Special Report – France

Special Report France 🇫🇷

Live from the Market

Fashion Pressured by Inflation

Presented by the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM) at Fashion Reboot 2023, the report « Les marchés de la mode à l’épreuve de l’inflation » highlights the growing impact of rising prices on the sector, for both retail and the consumer.

Fashion may be the stuff of dreams, but it’s not immune to economic realities. Following the Covid-19 health crisis, the clothing market for the past two years has been battling inflation. And while in 2023 price increases on clothing – averaging 4% – were lower than in other sectors, such as fuel, the indirect impact of the general context on fashion sales was significant. Consumers were forced to make sacrifices.

“Our survey shows, for example, that 66% of French people have had to increase their spending on food. This doesn’t mean they bought more, but the usual shop cost more. At the same time, according to CREDOC, 42% of these same consumers have imposed restrictions on their clothing,” observes Gildas Minvielle, Director of the IFM Economic Observatory.

According to the economist, apparel sales in 2023 will therefore reflect “a deceptive stability.” “It is only because of rising prices that sales in the textile-apparel sector, estimated at 26.8 billion euros, remain stable. In reality, sales volumes have fallen by an average of 4% compared to 2022.”

Picture: Bozhin Karaivanov
Online sales holding up well

The retail sector has responded to this turbulence with varying degrees of resistance. Between 2022 and 2023, hypermarkets and supermarkets posted some of their sharpest declines (-6.9% at the end of November), impacted by competition from Kiabi, Gémo and other mass-market chains (+3.4%).

“If we compare 2023 with 2019, the pre-Covid reference year, only these chains based on the outskirts are doing well,” notes Gildas Minvielle.

Online sales, all channels combined, continued to slide in 2023, with a 3.9% decrease in sales for the first 11 months of the year versus 2022, a year that saw sales decline 13%. However, e-commerce remains dynamic, with an 8% increase in sales in the three-year period from 2019 to 2023. Similarly, a handful of online players seem oblivious to inflation. These include Shein, Temu and Vinted, whose business model is based on ultra-low prices adapted to times of crisis.

Picture: Masha Kotliarenko
Consumers acting cautiously and responsibly

This inflationary context is also impacting consumer behavior. Hyper-rationality is now favored when it comes to buying a new item of clothing, with spontaneous purchases increasingly rare. Sustainable fashion appeals to 44% of consumers. According to Gildas Minvielle, 10 years on from the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory, these results reflect a growing awareness.

However, these consumer attitudes only concern a fraction of fashion consumers, given that profiles range from “those who buy designer clothes to fans of ultra-fast fashion.”

Second-hand fashion is also expected to grow in 2023, with the IFM estimating the market at 6 billion euros (including shoes and leather goods). In addition to second-hand shops, flea markets and markets, 48% of brand-name retailers now offer second-hand fashion, with 28% planning to introduce it. For consumers, the search for low prices is the primary motivation for buying second-hand fashion, with ecological factors coming second. Here too, the results are influenced by inflation. And, on a more positive note, the planet.

Luxury resists in 2023

The 22nd edition of Bain & Company’s Luxury Outlook presents a luxury market that remains dynamic in 2023. At the end of the year, it was approaching 362 billion euros in sales, up 4% year-on-year. However, coming off the double-digit growth that has characterized this golden sector to date, the luxury market is showing signs of deceleration. Jewelry was the fastest-growing segment and ready-to-wear sales continued to rise, with demand for increasingly high-end items, while sales on leather goods slowed.

Not all continents behaved in the same way. Europe came out on top, benefiting from the appetite of foreign tourists for luxury goods, particularly Americans, who took advantage of the weaker euro to shop abroad, accentuating the sluggish performance of the US market.

* Together with the Altagamma Foundation, which brings together the great names of Italian luxury. November 2023.

Written by Bénédicte Jourgeaud, January 31th of 2024

Ones to watch (very) closely…

Discover our selection of brands making waves on the French market

Designer / Woman

The founder is a former dancer at the Opéra de Paris

The brand seeks to revisit femininity by celebrating pride in all bodies, in all their differences and multiplicities.

