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The 10 Most Coveted French Handbag Brands

The 10 Most Coveted French Handbag Brands

french handbag brands

Here is your definitive guide to the best French handbag brands. From the timeless craftsmanship of Le Tanneur to the contemporary elegance of Polène, this article, offers a comprehensive list of the best French handbag brands you definitely need to know. In this roundup, familiar names share the spotlight with emerging and lesser-known designers, broadening your horizon in the world of French fashion. Whether you’re seeking an exquisite evening bag, a practical tote for the office, or stylish options within a budget, continue scrolling to explore these ten brands that beautifully blend luxury, practicality, and craftsmanship.

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1. Le Tanneur

french handbag brands Le Tanneur
Photo: Le Tanneur. The model is wearing the small Louise bucket bag in mahogany color.

Le Tanneur is a brand synonymous with French elegance and masterful leatherwork since its inception in the Belle Époque era of 1898. Rooted in a heritage of unparalleled craftsmanship and a commitment to quality, Le Tanneur stands out for its timeless designs and exceptional attention to detail, using only full-grain leather, the highest quality leather. This storied brand, born from the visionary partnership of leatherworker Charles Bonnardel and tanner Francisque Bornex, revolutionized the luxury leather goods market with its innovative “Le Sans Couture” purse. Today, Le Tanneur continues to craft not just accessories but enduring pieces of heritage. My favorite from Le Tanneur’s collection is the small Émilie in tan brown, a timeless piece I have long cherished on my wishlist.

2. Polène

french handbag brands Polène
Photo: Polène.

Polène is a French brand established in 2016 by a visionary trio of siblings, renowned for its minimalistic yet creatively expressive leather goods. Merging refined, timeless design with innovative craftsmanship, Polène’s pieces are conceptualized in their Paris studio and brought to life through high-quality leather sourced from Spanish and Italian tanneries. The production is entrusted to the craftsmen of Ubrique, a Spanish town specializing in luxury leather goods. My favorite Polène bag is the Numéro Sept in camel (which was kindly gifted to me by the brand), and I’m considering the Nodde in smooth cognac as my next purchase.

3. Chloé

french handbag brands Chloé
Photo: Chloé.

Immerse yourself in the elegant world of Chloé, a Parisian luxury fashion house founded in 1952 by Gaby Aghion. Renowned for revolutionizing women’s fashion with its chic, ready-to-wear collections, Chloé stands as a symbol of Parisian style and confidence. The brand’s commitment to artisanal excellence shines through Chloé Craft, which collaborates with independent artists to create limited-edition, cherished pieces. I absolutely adore the new Marcie shoulder bag, the latest addition to Chloé’s iconic Marcie collection, which captivates with its sleek shape crafted from textured leather, offering ample space for daily essentials.

4. A.P.C.

french handbag brands A.P.C.
Photo: A.P.C.

A.P.C., founded in 1987 by Jean Touitou and known primarily for its raw denim, is a brand celebrated for its creativity, authenticity, and durability. Short for “Atelier de Production et de Création,” the brand skillfully balances the art of fashion design with the practicality of production. With a style that’s deliberately understated yet chic, A.P.C. offers a range of clothing and accessories that cater to those seeking bold yet unobtrusive style. Jean and his wife Judith, the artistic director, ensure every piece is timeless and made from high-quality materials, reflecting their philosophy of simplicity and quality. I have my eye on this beautiful A.P.C. Ashley debossed-logo leather bag in wine red, a chic addition that’s currently on my wishlist.

5. Longchamp

french handbag brands Longchamp
Photo: Longchamp.

Longchamp, a French luxury leather goods brand, was founded in Paris in 1948 by Jean Cassegrain. Originally a purveyor of luxury leather-covered pipes, the brand evolved to offer a wide range of leather and canvas handbags, luggage, shoes, and fashion accessories, including the iconic Le Pliage bag launched in 1993. Renowned for its innovation, particularly in using nylon for bags, Longchamp remains a family-owned business, preserving its legacy while operating in 80 countries with approximately 1,500 retail outlets. With its blend of elegance, practicality, and enduring quality, Longchamp continues to be a favorite among women of all ages in France and globally.

