The website for the lovers of the french lifestyle Live in France like the French


PICTO CHIC Created with Sketch.

France world leader in luxury

Clothing, perfumery, jewelry, leather goods... For centuries, France has been renowned in various luxury sectors, and almost half of today's global brands (130 out of 270) are French. A sector that contributes not only to the national GDP, but also (and above all?) to the reputation of France and its lifestyle.

The soft power of the Sun King

Products of exceptional quality, based on historic and precious craftsmanship: that's one definition of luxury, to which we can add the notions of innovation and rarity, two characteristics that generally justify the cost and prestige of these highly sought-after products.

In fact, it is this prestigious aspect that is behind the economic development of this sector in France: after coming under Italian influence in the early Renaissance, it was in the 17th century, under the reign of Louis XIV, that image and elegance became veritable tools of influence, and a social and economic ecosystem in its own right was born.

Around the Court at Versailles, minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert concentrated the wealth and talents of French craftsmen, creating major factories such as Saint-Gobain (in 1665, initially to produce mirrors), the Gobelins (tapestries and decorative arts) and the Royal Manufactory of Sèvres (fine porcelain of the highest artistic and technical quality).

Luxury is about rarity, creativity and elegance.

Pierre Cardin

A highly resilient industry

After the fall of the monarchy and the various revolutions that followed, new social classes emerged, with creative craftsmen dictating (good) taste to these new costumers. In the 19th century, France saw the birth of several brands - still active today - such as Hermès (1837), Cartier (1847), Louis Vuitton (1854), Boucheron (1858), Lancel (1876) and Van Cleef & Arpels (1906).

In the 20th century, despite 2 World Wars, the French luxury sector held up well, thanks in part to its capacity for innovation, particularly in fashion, with designers such as Paul Poiret and Christian Dior, and women such as Jeanne Lanvin, Madeleine Vionnet and Coco Chanel.
What do they all have in common? The use of noble materials such as leather, silk and French jacquard and, at the same time, the development of their fashion brands in other fields.

Luxury from every angle

When we think of "French luxury", haute-couture is often what spontaneously springs to mind, but it's only part of a sector that also includes :

  • leather goods (Longchamp, Lancel),
  • fashion accessories (Louboutin shoes, Cartier bags, belts or jewelry...),
  • perfume (Guerlain, Dior, Givenchy...),
  • cosmetics (L'Oréal, Lancôme and Clarins, to name just 3)
  • watchmaking and jewelry (Boucheron, Chaumet) and
  • goldsmithing for the table, another embodiment of French art de vivre around the world, with brands such as Christofle, Baccara and Ercuis.

These are just some of the expertise and great names that have forged France's image around the world and demonstrated its undisputed leadership in this booming luxury sector.

Valérie from Comme des Français



Add to your knowledge of the subject with these articles