigans that transform flawlessly form day to soirée.Address: 30, rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris 3rd arrondissement. Métro: Saint-Paul (line 1)
Although this French brand can be found at it’s second store in NYC its clean lines and original cuts have a flair that is only Parisian in its simplicity and sophistication. A great place to find men’s and women’s classic pieces with interesting design qualities. Surface to Air is also admired for it’s design studio on which a few major couture and prêt-à-porter brands count for sound creative advice (ahem, Louis Vuitton and Diesel).Address: 108, rue Vieille du Temple, Paris 3rd arrondissement Métro: Saint-Sébastien Froissart (line 8)
This is really a go-to for cozy sweaters for men and women. Enough said.Address: 20, rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris 3rd arrondissement Métro Saint-Paul (line 1)
Hip and Eclectic
This Parisian line was created by Italien transplant, Gabriella Cortese. She travels the world looking for inspiration: On the silk route she learned about the importance of this ancient fabric and explored the traditional silk-dying techniques of batik is Bali. Her designs have a distinctly bohemian vibe, combining different forms of beading and embellishment with exotic patterns and cuts. There’s also an exquisite children’s line for your bobo bébé.Address: 18, rue de Turenne, Paris 4th arrondissement Métro: Saint-Paul (line 1)
Next door to Antik Batik in the Marais is another cute shop for women and teens. Swildens is great for casual wear tending toward the eclectic. Well-assembled t-shirts, jeans and knitwear are this brand’s forté.Address: 16, rue de Turenne, Paris 4th arrondissement Métro: Saint-Paul (line 1)
This rock n’ roll inspired brand sells unisex jeans complete with guitar pick in every pocket. It’s a hip store with cool wearable clothes.Address: 49, rue de Saintonge, Paris 3rd arrondissement Métro: Filles du Calvaire (line 8)
Fun and Colorful
This store is famous for the French equivalent of the ubiquitous Converse tennis shoe. Color is key for Bensimon and the shoes can be found in any shade, adapted with faux-fur insides for winter, slip-ons for summer.Address: 12, rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris 3rd arrondissement Métro: Saint-Paul (line 1)
The most avant-garde of our list is Andrea Crews. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a silk scarf inspired by Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, or a sweatshirt with an abstract My Little Pony print, than this is the place for you. Digital art inspired motifs are this ten year old brand’s wheelhouse. The surprising details revealed on these up-cycled scarves, dresses and trousers make this a really fun brand to discover.Address: 83, rue de Turenne, Paris 3rd arrondissement Métro: Filles du Calvaire (line 8)