From Rouje to VEJA, these are the secret French fashion brands you need to add to your shopping list now…
From Camille Charrière’s knack of making an oversized shirt and jeans look sexy to Caroline de Maigret’s way of making a white linen suit look practical for the tube, there’s something about French women’s style that is utterly covetable. While we’re lugging a bag around with our commuting shoes, our French neighbours are somehow cycling to work sans lycra.
But look a little closer and you’ll notice that they’re not all in head-to-toe Chanel and Céline. Thankfully there’s a myriad of French fashion brands, that nail the nonchalant attitude without the grit your teeth prices. Even better, many are still under-the-radar – meaning you’ll be asked “Where is X from?” rather than told “Oh, I have that from *insert generic high street store here”. Here are our favourites…
Founded by Morgane Sézalory in 2013, Sézane is our go-to for clever pieces that look on-trend without trying too hard. With a high attention to design and quality, it’s surprisingly affordable: think perfectly-cut jeans for under £90 and chic summer cotton dresses under £150.
They also have a brilliant homeware section, with gorgeous bed linens and pretty framed posters that are perfect for adding a romantic Parisian touch to your boudoir.
If you’re looking for the ultimate pair of Mary Janes or espadrilles, then bookmark this site. Founded in 1964 by the Nakam family who still own it, the brand now offers over 400 different designs each season. Ideal for when you’re hunting for the perfect pair of sandals for your summer escape.
When the model and streetstyle star Jeanne Damas first launched her own label two years ago it quickly sold out, not bad for a first time designer, right? Search for the hashtag #lesfillesenrouje on Instagram and you’ll quickly see why, with over 4,000 images of cool women looking well, effortlessly cool.
Focusing on French classics – blouses, dresses and knits – Damas has cleverly made a line that easily takes you from day to night. No wonder the Gabin dress (pictured above) has a two month waiting list.
Loved by everyone from Marion Cotillard to Emma Watson, VEJA trainers have become as ubiquitous in streetstyle shots as Adidas Stan Smiths were in 2016. Launched in 2004, the brand – which is designed in Paris and produced in Brazil – only uses fair trade, organic, raw materials. From the wild rubber latex in their soles to the pesticide-free cotton in their canvas, this brand was doing sustainable fashion long before it became a buzz word. Their most recent trainer, the V-12 B Mesh even uses a fabric made entirely of plastic bottles.
A go-to for laidback summer occasions – think weekend BBQs, picnics in the park and birthday bashes in pub gardens – Sessùn is full of elevated basics. From the perfect nautical striped dress to an oversized white shirt, this brand makes getting dressed a lot less complicated.
Loved by Rihanna, FKA Twigs, Lady Gaga, Solange, and Rita Ora, Annelise Michelson’s jewellery designs are as strong as the women that sport them. We particularly love her earring offering, especially the broken chain earrings which are a great alternative to a pair of classic hoops.
Main image: Getty