Trending: Fake French Fashion Brands

Trending: Fake French Fashion Brands
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Photo: Oracle Fox

L’Oéil, Réalisation, Totême, Marais … parlez-vous Français? Even if you don’t, you’d be forgiven for thinking we just rattled off a list of French brands—but non! Not one of the aforementioned fashion labels hails from the land of croissants and Christian Dior.

Like their style, their food, and their laissez-faire attitude toward life and fitness, French names are a quality the rest of the world can’t seem to help but covet, and there’s nothing preventing a non-French brand from adopting one—which can be a little confusing, even for those of us who do this for a living. While the phenomenon is hardly new—Comme des Garçons, for one, is based in Tokyo—this year seemed to be an especially big one for indie brands with faux-French roots.

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One of them, Loéil, an e-commerce shop that’s become an editor favorite in recent months, sounds French enough—like trompe-l’œil, right? But the lack of apostrophe, as well as the fact that the website URL——would translate to “the the eye” in French, was a pretty strong tip-off to the fact that no, they are in fact based in Korea. (That said, Vetements, a Paris-based brand, also dropped the circumflex in their name from the original French vêtements, which means clothing.)

Fashionista investigated this naming phenomenon last year, and—perhaps unsurprisingly—found that most labels choose Gallic-sounding names for the caché they’re thought to lend to the brand. After all, Flying Roof might sound like a kind of kooky name for your fashion line, but Toit Volant? Now we’re talking.

Ahead, get to know—and shop—ten of our favorite faux-French brands in fashion right now.

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Where they’re actually from: South Korea and Los Angeles

What they do: Affordable takes on high-fashion silhouettes—think Zara, but online-only and still pretty under-the-radar.

Abbey Top, $68; at Loéil

Amalfi Knotted Slides, $82; at Loéil

Costello Shirt, $112; at Loéil

Marais USA

Where they’re actually from: Los Angeles (did the “USA” give it away?)

What they do: Candy-colored suede slides, block-heel sandals, and strappy mules (otherwise known as the shoes you’ve seen every cool girl on Instagram wearing this summer).

Jardin Heel, $198; at Marais USA

Slide, $168; at Marais USA

Slide, $168; at Marais USA


Where they're actually from: Los Angeles

What they do: A modern version of a '90s hot-girl wardrobe; fittingly, each piece is named after a supermodel from the decade.

Banks Tank, $125; at Trois


Alek Dress, $215; at Trois

Raica Top, $135; at Trois

Être Cécile

Where they’re actually from: London by way of Australia (founder Yasmin Sewell grew up near Sydney)

What they do: Tees and sweatshirts with tongue-in-cheek Franglais phrases like “Tres High” and “Presque Parisienne,” plus plenty of denim to pair them with.

Big C Floral Boyfriend Sweatshirt, $77.90 (was $129.84); at Être Cécile

Tres High Oversize T-Shirt, $90.89; at Être Cécile

Rapide T-Shirt, $84.40; at Être Cécile


Where they’re actually from: New York by way of Sweden (founders Elin Kling and Karl Lindman hail from Stockholm)

What they do: Sophisticated, minimalist clothing for the chic world traveller.

Trento Short Sleeve, $108 (was $180); at Totême

Khalifa Scarf, $204; at Totême

Havana Dress, $240 (was $400); at Totême


Where they’re actually from: New York City

What they do: Easy, super-wearable pieces inspired by your favorite French style icons (Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot, Françoise Hardy, et. al).

Denim Kara Dress, $163; at Loup

Pink Sabrina Pants, $154; at Loup

White Edie Worksuit, $180; at Loup


Where they're actually from: Australia

What they do: Perfect leggy party dresses and '90s-inspired separates.

The Goldie Dress, $195; at Réalisation

The Ozzie Dress, $170; at Réalisation

The Bianca Top, $140; at Réalisation


Where they're actually from: Los Angeles

What they do: Ultrafemme loungewear and intimates for girls who refuse to grow up.

Palais Pants, $156; at Fete

Valley Babydoll, $88; at Fete

Dauphine Bustier, $78; at Fete, and Shorty, $68; at Fete

Toit Volant

Where they're actually from: Los Angeles

What they do: Classic wardrobe staples with that little something extra—added volume, an unexpected ruffle, a layered neckline.

Verona Dress, $232.50; at Toit Volant

Belleville Top, $130; at Toit Volant

Poppy Top, $98; at Toit Volant

Pas de Calais

Where they're actually from: Tokyo, Japan

What they do: Off-duty luxury for the detail-oriented and trend-averse.

Pas de Calais Chiffon Dress, $615; at Barneys New York

Pas de Calais Striped-Detail Blouse, $393; at Barneys New York

Pas de Calais Drop-Rise Pants, $325; at Barneys New York

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