Famous French Fashion Designers

If haute couture is your style or you want the new pret-a-porter look for that impending prom night, you have to thank French for it, for is from here that fashion emerges and expands. France, the world capital of fashion, has been the potboiler of fashion industry - the mecca of style. From old school giants such as Chanel, Pierre Cardin, Céline, Chloe, Dior, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Hermès, Lanvin, Rochas, Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent to a bevy of savvy yet accomplished modern designers such as Isabel Marant, Alice Lemoine, Vanessa Bruno or Bouchra Jarrar, France’s fashion industry has been ever-changing and evolving. And much of that has been because of the talented bunch of fashion designers that the country has been home to. French fashion designers not just dominate the ramp but the wardrobes of millions of people. They are the ones who kick off a trend and determine what’s in and what’s out. Their collections are full of life; each apparel having a story of its own and being a treat for the visual senses. What gives them the edge over other designers is their nuance for detailing, exquisite craftsmanship, interesting palette of colors and impressive cutting and tailoring technique. If you want to taste French fashion, check out the life story and works of some of the most artistically-endowed French fashion designers. Get some handy tips!

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

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 1 Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel.
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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.

 2 Christian Dior

Christian Dior.
3
Famous As: Fashion Designers
Birthdate: January 21, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Granville
Died: October 23, 1957

Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. He is credited with founding Christian Dior, one of the world's top fashion houses, which is currently owned by Groupe Arnault. At the time of its founding, the clothes designed by Christian Dior revolutionized women's dress. The brand also re-established Paris as the fashion hub of the world after World War II.

 3 Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton.
3
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: August 4, 1821
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: France
Died: February 27, 1892

After losing his parents at 10, Louis Vuitton ran away to Paris, where he gained repute as a box-maker/packer, and was even hired by Napoleon III’s wife, Empress Eugénie de Montijo. He then founded the iconic French fashion and luxury goods brand Louis Vuitton, which now operates in 50 countries.

 4 Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin.
3
Famous As: Grand couturier
Birthdate: July 2, 1922
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Venice
Died: December 29, 2020

Italian-born French fashion designer Pierre Cardin revolutionized unisex fashion with his geometric designs. His wine merchant father wanted him to study architecture, but Cardin deviated to fashion instead, starting his career as a men’s tailor. He introduced the Space Age look and also licensed his name out to other products.

 5 Yves Saint-Laurent

Yves Saint-Laurent.
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Famous As: French fashion designer
Birthdate: August 1, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oran
Died: June 1, 2008

Legendary French fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent ruled the fashion scene since the 1960s and introduced the Le Smoking tuxedo suit and trousers for ladies. His first job was as Christian Dior’s assistant at 17, and after Dior’s demise, he headed the House of Dior, before launching his own label.

 6 Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin
3
Famous As: designer
Birthdate: January 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris

When French-Egyptian fashion designer Christian Louboutin entered the fashion scene in Paris, he designed women’s shoes but eventually also launched a men’s collection, too. He is known for his signature stilettoes with red soles. He later also ventured into leather goods and bags. He is openly homosexual.

 7 Hubert de Givenchy

Hubert de Givenchy
3
Famous As: Fashion designer
Birthdate: February 20, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Beauvais, France
Died: March 10, 2018

Apart from launching his own fashion brand, Givenchy, French designer Hubert de Givenchy also gained fame as a personal designer for celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn. Though he initially studied law, Givenchy began his professional career working with Parisian fashion houses. He later introduced designs such as the Bettina blouse.

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 8 Thierry Mugler

Thierry Mugler
3
Famous As: Grand couturier, Designer
Birthdate: December 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Strasbourg

French designer Thierry Mugler was initially known for his skills in ballet and drawing. He began his fashion career working for a boutique in Paris and later launched his brand. He is known for his peculiar clothes, inspired by birds and insects, and made of metal and crystals.

 9 Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier
2
Famous As: Fashion designer
Birthdate: April 24, 1952
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bagneux, France

Known as the enfant terrible of the fashion world, Jean Paul Gaultier wasn’t formally trained in fashion but managed to redefine fashion with his peculiar range of clothes and perfume. He designed Madonna’s cone bra in the 1990s and used material such as corsets and tin cans in his collections.

