Famous French Women

What come to your mind when you think of a French woman? Classy, chic and fashionable are the words we normally associate with the French ladies, and why not? Bestowed with natural beauty and grace, the French woman carries herself with an air of restrained dignity and sophistication. France has always been the cultural hub of Europe and French women along with their male counterparts have made great contributions to the cultural and literary movements. Simone de Beauvoir, the Existential philosopher, writer, political activist and feminist was one such French woman who influenced the world of literature and philosophy in ways more than one. Marquise de Sévigné, a French aristocrat is considered to be an icon of French literature.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite French Women

 1 Marie Curie

Marie Curie.
9
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: November 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: July 4, 1934
Amongst the most notable scientists of her time, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the sole person to win two Nobel Prize in two different category, and the first woman professor at the University of Paris—Marie Curie’s list of achievements is incredible. She did extensive research in the field of radioactivity and discovered polonium and radium.

 2 Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel.
1
Famous As: Fashion Designer
Birthdate: August 19, 1883
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saumur, France
Died: January 10, 1971

Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. She is credited with replacing the corseted silhouette as the feminine standard of style with a sporty, casual chic. Her work as a designer redefined the fashionable woman in the era post World War I. She also played a vital role in revolutionizing jewelry, handbags, and fragrance.

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 3 Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 1, 1916
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Died: July 26, 2020

The veteran actress of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Olivia de Havilland shot to fame with Gone With the Wind and later established her cinematic career with movies like To Each His Own and The Heiress. Her rivalry with her sister and the court battle against a powerful studio also made headlines.

 4 Olga Kurylenko

Olga Kurylenko.
2
Famous As: Actress, Model
Birthdate: November 14, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berdiansk, Ukraine

Olga Kurylenko is a Ukrainian-French model and actress. She gained international recognition after playing a Bond girl in the 2008 film Quantum of Solace. Olga Kurylenko serves as an inspiration to many young girls as she overcame her difficult childhood to become the face of popular brands like Clarins and Bebe.

 5 Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot.
2
Famous As: Actress & Animal Rights Activist
Birthdate: September 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France

Brigitte Bardot is a French former singer and actress. One of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, Bardot remains a major pop culture icon despite quitting the entertainment industry in 1973. Bardot is credited with popularizing the bikini. She also popularized the town of Armação dos Búzios and the city of St. Tropez in Brazil.

 6 Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker.
2
Famous As: Entertainer, Actress, Singer
Birthdate: June 3, 1906
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: April 12, 1975
Nicknamed Black Pearl and Creole Goddess, Josephine Baker was the first Black woman to appear in a motion picture. She was a revue dancer, famous for her signature banana costume. A civil rights activist, she helped the French military during World War II. She adopted 12 children of different ethnicities.

 7 Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich.
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Famous As: Actress & Singer
Birthdate: December 27, 1901
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Schöneberg
Died: May 6, 1992
Marlene Dietrich initially performed on stage in Berlin and then shot to fame with The Blue Angel. She continued to rule Hollywood with films such as Morocco, Desire, and Shanghai Express. She helped German and French exiles during World War II. Openly bisexual, she was famous for her androgynous image.
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 8 Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne.
9
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Belleville, Canada

Success came early to Canadian singer and songwriter Avril Lavigne. At fourteen, she performed with Canadian icon, Shania Twain, and at sixteen, bagged a two-album recording contract with Arista Records. Her debut album Let Go released soon, became a huge success, made her a teen idol and earned Grammy Award nominations. With subsequent albums, her popularity has only increased.

 9 Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc.
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: January 6, 1412
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Domrémy, Duchy of Bar, Kingdom of France, France
Died: May 30, 1431

Considered a great saint and a symbol of French unity, Joan of Arc led the French army to the watershed victory over the English forces in Orleans in 1429. In 1430, she was captured by the Anglo-Burgundians while defending Compiegne. She was burned at the stake at the age of 19 in 1431. Pope Benedict XV canonised her in 1920.

 10 Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette.
2
Famous As: Queen of France
Birthdate: November 2, 1755
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: The Hofburg, Vienna, Austria
Died: October 16, 1793
The last queen of France before the French Revolution started, Marie Antoinette was married to Louis XVI of France and came to be linked with everything that was wrong with the French monarchy including ignorance and extravagance. Her policies aggravated unrest that eventually led to the abolishment of the monarchy and finally the execution of both king and queen.

 11 Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir.
1
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 9, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris
Died: April 14, 1986
French author and existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir is best remembered for her feminist treatise The Second Sex and her novels The Mandarins and She Came to Stay. Her literary contributions also include essays, biographies, and her autobiographical works. She won the Prix Goncourt and the Jerusalem Prize.