Environmentally engaged and European-produced from materials to packaging.

New to the Paris Fashion Week runways.

Rising Talent prize awarded by the City of Paris in 2023, fashion category. Finalist for the Andam Pierre Bergé prize that same year.

The company’s collections explore movement and modern femininity. Materials like cotton crepe, cupro jersey and others come mainly from Italy and are all certified (Oeko-Tex, Reach, Gods, recycled faux fur). Laces are sourced from deadstock in Calais. For her latest collection, the designer featured a raffia made from lace embroidered with stones created in collaboration with Swarovski.

Website :

Parisian label founded in 2017
Pure player / 1 showroom in Paris
Mid-range / Women’s ready-to-wear

Sold online and in its boutique in the 10th arrondissement, this Parisian brand founded in 2017 favors pre-orders, comfortable clothing and, above all, rationalized planetary impact.

A brand that is actively attentive to its environmental impact.

A likeable, reassuring style that mixes up 80s nostalgia with a utopian vision of a future free from global warming.

Very active on Instagram, the brand regularly polls its almost 50,000 followers to try out its ideas. Patine embraces a rationalized approach to growth, relying on social media and transparency to garner advertising and give a fresh face to the image of sustainable fashion.


Men’s ready-to-wear

A label launched in 2019 by Florentin Glémarec and Kevin Nompeix, which now shows on the official Paris Fashion Week calendar.

The label has successfully found its niche by blending English tailoring codes with a utilitarian and urban inspiration, full of references to the 1970s, pop culture, underground movements and History with a capital H. Considered one of the rising brands to watch in Paris.


Women’s ready-to-wear

Born in France in 1991, Claire Hirsch is inspired by her diverse cultural origins and a family steeped in the arts.

Influenced by her mother’s sophisticated style, Hirsch, a former ballet dancer, reinterprets feminine pieces to create her own made-to-measure designs.

In 2021, Claire founded ZHIGGIE in Paris. The brand offers a unique vision of femininity expressed in delicately elegant silhouettes imbued with a subtle sensuality, and emphasizing humane, responsible luxury throughout the creative process.


2023 turnover: 42 million euros
35% from France / 65% from overseas
Mid-range / Sportswear

Founded in 2008 by 3 friends: Julien Durant, Jérémy Rochette and Vincent André

The current reference in apparel for board-sport enthusiasts. Totally ecological – recycled or bio-sourced – the company is helping the textile industry move another step closer to sustainability. A company set off by its broad range of motifs and colors, and its tri-partite governing structure, with a philosophy focused on employee autonomy.

2023 sales of 42 million euros, 35% in France, 25% in German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), 20% in North America

85 employees, including roughly 50 at Cébazat, the company headquarters. 2 wholly owned stores, 18 franchises. Sold in 2,000 stores worldwide.


Luxury goods / Leather goods
70% of sales are generated abroad
Main markets: US, Japan and China

A luxury leather-goods company founded in 1754, inspired by know-how from the Age of Enlightenment in the art of working luxurious and exacting fine skins. The company was relaunched in 2021 by Franck Dahn, an art enthusiast.

Its artistic director is Ramesh Nair, formerly with Hermès and Moynat.

In France, master craftsmen elaborate leathers of rare quality, taking the time necessary to produce leather goods aligned with the principles of excellence, grounded in the philosophy of the Enlightenment.

Alongside bags priced from 2,500 euros (and costing up to several tens of thousands of euros for those made from exotic skins), the offer at Joseph Duclos includes small leather goods, jewelry and a perfume line.

The Paris boutique is located in the heart of the 1st arrondissement, at 54 rue Faubourg Saint Honoré.

The company will be opening a boutique in New York City in 2024.

Its main markets are the US, Japan and China. 70% of sales are generated abroad.

Website :

Accessories / High-End
Represented in some 15 sales outlets
Presence in Japan / Korea / US

Launched in 2016 by Simon Delacour and Bastien Beny.

