Tuesday, July 14, 2009

5 Favorite French Brands


In honor of Bastille Day and the French, here's my take on some favorite French brands.

1. Lacoste

Last week's Wimbledon men's final really brought this home to me. There's Federer all superhuman in his gold Nike gear looking every inch the Tennis God/Machine and there was Andy Roddick in his subdued Lacoste wear embodying the grace and sportsmanship of tennis. He seemed more human, more likable and more about the actual game. Lacoste has had it's moments of popularity and then some less, but it seems to endure and continue to represent the quiet confidence and love of the game of it's original namesake, Rene Lacoste.

2. Veuve Clicquot

I have to admit I am partial to champagne in general. But Veuve Clicquot in particular I admire both for it's delicious bubbly, but also for the way it manages to continue to surprise and delight with it's iconic orange and beautiful (and often useful) packaging.

3. Pylones

This might seem like a strange choice. A lot of people don't know that this brand of whimsical household items and kitchen gadgets is actually French. But it is. Pylones (pronounced pee-lone) was founded in France in 1985 by Alan Ceppos and Frédéric Rambaud. What I love about this brand is that it is so whimsical, colorful, and light-hearted (not qualities always associated with the French- with apologies to my French husband and friends). But it literally draws you in the store, and even just passing by the windows in Grand Central every morning makes me smile.

4. YSL

This brand was founded in 1961 but still manages to feel fresh, contemporary and crave worthy. In recent years it's begun to take itself slightly less seriously with the introduction of more color and whimsy in some of it's famous patterns. I love what it represents. Timeless, but always contemporary and crave-worthy style.

5. Victor Hugo

A controversial figure but undoubtedly a literary master and a self-described "Free Thinker". He actually spend much of his life in exile from Paris but was a quintessential French intellectual and writer. Les Miserables (albeit in it's more digestible Broadway incarnation) remains one of the stories that has touched me the most deeply with it's themes of love and sacrifice.

Vive La France (and the French brands).

That's my point of view. What's your twist?
What French brands are you celebrating this Bastille Day?

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