Numerous French contemporary labels thriving in the shadows of their high end counterparts. Now brought to light, as they begin to collaborate with the American market and creating luxurious yet affordable products. While Paris is the birthplace of the most renowned and expensive brands, Los Angeles is the place for contemporary brands to truly grow. The intersection between the two, creates a niche for smaller high quality, ready-to-wear brands that can meet the demands of the consumer market — which is the so-called French contemporary fashion wave.

Sandro

Photograph courtesy of Sandro

Sandro

Photograph courtesy of Sandro

Nowadays, the primary mode of millennial dressing is to go casual and “high-low”. Hence, this wave bridges the gap between luxury Parisian brands and the mass market. It shifts the paradigm for French businesses and reshapes read-to-wear fashion by making it higher quality, at a lower price. The contemporary brands also strategically manufacture in regions with lower labour costs to reduce their final prices. Despite a lower price, these brands still retain the inherent quality of French luxury by the way they were established and marketed. Today, they are expanding all around the world. Sandro, for instance, now has more than 160 stores around the world.

Zadig & Voltaire

Photograph courtesy of Zadig & Voltaire

Zadig & Voltaire

Photograph courtesy of Zadig & Voltaire

Maje

Photograph courtesy of Maje

Another factor that allows French contemporary brands to expand so rapidly, is that they are quick to respond to the consumer demand by tailoring production rates for buyers. So it is no surprise that these labels are constantly changing. Business of Fashion predicts that French contemporary styles will shift away from the petite and slender aesthetic — for example, replacing blazers with leather jackets (BoF, 2011). Evidently, the iconic Parisian style and sizing are being altered to keep up with consumer demands as it expands towards the international wholesale and retail market.

The Kooples

Photograph courtesy of The Kooples

Claudie Pierlot

Photograph courtesy of Claudie Pierlot

Despite alterations due to consumer market reasons, the brands still maintain an underlying Parisian elegance and aim to provide wearable wardrobe staples. Like their high end counterparts, the style is timeless and chic, yet the casual, feminine and sporty style makes them very unique.

Many thanks to the referenced labels for press materials.

“References”

Moore (2014) Sandro and the new French contemporary fashion wave in L.A. [Online] Available at http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/24/news/la-ar-sandro-and-the-new-french-contemporary-fashion-wave-in-la-20140324 [Accessed 05/07/17]

Business of Fashion (2011) The French Contemporary Wave That’s Reshaping Ready-to-Wear [Online] Available at https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/the-french-contemporary-wave-thats-reshaping-ready-to-wear [Accessed 05/07/17]

Ahmed (2017) What’s next for French contemporary? [Online] Available at https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/whats-next-for-french-contemporary [Accessed 05/07/17]