 10 Paco Rabanne

Paco Rabanne
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Famous As: Grand couturier, Fashion designer, Businessperson
Birthdate: February 18, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pasaia

Born to a seamstress in Basque Country, Francisco Rabaneda y Cuervo escaped to France to avoid the Spanish Civil War and took up the name Paco Rabanne. He later gained fame for his avant-garde accessories, his designer clothes made of material such as metal and plastic, and his signature chainmail dress.

 11 Pierre Balmain

Pierre Balmain.
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Famous As: Fashion Designer
Birthdate: May 18, 1914
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, Savoie, France
Died: June 29, 1982

Legendary French fashion designer Pierre Balmain, who owned the fashion house Balmain, had initially studied architecture but later quit it to pursue his interest in fashion . Born into a family of boutique and drapery business owners, he was introduced to the world of fashion at an early age.

 12 Solenn Heussaff

Solenn Heussaff
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Famous As: Video Jockey
Birthdate: July 20, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Makati City, Philippines

Filipina-French celebrity Solenn Heussaff dons many hats, and is an actor, a designer, a singer, and a make-up artist at the same time. Known for her appearances in films such as Temptation Island and series such as Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Showdown, she is also an animal lover and owns two tortoises.

 13 Paloma Picasso

Paloma Picasso
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Famous As: Fashion designer
Birthdate: April 19, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vallauris, France

Fashion and jewelry designer Paloma Picasso is best known as the daughter of legendary artists Pablo Picasso and Françoise Gilot. She began her career designing costume jewelry for Yves Saint-Laurent and later designed for Tiffany & Co. Known for her signature red lipstick, she also has her own range of perfumes.

 14 Christian Lacroix

Christian Lacroix
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Famous As: Grand couturier, Designer, Postage stamp designer
Birthdate: May 16, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Arles

As a child, French designer Christian Lacroix often put together collages and albums on theater and opera, drawing costumes and looks. Apart from clothes, he has designed accessories and footwear. Known for his diffusion line and his use of color, he has also been involved with stage and interior designing.

 15 Hedi Slimane

Hedi Slimane
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: July 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France

French designer Hedi Slimane began his career as a marketing assistant at Yves Saint Laurent. His menswear silhouettes earned him a CFDA International Designer Award. He now works with the luxury brand Celine. He is also a skilled photographer and has released several photo books and worked for several magazines.

 16 Sonia Rykiel

Sonia Rykiel
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Famous As: Grand couturier, Designer, Children's writer
Birthdate: May 25, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris
Died: August 25, 2016

Sonia Rykiel was a French writer and fashion designer. She is credited with creating the Poor Boy Sweater—a pullover with high armholes—which was showcased on the cover page of French Elle. Dubbed the Queen of Knits, Sonia Rykiel helped redefine the idea of knitwear in fashion. She is also credited with founding the Sonia Rykiel label in 1968.

 17 Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent.
1
Famous As: Fashion Designer
Birthdate: August 1, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oran, French Algeria
Died: June 1, 2008

Yves Saint Laurent was a French fashion designer who founded his eponymous fashion label in 1961. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most popular and influential fashion designers, Saint Laurent is credited with helping women all over the world find confidence by looking both elegant and comfortable at the same time. His life and career inspired many films.

 18 Jean Patou

Jean Patou.
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Famous As: Fashion Designer
Birthdate: August 19, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Normandy, France
Died: March 8, 1936

Jean Patou was a French fashion designer. He is credited with founding the popular French fashion house, Jean Patou. Over the years, several popular fashion designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Bohan, and Jean Paul Gaultier have worked for Jean Patou. Patou is also credited with creating the designer tie, which he invented in the 1920s.

 19 Oleg Cassini

Oleg Cassini
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Famous As: Costume designer
Birthdate: April 11, 1913
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris
Died: March 17, 2006

Born to a Russian diplomat, designer Oleg Cassini was known as much for his affairs with femme fatales such as Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe as for his designs. Initially married to actor Gene Tierney, he had also kept his 34-year marriage to Marianne Nestor a secret till his death.

 20 Christian Audigier

Christian Audigier
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Famous As: Designer, Fashion designer
Birthdate: May 21, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Avignon
Died: July 9, 2015

Best known for launching the brands Ed Hardy and Von Dutch, French designer Christian Audigier had designed everything from clothes to hats and had even released collections of perfume. He was known for his tattoo lifestyle theme, which included sequins, bright colors, and images of skulls and roses.

