If one wonders what the fashion capital of the world is, we all agree that it is undoubtedly the city of Paris . In fact, no other French city perfectly embodies the concept of fashion as the capital and presents the best French designers around.

Paris owes this important primacy to the timeless talents who were born and raised on French territory and who made the history of fashion. Today our post is dedicated to the most important  French designers of all time, the brands that have made Paris and France great in high fashion.

French stylists: the most famous choices for you

Let’s see in the following lines which are the most famous French designers of all time, starting perhaps with the most famous French designer of all time: Coco Chanel.

1. Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel amazed the world even more than for her enormous talent, for the simplicity and humility that have always distinguished her throughout her life. Born in 1883 in the Loire, Coco comes into the limelight in the early 1900s, when she opens her first shop that sells only and exclusively hats, the same garment that then distinguishes her throughout her career.

Only after the end of the First World War, Coco devoted herself completely to clothes and from that moment she never stops. Chanel designer garments are immediately recognizable for their evident personality.

Coco’s garments are voluntarily inspired by the clothes of the sailors of the time and wink the eye at a never too hidden masculinity that aimed to give new strength to women, no longer forced into the house but more and more emancipated and able to look after themselves .

2. Christian Dior

Here we come to the moment of another great French designer: we are talking about Christian Dior , born in Granville, France on January 21, 1905. He takes his first steps in the world of fashion, as we told you in his full biography, by opening a gallery of art in Paris where he then began working as a fashion illustrator, and later as an assistant, for both Lucien Lelong and Robert Piguet.

The “New Look” and his first large and revolutionary collection, presented in the mid-1940s in his first atelier in Paris. Right from the start the difference with respect to the Chanel collections is evident: Christian Dior in fact wants to communicate, through his fashion, the concept of a romantic and profoundly feminine woman, and to do so he introduces the use of a series of completely innovative new fabrics for the period (we are in the Second Post-War period).

The female figure of Christian Dior has extremely sinuous and light shoulders, which evoke the sensuality of the female body. A style far from the desire to accompany female emancipation, typical of Coco.

3. Yves Saint Laurent

Chosen heir of Coco Chanel and Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and the one who naturally follows in their footsteps.

Yves Saint Laurent was born in 1936 in French Algeria and certainly did not have the same difficulties as his great teacher Coco. In fact, he came from a very wealthy family that never makes the young designer lack for anything.

Yves begins to take his first steps in the world of fashion with the help and under the protective wing of Dior from which however he manages to deviate in style, creating his own.

His rise in the Olympus of French fashion met with a violent arrest in 1960 due to the obligation he suffered to enlist in the army engaged in the war Algerian War.

The distant year marked him deeply and definitively removed him from his guru Dior, who ousted him from his offices. It is from that moment on that Yves thus creates his own style.

He opens his own fashion house which in a short time has an unexpected success.

The clothing proposed by Saint Laurent draws heavily on Chanel’s ideological style: in fact, the humility of the fabrics and shapes and the relevance to modernity that pushes him to adapt many typically masculine clothes for one use and one all-female reinterpretation.

Today the Yves Saint Laurent maison no longer exists, or at least it is no longer independent, having been absorbed by Gucci , which still continues to use its logo.

Yves Saint Laurent passed away in 2008, leaving behind his art which will remain forever to posterity.

4. Jean-Paul Gaultier

Coming closer to the present day to see the evolution of the Parisian style , we are talking about one of the most loved French designers of the last 50 years:  Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Born in 1952 in Paris, to initiate a young Gaultier into the world of fashion and another great of Parisian style, Pierre Cardin, who sees something in the imprecise and certainly not academic style of Jean-Paul, who had in fact not undertaken any studies sector.

It does not take long before the inexperienced young man starts wanting to make his personal way of seeing fashion known, so much so that he is soon given the nickname of enfant terrible of French fashion.

His style is varied, eclectic, inclusive of different styles and cultures, certainly far from the more rigid schemes within which up to that moment Parisian fashion had moved.

Gaultier boasts a scary palmares, having dressed and accompanied celebrities from the world of music such as Marilyn Manson, Kylie Minogue and above all Madonna in their careers.

He retired from the stage after his last Paris Fashion Week.

