I spent this past summer studying in France and was lucky enough to have an undeniably chic 15-year-old host sister. We quickly realized we had a mutual fondness for fashion, and within a week she had given me a thorough rundown on her favorite French brands.
Upon returning to the U.S., I was dismayed by the thought of no longer having easy access to such reasonably priced yet incredibly chic fashion labels. However, I happened to notice adjacent Maje and Sandro boutiques (two of my host sister’s favorite choices) while spending an afternoon in the West Village. Lo and behold, it turns out that a myriad of French brands are indeed expanding overseas.
It’s quickly becoming this much easier to dress like a French girl, and here are some of my favorite edgy, wearable, and (generally) affordable lines that have recently invaded NYC:
APC (131 Mercer St): practical, tasteful, boyishly preppy basics—particularly great coats and pullovers.
Comptoir des Cotonniers (155 Spring St): cheerful separates, floral prints, and stripes—excellent daytime clothing.
Isabel Marant (469 Broome St): girly-cool dresses, cozy-chic sweaters, and inexplicably cool shoes.
Jerome Dreyfuss (473 Broome St): beautiful, tastefully trendy, high-quality leather handbags created by Marant’s husband.
Maje (145 Spring St and 417 Bleecker St): feminine, day-to-night, perfect mix of conservative and funky.
Sandro (415 Bleecker St): self-described “bohemian chic,” demure, feminine with daring touches.
Zadig et Voltaire (831 Washington St): funky (lots of skulls), casual, and comfortable in neutral tones.
The Kooples, quite possibly my favorite French brand, is set to open later this year.