 21 Nicolas Ghesquière

Nicolas Ghesquière
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Famous As: Grand couturier
Birthdate: May 9, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Comines

Born to a golf-course owner father and a fashionista mother, Nicolas Ghesquière grew up enjoying activities such as horse-riding and fencing. He later had a 15-year stint at Balenciaga, before joining Louis Vuitton. Named to Time 100, he was also named CFDA’s Womenswear Designer of the Year.

 22 Jeanne Lanvin

Jeanne Lanvin
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Famous As: Grand couturier
Birthdate: January 1, 1867
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris
Died: July 6, 1946

Jeanne Lanvin was a French fashion designer who is credited with founding the multinational high fashion house, Lanvin. She is also credited with founding the perfume and beauty company Lanvin Parfums. In the 1920s, she opened shops devoted to menswear, lingerie, and home décor. In 1938, she was presented with the Officier Legion of Honour.

 23 Erté

Erté
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: November 23, 1892
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Russian Empire
Died: April 21, 1990

Russian-French designer and artist Romain de Tirtoff, better known as Erté, not just designed clothes but also created sets, costumes, and posters for opera and ballet performances. He had worked for Harper’s Bazaar and the Folies-Bergère, and had also penned quite a few books on design and illustration.

 24 Max Azria

Max Azria.
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Famous As: Fashion Designer
Birthdate: January 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sfax

Max Azria was a Tunisia-born fashion designer. He was the founder of the contemporary women's clothing brand BCBGMAXAZRIA and the chairman and CEO of the global fashion house the BCBG Max Azria Group. The brand was eventually sold to Marquee Brands and Global Brands Group. Azria was twice married and had six children. He died of lung cancer in 2019. 

 25 Paul Marciano

Paul Marciano
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Famous As: Fashion Designer
Birthdate: 1952 AD
Birthplace: Debdou, Morocco

Born in Morocco and raised in France, designer Paul Marciano is one of the co-founders of Guess and The Marciano Art Foundation. Part of a family of rabbis, he grew up in a synagogue complex and was also part of a Jewish boy scout group.

 26 Paul Poiret

Paul Poiret
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Famous As: Grand couturier
Birthdate: April 20, 1879
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris
Died: April 30, 1944

Paul Poiret was a French fashion designer best remembered for advocating the idea of replacing the corset with the brassiere. Poiret is credited with founding his namesake haute couture house which was responsible for making him one of the most influential designers of pre-World War I Paris. It is also widely believed that Paul Poiret invented the hobble skirt.

 27 Inès de La Fressange

Inès de La Fressange
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Famous As: Model
Birthdate: August 11, 1957
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Gassin, France

Inès de La Fressange is a French model, fashion designer, and style icon. In the 1980s, she became the first model to achieve popularity in mainstream media and the first model to sign an exclusive contract with a fashion house. A symbol of the 1980s, La Fressange was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1998.

 28 Jean Louis

Jean Louis
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Famous As: Artist, Screenwriter, Costume designer
Birthdate: October 5, 1907
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris
Died: April 20, 1997

Jean Louis was a French-born costume designer who worked predominantly in Hollywood. In an illustrious Hollywood career that spanned more than four decades, Louis designed outfits for almost every Hollywood star including Rita Hayworth, Lucille Ball, and Judy Garland. Jean Louis is also credited with designing Marilyn Monroe's iconic dress worn at President John F. Kennedy's 45th birthday celebration.

 29 Uffie

Uffie
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: December 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States

Uffie is an American-French rapper, singer, songwriter, DJ, and fashion designer. She is best known for her debut studio album Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans which peaked at number 18 in the UK Dance Albums Chart. Uffie's life and career inspired a documentary that was showcased at the 2019 FIPA film festival.

 30 Julia Restoin Roitfeld

Julia Restoin Roitfeld
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Famous As: Designer
Birthdate: November 12, 1980
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: France

Julia Restoin Roitfeld is a French designer and creative director. Julia has worked with some of the most prestigious brands, such as Miu Miu and Jean-Paul Gaultier. She has also modeled for international brands like Tom Ford, Lancôme, and Givenchy. Julia Restoin Roitfeld has also graced the cover pages of international publications like Elle, Vogue, Madame Figaro, and Harper's Bazaar.

 31 Madeleine Vionnet

Madeleine Vionnet
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Famous As: Grand couturier
Birthdate: June 22, 1876
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chilleurs-aux-Bois
Died: March 2, 1975

Madeleine Vionnet was a French fashion designer who established her own fashion house in 1912. From 1919 to 1939, Vionnet was one of the most prominent designers in Paris. Dubbed the Queen of the bias cut, Vionnet is best remembered for popularizing the bias cut. Regarded as one of the 20th century's most influential designers, Vionnet inspired many fashion designers.

