What is it about the French that exemplifies elegance and sophistication? Is it something in the water, or the eau, is it the French air that makes French designers so effortlessly chic? French design is instantly recognizable by the clean silhouettes, and minimalist approach. The French truly believe that “Less is More,” after all, it was Mademoiselle Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel who first said “Before you go out, always take something off.” Get to know our Top 5 French Fashion Designers and maisons (in alphabetical order).
The “Jeweler to Kings and King of Jewelers,” Cartier was founded in 1847, when Louis-François Cartier inherited a jewelry workshop in Paris from his master. However, it was his grandsons, Louis, Pierre, and Jacques, who are responsible for making Cartier a world-renowned brand. In 1904, Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont complained to his friend, Louis Cartier, how unreliable pocket watches were when flying. And so, Cartier designed a flat watch that could be worn around the wrist, with a distinctive square bezel, and Cartier’s first men’s wristwatch was born: The “Santos.”
Cartier timepieces are the pure definition of sophistication. From the sleek elegant lines of a Cartier Tank to the masculine details on the Cartier Roadster, each Cartier watch model is a true classic.
In addition to creating iconic timepieces, Cartier has created some of the most coveted jewelry of all time, including the iconic LOVE collection.
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel had a very humble start in life, but now she is one of the most important people in the history of fashion. She began her business in 1909, when she opened a hat shop in Paris, which was very popular among ladies of society. A year later, she opened a bigger hat shop at 31 Rue Cambon, and two years later, Coco was selling pret-a-porter women’s clothes. Tired of the unnatural and uncomfortable fashion of the time, mademoiselle Chanel introduced a revolutionary line of clothing made out of jersey and other comfortable materials, that allowed women ease of movement.
Chanel further liberated women’s hands by creating the first bag with long straps, for toting leisure, when she created the Flap bag, one of the most recognizable handbags in the world. Today, the Chanel maison thrives under the direction of Karl Lageferld, continuing to surprise its devotees season after season, but while still keeping the elegance and sophistication first envisioned by Mademoiselle Chanel.