 12 Eva Green

Eva Green.
2
Famous As: Model, Actress
Birthdate: July 6, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris

French actress, Eva Green, gained instant fame in 2003 with her first film The Dreamers, directed by the eminent Bernardo Bertolucci. Subsequently she went on to act in a number of notable films like Kingdom of Heaven, Casino Royale, Dark Shadows, Home for Peculiar Children, Franklyn, Cracks and Proxima. She has also acted in television series like Penny Dreadful and Luminaries.

 13 Marion Cotillard

Marion Cotillard.
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Marion Cotillard delivered an Academy Award-winning performance as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, becoming the first to win the award for a French-language film. She was appreciated for her iconic role of Joan of Arc on stage. She has promoted Lady Dior bags and Chanel No. 5 fragrance.

 14 Léa Seydoux

Léa Seydoux.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Passy, Paris

Léa Seydoux is a critically acclaimed French actress who gained international recognition after playing a Bond girl in Spectre. Also known for her modeling career, Seydoux has posed for popular magazines, such as Vogue, L'Officiel, and Numéro. She became the face of Prada's 2013 and 2014 campaign for its fragrances.

 15 Sofia Boutella

Sofia Boutella.
1
Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: April 3, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bab El Oued, Algiers, Algeria

Algerian-French dancer, actress and model, Sofia Boutella garnered fame with the hugely successful international commercial campaign for Nike. The success paved way for her to become a star dancer with Rihanna and Madonna. Later, she starred in films like StreetDance 2 and Star Trek Beyond. Earlier, she was a part of French national gymnastics team.

 16 Vanessa Paradis

Vanessa Paradis.
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 22, 1972
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France

French singer and actress, Vanessa Paradis, became a celebrity at the age of 14 with the French song Joe le taxi in 1987. She tasted further success with English songs like Be My Baby and many other French songs. She has also acted in several French films and has modelled regularly for high-end fashion products by Chanel like perfume and handbags.

 17 Brigitte Macron

Brigitte Macron.
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Famous As: First Lady of France
Birthdate: April 13, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amiens, France

Wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, Brigitte Macron was, interestingly, her husband’s literature and theater teacher at Lycée la Providence. She was the chief strategist during Macron’s 2016-2017 election. Twenty-four years Macron’s senior, Brigitte, was to be the official “First Lady” of France, until a signature campaign thwarted such plans. 

 18 Emma Mackey

Emma Mackey.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 4, 1996
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Le Mans

French-British actor Emma Mackey is best known for her portrayal of Maeve Wiley in the Netflix series Sex Education. Some of her upcoming projects include Emily Brontë’s biopic and the thriller Death on the Nile. She has also appeared in the TV projects Badger Lane and Summit Fever.

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 19 Carla Bruni

Carla Bruni.
1
Famous As: French-Italian singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 23, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Turin, Italy

Carla Bruni is an Italian-French fashion model and singer-songwriter. She gained international recognition after marrying the then president of France Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008. Also known for her political activities, philanthropy, and charity work, Bruni established the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Foundation in 2009; the foundation helps promote access to knowledge for all. She also supports organizations, such as PETA.

 20 Kathie Lee Gifford

Kathie Lee Gifford.
1
Famous As: TV Host, Actress
Birthdate: August 16, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris

Kathie Lee Gifford achieved celebrity status by working as a television presenter. She then became a singer-songwriter and author, cementing her place in the entertainment industry. Also known for her charity work, Kathie serves as an ambassador for Childhelp, a non-profit organization working towards preventing child abuse.

 21 Jeanne Calment

Jeanne Calment.
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Famous As: Oldest Person Ever
Birthdate: February 21, 1875
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Arles
Died: August 4, 1997
Jeanne Calment was a French supercentenarian who lived till 122 years and was, till her death in 1997, the longest-living documented human in history. She attributed her longevity to olive oil, wine, and chocolate. Some experts believe she had died long back and her daughter had falsely assumed her identity.

 22 Edith Piaf

Edith Piaf.
2
Famous As: Singer, Songwriter, Actress
Birthdate: December 19, 1915
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Belleville, Paris, France
Died: October 10, 1963
France’s legendary singer and actor Édith Piaf, or the “Little Sparrow,” is best remembered for her iconic Grammy Hall of Fame-inducted song La Vie en Rose and the classic Non, je ne regrette rien. Raised by the prostitutes of her grandmother’s brothel, she began her life as a street singer.