5. Christian Louboutin

We continue our journey among the French designers who made Paris great with the King of luxury footwear: Christian Louboutin . Born in 1962, he began his career as a designer of women’s shoes very early and was noticed just as quickly by Jean-Paul Gaultier, with whom he began a winning collaboration that led to the creation of complete outfits with the combination of shoes and clothes .

The distinctive element of Louboutin shoes are the bold shapes, the boundless elegance and that touch of red given to the sole, which makes each piece unique and difficult to confuse with the others.

In a few years the Louboutin brand becomes a guarantee of luxury and audacity, thus starting to take care of the look of the most disparate celebrities, such as Victoria Beckham, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Madonna and Lady Gaga and many famous actresses, including Katie Holmes and Sarah Jessica Parker just to name a few.

6. Rene Lacoste

Jean Rene , who went down in history as Rene Lacoste (1904-1996) was a great French tennis champion of the thirties. Passionate about design, and he himself designed the sports shirts that gave him international success. His t-shirts are distinguished by the crocodile logo, due to the nickname Lacoste himself had, due to his passion for crocodile leather accessories. Even the handle of his racket was crocodile! He began the sales of his jerseys in 1933, at the height of his sporting career, and ran the company until 1967 when he retired to private life.

To this day the Lacoste brand continues to be appreciated all over the world and all this is due to the work of Rene and his friend Andre Gillier.

7. Pierre Cardin

If there is a name in the world that sounds like a pseudonym of great French fashion, that is Pierre Cardin . Yet Cardin should be read as it is written, because Pierre’s family was Italian and he himself was born in Treviso in 1922. However, they moved to Vichy when he was only two years old, so he grew up naturalized French and began his career early. In fact, at the age of fourteen he already worked for a tailor who taught him the secrets of the trade, while at 22 he moved to Paris and became a tailor at the Dior maison.

In 1953 he founded his personal fashion house and the success was such that he opened – the first European ever – a high fashion atelier in Japan only two years later!

Extravagant, original and dynamic, it reflects these characteristics in its vital fashion. 

Recently disappeared.

8. Hubert de Givenchy

Hubert de Givenchy founded his own small fashion company in 1952 and managed it personally for over 40 years.

Born in 1927, an aristocratic family behind him, he completed appropriate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and had clear ideas from the beginning. He immediately focuses on fashion, without even making a mess, and manages to achieve immediate success.

The characteristic of her clothes and the never banal elegance, the continuous search for new fabrics and interesting mixes. It is no coincidence that his name has imposed itself on the world clothing market for half a century.

9. Guy Laroche

A young provincial hatter, Guy Laroche (1921-1989) embarks on the path of success when he becomes assistant to the stylist Jean Desses, who takes him to Paris with him. Soon the boy’s skill was noticed, especially in the design of particularly lively and modern women’s dresses. In 1961 he opens his first boutique, where his masterpieces are born: not only clothes, but also accessories and perfumery.

Although his fame is more linked to perfumes, he inherits that practical style that his clothes transmit to everyday life.

10. Emanuel Ungaro

Another naturalized French Italian has left an eternal mark in world fashion: he is Emanuel Ungaro (1933-2019), born in France to an Italian father, who was an Apulian tailor, and from his parents the young man learns the art of create clothes.

His atelier arrived on the market in 1965, the year in which French fashion was giving way to Italian fashion and has the merit of reviving its prestige in a few years.

He managed the business until 1996, when his company was bought by Ferragamo.

11. Pierre Balmain

Pierre Balmain was born in a small village not far from Italy in 1914 and, in the second post-war period, he launched his fashion house, immediately meeting a well-deserved success, dressing divas of cinema and TV, real and participating in costumes for the Hollywood movie.
Today, after his death in 1982 from a liver tumor, his legacy has been collected by Oscar de la Renta.

12. Thierry Mugler

Thierry Mugler was born in 1948 in Strasbourg and once he moved to Paris he managed to break into the world of fashion, dressing absolute celebrities of the caliber of the singer Madonna and Sharon Stone.

In the 90s the production of fragrances began, including the most important and Angel, which became one of the best-selling in the world.

Passionate about photography, he has also written books on fashion style and the art of photos.