The 14 French Men’s Brands You Need To Know
Say bonjour to MR PORTER’s exclusive capsule collections from France’s most stylish designers.
This summer, we have teamed up with 14 of our favourite contemporary French brands to create a series of capsule collections that will be available exclusively on MR PORTER. Featuring new designs from long-time collaborators such as AMI, Officine Generale and Maison Kitsuné as well as new-to-us brands such as elegant suitmaker Husbands and artisanal outfitter De Bonne Facture, the Vive La France capsules cover the full spectrum of the modern male wardrobe, from contemporary, street-wise tailoring to Riviera-worthy shirts, shoes and accessories. The idea is to offer a window into the current mood of French style, whether that’s reworked workwear (Arpenteur, Hartford, Le Mont St Michel), wry Parisian charm (Holiday Boileau, Maison Labiche) or new versions of classic French pieces we know and love. Lacoste has even dressed up its iconic crocodile logo to mark the occasion. Scroll down to discover the full range.
A clothing line, a record label, a café and, let’s face it, something of a movement, Maison Kitsuné was launched by former Daft Punk manager Mr Gildas Loaëc and architect Mr Masaya Kuroki in 2002 and since then has become synonymous with Parisian street cool. In its exclusive capsule for MR PORTER, it’s taken inspiration from utopian French architecture of the 1960s, such as Mr Renzo Piano’s iconic Pompidou Centre, to create a range of eye-catching prints on T-shirts and shirts.
A cult Marais boutique that specialises in witty embroidered garments, Maison Labiche has created a range of custom T-shirts and sweats for its Vive La France capsule, which feature quintessentially and insouciantly French phrases – from “bien sûr” (of course) to “rêveur” (dreamer) – and are unique to MR PORTER.
This Lyon-based brand is all about local produce, specifically impeccable workwear with a vintage feel, which is made within a few miles of its design studio. Its Vive La France capsule is particularly strong in utilitarian outerwear but also incorporates print. The brand’s founders, Mr Marc Asseily and his cousin Mr Laurent Bourven, are big fans of Ligne Claire comic books and pepper their products with specially commissioned illustrations by the Belgian artist Régric.
One of France’s foremost shoemakers, J.M. Weston is perhaps best known for its penny loafers, which were de rigueur among Paris street tribe La bande du Drugstore in the 1960s. Its exclusive shoe collection for MR PORTER offers a more contemporary twist on its classic, top-stitched Derby, here offered in a jazz-club-worthy blue suede with kiltie detail.
Bleu De Chauffe
This brand’s name refers to the blue workwear jacket worn by French train drivers in the 19th and 20th centuries. But its raison d’être is impeccably handcrafted and wonderfully hardy work bags, which are produced by artisans in the brand’s workshop in Aveyron. This exclusive style, rendered in organic leather, is a particularly versatile number that can be worn as a slim backpack or carried as a handy tote or satchel, thanks to the handle on the top.
Holiday Boileau is an appealingly graphic collection masterminded by the acclaimed Parisian art director and Holiday magazine editor-in-chief Mr Franck Durand (you can take a peek inside his studio here). The brand’s Vive La France capsule focuses on sweats and T-shirts incorporating nostalgic logos as well as some iconic illustrations from the magazine’s archives.
The brand that invented the polo shirt should need little introduction. Nor should its iconic crocodile logo. But in honour of Vive La France, this sharp-toothed customer has had a bit of a makeover (spoiler: it features a beret). Act fast to scoop up these limited-edition, couldn’t-be-more Gallic polos, which are exclusive to MR PORTER and come in a range of summery colours.
Parisian tailor Husbands is the embodiment of savoir-faire. Its exclusive capsule for MR PORTER features a collection of thoroughly summer-appropriate suits, shirts and ties that take their inspiration from 1970s cinema. If you’ve ever fancied dressing like Mr Alain Delon at his peak, this is the place to go.
Mr Alexandre Matiussi’s effortlessly cool brand AMI has been a driving force in uniting the rarefied world of Paris’s runways with the insouciant day-to-day style that its most stylish men practise day in, day out. In his Vive La France capsule, he proposes a mix-and-match approach to tailoring and casualwear centred around the idea of a casual tuxedo. The collection also features some fantastic light summer outerwear.
This Left Bank brand is renowned for its premium finishes and fabrics, which are served up with admirably restrained stylings and an especially attractive price point. For Vive La France, designer Mr Pierre Mahéo has taken inspiration from French cinematic icons to create a workwear-infused collection that features collaborations with Spring Court and Carvil for sneakers and sandals, and François Pinton for eyewear.
De Bonne Facture
De Bonne Facture is something of a novel concept in the realm of contemporary men’s style. It is utterly dedicated to quality, provenance and the details that matter, it produces its small-edition collections via a series of artisanal ateliers that span the length and breadth of France and it uses the very best fabrics it can find from around the world. In short, it’s a brand for those who appreciate the finest craftsmanship. For its exclusive capsule with MR PORTER, it’s offering a classic bomber jacket in Japanese brushed wool-cotton, jersey pieces in 1960s deadstock fabric, outerwear in English Ventile and knitwear in undyed Scottish Shetland wool.
Founded in 1979 by Mr Yves Chareton, Hartford’s founding mission was to reinterpret the casual stylings of the US West Coast with a decidedly European twist. It’s Vive La France capsule, however, focuses closer to home by paying tribute to the keystones of contemporary French style, from the Riviera to Nouvelle Vague. Look here for a wide range of exceptionally relaxed casual pieces that are tailor-made for summer.
Le Mont Saint Michel
A historic workwear brand that was revived in 1998 by Mr Alexandre Milan, Le Mont Saint Michel is the place to go if you want a truly authentic take on the iconic French workman’s moleskin jacket. For Vive La France, the brand has kindly supplied MR PORTER with several variations on this theme and is offering the timeless and hardwearing garment in a range of thoroughly modern colourways, from classic blue to sharp white and a warm terracotta.
The Breton striped T-shirt is one of the icons of the male wardrobe, and Armor Lux has been perfecting its particular take on the look since 1938, so should know a thing or two about it. For its Vive La France capsule, the Quimper-based brand has expressed its love of stripes across a range of timelessly cool and wonderfully comfortable striped long-sleeved T-shirts, sweatshirts and panelled hoodies, all of which are made in France at its historic manufacturing facility.