 23 Pom Klementieff

Pom Klementieff.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 3, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Quebec City, Quebec

French actress and model Pom Klementieff is internationally known for her role as Mantis in Marvel Cinematic Universe films. She had a difficult childhood and struggled a lot in her youth. She started acting when she was 19 and appeared in many French films. After establishing herself in French cinema, she made her Hollywood debut in 2013. 

 24 Mélanie Laurent

Mélanie Laurent.
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Famous As: Actress, Director
Birthdate: February 21, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris

French actor Mélanie Laurent shot to fame with her Étoiles d'Or-winning role in Dikkenek and her César Award-winning performance in Don't Worry, I'm Fine. She made her Hollywood debut with Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, and was also seen in Now You See Me. She has also released a music album.

 25 Kristin Scott Thomas

Kristin Scott Thomas
0
Famous As: Character actor, Stage actor, Film actor
Birthdate: May 24, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Redruth

 26 Sophie Marceau

Sophie Marceau.
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Famous As: Actress, Screenwriter, Director
Birthdate: November 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris
Sophie Marceau is best known for her César Award-winning performance in the French comedy La Boum 2. She has also appeared in English films such as Braveheart, Firelight, and The World Is Not Enough. She has written a novel, is a trained cellist, and has delivered an award-winning directorial debut.

 27 Delphine LaLaurie

Delphine LaLaurie.
3
Famous As: Socialite
Birthdate: March 19, 1787
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana
Died: December 7, 1849
Delphine LaLaurie, also known as Marie Delphine Macarty or Madame Blanque, was a socialite from New Orleans who tortured and killed countless slaves in her Royal Street mansion. Her crimes were discovered after a fire at her mansion. An outraged mob subsequently destroyed the house, while she left New Orleans.

 28 Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen.
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Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: August 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

French politician and lawyer Marine Le Pen, daughter of politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, has been the president of the National Rally since 2011. She is also serving as the member of the National Assembly for Pas-de-Calais's 11th constituency since 2017. She was previously a member of the European Parliament.

 29 Charlotte Gainsbourg

Charlotte Gainsbourg.
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London

Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of French singer Serge Gainsbourg and English actor Jane Birkin, made her singing debut at age 12. She is best known for her César Award-winning roles in La Bûche and An Impudent Girl. Her performance in Antichrist won her an award at the Cannes Film Festival.

 30 Catherine Deneuve

Catherine Deneuve .
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Famous As: French Actress
Birthdate: October 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France

French actress Catherine Deneuve is considered one of the greatest European actresses. Beginning her career at the age of 12, she gained international prominence with her role in the movie The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. She is a 14-time César Award nominee and the recipient of a David di Donatello award. She is multilingual and speaks fluent French, Italian, and English.

 31 Isabella of France

Isabella of France.
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Famous As: Queen of England
Birthdate: 1295 AD
Birthplace: France
Died: August 22, 1358

Isabella of France, also known as the She-Wolf of France, was the Queen of England as the wife of King Edward II. She was known for her diplomatic skills, intelligence, and beauty. Her marriage was a troubled one and she probably had an affair with Roger Mortimer. It is believed that Isabella then arranged the murder of Edward II.

 32 Golshifteh Farahani

Golshifteh Farahani.
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Famous As: Actress, Musician
Birthdate: July 10, 1983
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tehran

Golshifteh Farahani is an Iranian actress renowned for her achievements on the international stage. She is one of the few Iranian actresses to have worked in Hollywood films and many of her films have received international recognition. Farahani has also been advocating for the eradication of tuberculosis in her home country and often gets involved in environmental causes as well.

 33 Audrey Tautou

Audrey Tautou.
1
Famous As: French actress
Birthdate: August 9, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beaumont, Puy-de-Dôme, France
French actor Audrey Tautou is best known for her stellar performances in films such as Amelie and The Da Vinci Code. She played Coco Chanel in the biopic Coco Before Chanel. Tautou is also a fashion icon, popularly known as “The Chanel Muse,” and has modeled for top-notch fashion magazines.

 34 Mary Tudor, Queen of France

Mary Tudor, Queen of France
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Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: March 18, 1496
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sheen Palace, London, England
Died: June 25, 1533

 35 Maria Theresa of Spain

Maria Theresa of Spain.
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Famous As: Queen of France
Birthdate: September 10, 1638
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain
Died: July 30, 1683
Maria Theresa of Spain was the queen consort of France from 1660 to 1683, as the wife of Louis XIV of France. She lost five of her six children early and was also often ignored by the court. She died due to a wound on her arm at age 44.