Inspired by the meaning of everyday objects and consumer society, Domestique designs and crafts innovative eco-friendly accessories, 100% handmade to order in Paris’s 10th arrondissement, relying on an ultra-local supply chain.

In September 2023, the brand won the Grand Prix de la Création de la Ville de Paris. It reinterprets everyday objects in leather.

The brand is present in some fifteen sales outlets, notably in Japan, Korea and the United States.

Website :

Founded in 1876
2019 sales totaled 350 million euros
Exports represent 60% of turnover (US, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Australia)
Mid-range / Lingerie

Combining a rich heritage of innovation with a unique savoir-faire and an emphatically contemporary vision, the brand draws its inspiration from today’s women and the power of their differences and diversity.

A pioneer in the manufacturing of rubberized knitwear, the Chantelle brand has developed thanks to the “Kretz tulle” first used in its girdles and later in its bras.

The brand has chosen Glimpact to publicly display the global environmental footprint of its collections using the PEF method. A world first in lingerie.

In early 2024 Chantelle will be launching a new one-size-fits-all swimwear range called Pulp.

Chantelle has 23 boutiques and some 50 points of sale in France and enjoys a strong export business (representing 60% of sales, led by the US, followed by Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia).

2019 sales totaled 350 million euros.

Website :

High-end / Ready to wear

Created by Alphonse Maitrepierre, winner of the Emerging Talent Award of the 2021 edition of the Grand Prix de la Création de la Ville de Paris.

The designer graduated from La Cambre School of Visual Arts and Fashion in 2016 before working as an assistant designer to Jean Paul Gaultier in his haute couture studio, in addition to stints at Chanel and Acne Studios and as a costume designer.

He launched his eponymous brand “Maitrepierre” in 2018, producing haute couture and ready-to-wear pieces in his Paris studio. The collections are all designed and made in Paris in collaboration with artists.

Maitrepierre is a high-end French ready-to-wear brand focused on women’s clothing and accessories with an emphasis on eco-innovation, upcycling and gender fluidity.

Alphonse Maitrepierre challenges our perceptions of technology and progress, and each season enjoys inviting skilled artists and craftsmen to collaborate with him. The brand favors local know-how, prototyping and producing its ready-to-wear in France and its accessories in Spain.

2 collections in partnership with Desigual (Desigual x MAITREPIERRE).

Website :

High-End / Beachwear

A finalist of the Hyères International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion Accessories in the accessories category in 2019, Martial Charasse launched “Martial”, a high-end, genderless swimwear brand, in July 2022.

The 31-year-old designer, a son of farmers, draws his inspiration from his native Auvergne, the rural surroundings of his youth, and the outfits associated with it, as well as from the colorful, pop fashions of the sixties.

Martial expresses his sensibility through cuts, materials and prints, and offers a selection of hybrid swimsuits, designed as full-fledged garments that can be worn on the beach or in the city as a bodysuit or a bra.

Produced in small series on an order-by-order basis to avoid overproduction, Martial swimsuits are aligned with a responsible approach and are entirely made in France, in Chauvigny, in a workshop on a human scale that is specialized in luxury swimwear and lingerie.

Each fabric is chosen and sourced with care from specialized European factories based in France and Italy, whose production is as high-quality as it is environmentally responsible.

Website :

The eye of Tranoï

Tranoï, the trade show partner specializing in young international designers, shares its pick of emerging French-based brands to follow


Ready to wear / Menswear & Womenswear

Born in Armenia, designer Armine Ohanyan combines her desire to preserve longstanding know-how and craftsmanship with the exceptional capacities of new technologies such as laser cutting, thermoforming and 3D printing.

All collections are designed in Paris using a special technique for the creation of the materials.


Picture: Sand


Accessories / Shoes

A young footwear brand founded by Sandy Mitteau, Sand is an intelligent mix of creation and innovation, with beautiful, socially committed products.

The brand has the Peta label, and everything is made from apple, mango, grape, pineapple, cactus & corn leather, with soles made from recycled rubber.

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