 32 Roger Vivier

Roger Vivier
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Famous As: Designer
Birthdate: November 13, 1907
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 3, 1998

Roger Vivier was a French fashion designer. Dubbed the Fragonard of the shoe, Vivier specialized in making shoes and is best remembered for creating the popular stiletto heel. In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II wore the shoes designed by Vivier for her coronation. Roger Vivier also designed shoes for popular celebrities like Gloria Guinness, Ava Gardner, and The Beatles.

 33 André Courrèges

André Courrèges
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Famous As: Fashion designer
Birthdate: March 9, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pau, France
Died: January 7, 2016

André Courrèges was a French fashion designer whose designs were influenced by futurism and modernism. Courrèges is remembered for being one of the designers to have invented the miniskirt. He is also renowned for his extremely simple designs that were paired with go-go boots; the go-go boot was initially known as the Courrèges boot.

 34 Emanuel Ungaro

Emanuel Ungaro
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Famous As: Fashion Designer
Birthdate: February 13, 1933
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aix-en-Provence, France
Died: December 22, 2019

Born to a tailor father, French designer Emanuel Ungaro was gifted a sewing machine as his first toy. His first job was at a tailor's shop in Paris, following which he worked for Balenciaga and Courrèges. Best known for his menswear and perfume collection, he later created his own label.

 35 Guy Laroche

Guy Laroche
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Famous As: Grand couturier
Birthdate: July 16, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: La Rochelle
Died: February 17, 1989

Guy Laroche was a French fashion designer who is credited with founding his eponymous company which went on to become a major fashion house in France. Laroche is also credited with bringing ready-to-wear outfits to Paris. In 2005, American actress Hilary Swank received her Academy Award wearing a Guy Laroche dress.

 36 Agnès B.

Agnès B.
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Famous As: Fashion Designer
Birthdate: November 26, 1941
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Versailles, France
Famed for her self-named brand, Agnès B began her career as junior editor for Elle Magazine. Soon, she left the job to become a fashion apprentice, eventually launching her own brand, opening he first overseas shop in New York City in early 1980s and expanding the line to include skincare, cosmetics and accessories before co-founding a film concern called O'Salvation.

 37 Georgina Brandolini d'Adda

Georgina Brandolini d'Adda
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Famous As: Fashion designer
Birthdate: December 23, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Born in Brazil, to a French aristocrat father and a Brazilian mother, Princess Georgina Maria, better known as Georgina Brandolini d'Adda, started her career as a Dior intern. She then worked for Valentino and Balmain. She has also designed jackets for Blazé Milano and worked for the São Paulo-based Iguatemi.

 38 Nicole Farhi

Nicole Farhi
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Famous As: Fashion Designer
Birthdate: July 25, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nice, France

Known for her elegant, unstructured designs, fashion designer Nicole Farhi began her career as a freelancer in Paris before moving to London. Eventually she joined French Connection as the head of its design studio in Bow, very soon launching her own label under the company’s umbrella. She gradualy expandied it to include shoes, accessories, home décor, opening shops and even restaurants.

 39 Ted Lapidus

Ted Lapidus
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Famous As: Fashion Designer
Birthdate: June 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 29, 2008

Born to a Russian Jewish tailor, French designer Ted Lapidus is credited with popularizing military-style fashion and blue jeans as part of mainstream fashion design. He was known for his signature Saharienne and the uniform look. Celebrities such as John Lennon and Brigitte Bardot wore his creations.

 40 Lilly Daché

Lilly Daché
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Famous As: Milliner
Birthdate: October 10, 1898
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bègles, France
Died: December 31, 1989

French-American milliner Lilly Daché was initially inspired by her Bordeaux-based milliner aunt and was later apprenticed to Parisian milliner Caroline Reboux. After moving to the U.S., she worked at Macy’s and then launched her own creations. She had designed hats for celebrities such as Betty Davis and Audrey Hepburn, too.

 41 Pauline Trigère

Pauline Trigère
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Famous As: Fashion designer
Birthdate: November 4, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 13, 2002

Born to a tailor father and a dressmaker mother, Pauline Trigère had already learned to use a sewing machine by age 10. She later came to be known for her well-fitting cuts and her use of wool. She also launched jewelry, perfume, and scarves, and had clients such as Bette Davis.