France is known for so many things including the people, art, food, and its contributions to fashion. Here are five of the most important French designers. From old school and thriving to new and reinventing the game, these brands have defined and redefined style. Whether it’s causal or couture, you can happily say oui to any piece of clothing or accessory from these luxurious labels.
1. Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton (1821-1892) was one of France’s most renowned designers. While he passed away over 100 years ago, his monogram has only become more ubiquitous and his legacy only stronger. Seriously, does anyone not know who Louis Vuitton is? While styles have certainly changed in the past 100 years, Vuitton’s classic monogram canvas has not. LV still makes some of the most coveted accessories from briefcases, to wallets, suitcases, shoes and everything in between.
Nearly everything the brand makes is available in the signature monogram canvas. One favorite is the Keepall 50 classic weekender bag.
In addition to the monogram canvas, LV is also known for its checker pattern canvas accessories. Just flashy enough, no man can go wrong with the signature Wallet.
2. Christian Dior
Christian Dior lived from 1904-1957. Today, the house of Dior creates of the most coveted haute couture and ready to wear lines for both men and women.
There are so many excellent pieces in the autumn 2015 collection. One that particularly stands out is this absolutely one of a kind denim jacket with hood. For a more practical choice, check out this stunning oatmeal colored wool coat with denim detailing.
Its spring 2016 accessories collection also has some noteworthy choices including this vivid blue briefcase made of autre-mer calfskin.
And don’t forget shoes. These blue-soled derbies practically reinvent formal footwear.
3. Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent was one of the greatest fashion designers to ever live. He passed away in 2008 with his last haute couture line produced six years earlier. Since then, YSL has shifted its focus to casual clothes and ready to wear collections.
The Saint Laurent label is all about cool casualwear. The label redefines an American look with their take on the plaid flannel Shirt. With its perfect dark red and black plaid, it is more sophisticated than sloppy.
4. Christian Louboutin
Known for his signature red lacquered-soled shoes, Christian Louboutin makes some of the most stylish footwear in the world. Founded in 1991, the brand is the newest name on this list and the only company with a founder that is still alive.
Louboutin’s men’s footwear doesn’t take itself too seriously and has a fun and vibrant attitude. Its Bip Bip Men’s Flat is a bright blue hightop that looks perfect with any casual jean. It is also available in a crisp white color.
If you are looking for slightly dressier shoes for fall, check out these dapper Top Daviol shoes.
The name Balmain has become ubiquitous in America because of the label’s recent limited edition collaboration with Swedish fast fashion retailer H&M. The collection not only sold out immediately, but also has been resold on Ebay for prices as high as their ready to wear line. This special collaboration had so many great pieces including this Embroidered Velvet Jacket. Another noteworthy find is the Wool Jacket With Shawl Collar.
If you want the real thing, it’s a little different. While both price points have the same avant-garde spirit, there is clearly a huge difference in the quality of materials. There’s a reason why the ribbed Suede Biker Pants cost as much as a mortgage payment. The vibrant green suede fabric is truly like nothing else.