 36 Isabelle Adjani

Isabelle Adjani
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Famous As: Film actor, Stage actor, Singer
Birthdate: June 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gennevilliers

 37 Leslie Caron

Leslie Caron.
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 1, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Boulogne-sur-Seine, France
French-American actor Leslie Caron is best known for her BAFTA-winning roles in The L-Shaped Room and Lili. She has also won a Golden Globe and an Emmy. A seasoned actor, she began her career as a ballerina. She has also been a jury member at various international film festivals.

 38 Tina Kunakey

Tina Kunakey.
1
Famous As: Model, Vincent Cassel’s Wife
Birthdate: April 5, 1997
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toulouse

Tina Kunakey is a French model. As a young woman, she signed a contract with Mad Models Management, a Spanish modeling agency, and took part in many assignments. She has also appeared in a few TV series and music videos. She is married to actor Vincent Cassel and has one child with him.

 39 Cheyenne Brando

Cheyenne Brando.
1
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: February 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tahiti
Died: April 16, 1995

Cheyenne Brando was a French model and daughter of legendary American actor, Marlon Brando. Troubled by drug addiction and bouts of depression throughout her teenage and adult life, Cheyenne also struggled to cope with personal losses, such as the death of her partner Dag Drollet, who was fatally shot by her half-brother Christian. Brando committed suicide at age 25.

 40 Emmanuelle Seigner

Emmanuelle Seigner.
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 22, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris
French actor Emmanuelle Seigner was initially a model. She gained recognition with her roles in films such as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. She also earned César Award nominations for her roles in Venus in Fur and in Place Vendôme. She is married to legendary film director Roman Polanski.

 41 Angelique Boyer

Angelique Boyer.
1
Famous As: Actress, Model
Birthdate: July 4, 1988
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Claude, Jura, France
French-Mexican actor Angelique Boyer is best known for her appearances in telenovelas such as Corazón Salvaje and Rebelde. She was previously part of the band Rabanitos Verdes. She has won awards such as the Premios Juventud and the Premios TVyNovelas. She has also been part of the film J-ok'el.

 42 Élodie Yung

Élodie Yung
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 22, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France

 43 Colette

Colette.
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 28, 1873
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, France
Died: August 3, 1954

Colette was a French author who received a nomination for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. She is remembered for her novella Gigi, which inspired the 1958 movie and the 1973 musical of the same name. Her life and work have inspired several films, including the 2018 biographical drama film Colette, where Keira Knightley played the title role.

 44 Yael Grobglas

Yael Grobglas
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France

 45 Irène Joliot-Curie

Irène Joliot-Curie.
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: September 12, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris
Died: March 17, 1956

Marie Curie and Pierre Curie’s daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, herself a brilliant scientist, won the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with her husband, Joliot-Curie, for discovering artificial radioactivity. She was also one of the first three female French government members. She tragically died of leukemia caused by exposure to radiation.

 46 Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 1, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France

Christine Lagarde is a French politician, businessperson, and lawyer. She is the current president of the European Central Bank (ECB), a position she has been holding since 1 November 2019. Prior to this, she was the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She is the first woman to head both the ECB and the IMF. 

 47 Bernadette Soubirous

Bernadette Soubirous.
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: January 7, 1844
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lourdes
Died: April 16, 1879
Bernadette Soubirous grew up amidst poverty, which contributed to her ill health and her stunted frame of just over 4 feet. At 14, she had visions of the Virgin Mary, which led to the formation of the Marian shrine of Lourdes. She was declared a saint by Pope Pius XI.

 48 Isabelle Huppert

Isabelle Huppert
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 16, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France

 49 Thérèse of Lisieux

Therese of Lisieux.
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Famous As: Nun
Birthdate: January 2, 1873
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alençon, Orne, France
Died: September 30, 1897
French nun Thérèse of Lisieux, known as "The Little Flower of Jesus,” became one of the most well-known Catholic saints ever. She became the youngest Doctor of the Church and the third woman to receive the honor. A devoted Carmelite, she died of tuberculosis at age 24.

 50 Jade Jagger

Jade Jagger.
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Famous As: Model
Birthdate: October 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris

Jewelry and home designer Jade Jagger, daughter of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, has also been a model. She launched the fashion brand Jade Inc. and a lifestyle concept called Jezebel. She has also worked for Garrard and designed luxury apartments in New York and Mumbai.

French women are also known for their astuteness and business acumen and it is no surprise that the wealthiest woman in the world, Liliane Henriette Charlotte Schueller, is French. When we are talking about all things French, how can we leave out French cuisine or the master chefs like Rougui Dia and Flora Mikula who dish out the delicacies? What would the world of fashion been like had it not been for Coco Chanel who founded the Chanel brand? Read on to explore more about famous French women.