6. Hermès

french handbag brands Hermès
Photo: Hermès.

Hermès, an emblem of French luxury, was founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermès as a harness workshop in Paris. Originally serving European nobility with equestrian gear, the brand evolved into a renowned producer of high-quality leather goods, including bags for horse feed, saddles, and rider accessories. The 1930s saw the introduction of the iconic Kelly bag, named after Grace Kelly, and in 1984, the Birkin bag was created following a chance encounter between CEO Jean-Louis Dumas and actress Jane Birkin. While Hermès is globally celebrated for its iconic Birkin and Kelly bags, I personally find a deeper allure in their lesser-known designs like the Jypsiere mini and 28, Picotin, Roulis, and vintage treasures like the Fonsbelle and Ring bags.

7. Sézane

french handbag brands sézane
Photo: Sézane.

Sézane was founded by Morgane Sézalory in 2013. The brand’s inception dates back to Sézalory’s teenage years, selling unique fashion finds and vintage pieces on eBay. Evolving from this, she created “Les Composantes,” offering a curated selection of vintage items that quickly gained a dedicated following. Recognizing her customers’ desire for more accessible fashion, Sézalory transitioned to creating her own label, Sézane (the contraction of her first and last names), blending her expertise in fabrics and fashion history. This marked the birth of a brand that seamlessly fuses contemporary style with vintage elegance, embodying the essence of modern Parisian chic.

I absolutely adore two handbags from Sézane: the Milo classic bag in natural heritage, an everyday essential crossbody bag, and the Victor bag in crocodile print, the ideal accessory to complement any outfit for a chic soirée.

8. Celine

french handbag brands celine
Photo: Celine.

Celine was founded in 1945 by Céline Vipiana as a made-to-measure children’s shoe boutique, evolving into a renowned brand for “haute couture” shoes and expanding into women’s fashion. In the 1960s, Celine ventured into leather goods and accessories, later adding a sportswear collection. Under the artistic direction of Hedi Slimane at the ateliers on 16 rue Vivienne, the brand continues to blend its heritage with modern “haute couture” and ready-to-wear collections. I have a thing for vintage Celine Triomphe handbags, particularly those adorned with the horse carriage caleche symbol. I recently acquired one this summer that has quickly become a staple in my daily wardrobe.

9. Amélie Pichard

french handbag brands amelie pichard
Photo: Amélie Pichard Baby abag in eel red.

Amélie Pichard is a brand rooted in artisanal craftsmanship and sustainable values. Transitioning from clothing design to creating her own line of shoes and handbags, Amélie Pichard adopts a thoughtful “made-to-order” model to combat overproduction and the fast fashion cycle. Emphasizing the importance of reducing environmental impact and maximizing social impact, Pichard’s approach is a conscious decision to remain responsible, focusing on creativity and meaningful engagement rather than profit-driven expansion. Since its debut in 2012, the Abag, the inaugural creation of the Maison, has risen to iconic status, establishing itself as a true staple piece of the brand.

10. Vanessa Bruno

french handbag brands Vanessa Bruno
Photo: Vanessa Bruno.

Vanessa Bruno launched her eponymous brand at 25 in Paris, quickly making a mark with the iconic sequined Cabas Tote, a symbol of modern, independent womanhood. Over two decades later, her collection of chic, relaxed clothing and accessories epitomizes comfort, romance, and true Parisian allure. The Cabas tote, designed to be practical yet stylish for everyday use and travel, especially by bike, became an immediate global sensation. Adorned with distinctive sequins, it’s not only Vanessa Bruno’s signature item but also a representation of relaxed Parisian elegance.

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