40+ French Designers in the applied and decorative arts

The following posts are a selection of French Designers that I have posted about over the last year. French design styles incorporate the new and the old. It is bold and sophisticated. It is attention to detail, whether a brooch, a clock, fabric, or glass.

The following designers offers an informative and interesting perspective on French design. The charm of French design is that it pervades all styles from traditional to modern and surprisingly it is diverse;

Max Ingrand featured image

Max Ingrand (1908 – 1969) French artist and decorator

Maurice Max-Ingrand (1908–1969) was a French artist and stained glass artist. He was captured by the Nazis during World War II but returned to France in 1945. In 1968, he established Verre Lumière, one of the first businesses to manufacture halogen lamps.Read More →

Clément Mére furniture

Clément Mère (1861 – 1940) French, designer and furniture maker

Clément Mère was born in Bayonne and active in Paris. He was a French painter, table-builder, artist and furniture builder.

He studied painting with Jean-Léon Gérôme at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.Read More →

Shagreen Glass Case

Shagreen – Design Term

Shagreen is fish skin used as a veneer to cover furniture and accessories. Also known as galuchat and sharkskin, shagreen is the skin on the belly of the dogfish. As a generic term, it is used to mean untanned animal hides made with pebble-textured surfaces. It was first made in the 17th century by Turkish and PersianRead More →

Raymond Subes Console with Marble Top

Raymond Subes (1893 – 1970) French metalsmith

Raymond Subes (1893–1970) was a French metalsmith. He made ironwork for the oceanliners 1931 Atlantique, 1926 Ile-de-France, Pasteur, and 1935 Normandie. After World War II, he worked as a metalworker and became the head of Borderel et Robert.Read More →

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Léon Jallot (1874 – 1967) French designer and artisan.

Léon Jallot (1874­-1967), a scion of the French Art Nouveau, stood out within the movement as an ébéniste, or cabinet maker.Read More →

French designer Georges Dunaime was from France. Between 1921 and 1927, five agents worked to sell Dunaime's work. He designed lighting for E. Etling. Gagnon, the designer and engraver, made most of his work, which included table lamps, torchéeres, and chandeliers made of silver, gilt, and patinated bronze with shades made of cloth, cut glass, quartz, marble, and alabaster. He made many different kinds of lighting for the ocean liner Paris in He made many different kinds of lighting for the ocean liner Paris in 1921. In 1922, a show of his work was put on at Gagneau. He won first prise in a competition held by the Union of Bronze Manufacturers in 1922. He also won first prise (for a table lamp) and an honourable mention (for a piano lamp) at the Great Lighting Competition in Paris in 1924. Work shown at the booths of Gagnon, Gagneau, Bézault, and Christofle at the 1925 Paris "Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes."

Georges Dunaime – French Designer

Georges Dunaime designed lighting for E. Etling, the designer and engraver. His work included table lamps, torchéeres, and chandeliers made of silver, gilt, and patinated bronze with shades made of cloth, cut glass, quartz, marble, and alabaster.Read More →

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Pierre Guariche (1926 – 1995) french interior designer

Pierre Guariche was a French designer, interior decorator, and architect. He may be best known for the lights he made for Pierre Disderot in the 1950s. Guariche created the ground-breaking “tonneau” chair in 1953. He was searching for a contemporary, affordable alternative to the prewar modernists’ hard chic. Guariche founded the Atelier de Recherche Plastique (ARP: Plastic Research Workshop) in 1954. Guariche founded the Atelier de Recherche Plastique (ARP: Plastic Research Workshop) in 1954. He was appointed artistic director of the Belgian furniture manufacturer Meurop in 1957. Guariche regarded himself as primarily an architect, and his furnishings demonstrate his interest in form and volume.Read More →

Unique Box circa 1928 by jean Goulden

Jean Goulden (1878 – 1946) French Artisan and Painter

Jean Goulden was a French painter, musician, and crafter who lived from 1878 to 1946. During World War I, he found Byzantine enamels near Mount Athos in Macedonia. His Cubist pendulum clocks were some of his best pieces. Only 180 of his items are known to exist.Read More →

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Pierre Balmain (1914 – 1982) French fashion designer

Pierre Balmain (1914 – 1982) was a French fashion designer and the influential postwar fashion house Balmain founder. He described the art of dressmaking as “the architecture of movement,” and he was known for his sophistication and elegance.Read More →

Jacques Gruber stained glass window

Jacques Gruber (1870 – 1936) French Stained Glass artist and designer

Jacques Gruber (1870-1936) was a French stained-glass artist, designer, and teacher, born Sundhausen, Alsace. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, under Gustave Moreau. He was distinguished as a designer in the Art Nouveau idiom. Read More →

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Louis Rault (1847 – 1903) French sculptor, engraver and jewellery designer

Louis Rault (1847 – 1903) was a French Sculptor, engraver, silversmith and jewellery designer.Between 1868 and 1875, Rault worked in the Boucheron workshop on the Place Vendôme in Paris. At the end of the nineteenth century, he set up a workshop where he produced silver and jewellery in the Art Nouveau style.Read More →

Jean Boris Lacroix Pair of Table Lamps Model 316, Designed 1958, for Luminalite

Boris-Jean Lacroix (1902-1984) 🇫🇷 French Lighting Designer

Boris-Jean Lacroix (1902-1984) was a French Lighting Designer born in Paris. Biography Lacroix was a prolific designer of lighting, wallpaper, bookbinding, furniture, and interiors; in 1924, began working for couturier Madeleine Vionnet as a designer of dresses, handbags, and costume jewellery; soon after, decorated and designed her private residence. His designs were commissioned byRead More →

Paul Poiret and Models

Paul Poiret (1879 – 1944) – King of Fashion

In the early decades of the 20th century, Paul Poiret was a crucial figure in the French fashion industry, notably by adding a deep oriental flavour and rich colours to contemporary clothing. Read More →

Charlotte Cabinet by Martine Bedin

Martine Bedin (b.1957) radical architecture and design

Bedin was one of the founders of the avant-garde Memphis group in Milan in 1981. Also, she has worked as an architect, industrial designer and professor. Her work is held in many important museums and private collections. Bedin’s aesthetic is typically colourful and self-consciously kitschy.Read More →

Hermine the 'Otter' created in bronze

Jan and Joel Martel (1896 – 1966) twin brothers and French sculptors

Jan and Joel Martel (1896 – 1966) were twin brothers and French sculptors. They were born in Nantes and active in Paris. Cement, glass, steel, mirrors, ceramics, lacquers, and synthetics were all used in their projects.Read More →

Jean Patou fashion designer

Jean Patou (1880 – 1936) 🎩 Fashion Designer

One of Patou’s most famous customers was the French tennis champion Suzanne Lenglen, whom he dressed both on and off the court. This lean and active young woman epitomised the 1920s “new woman.” She created a furore in 1921 when she wore Patou’s knee-length pleated skirt, which revealed much of her legs when she ran. The headband she wore while playing tennis was widely copied by women throughout the 1920s for day and evening wear.Read More →

Andre Salomon (1891 -1970) French Lighting Engineer

He was an engineer at Tompson before setting up the small electrical firm Perfécla (Perfectionnement de I’Ecla), regularly working with architects and designers, including Pierre Chareau, and André Lurcat, René Herbst, and architect Robert Mallet-Stevens. For the latter, he produced the widely published 1929 lighting fixture designed by Francis Jourdain in the form of a suspended concave metal ring projecting rays onto the ceiling and reflecting a soft indirect light elsewhere. Read More →

Pierre Legrain handkerchief box

Pierre-Émile Legrain (1889 -1929) French Furniture Designer

He submitted cartoons in 1908 for Paul Iribe’s satirical reviews Le Témoin, L’Assiette au beurre, Le Mot, and La Baionnette. Iribe invited Legrain to collaborate with him on projects including furniture and interior design, jewelry for Robert Linzeler, and dress designs for Paquin.Read More →

Maison Gripoix costume jewellry

Maison Gripoix costume jeweller – glass with class

Maison Gripoix, a French costume jeweller, was located in Paris. Around 1890, Maison Gripoix sold glass beads and buttons wholesale. Subsequently, specialised in handmade imitations of precious and semi-precious jewels, including parures for Sarah Bernhardt.Read More →

French Flag

Fernand Nathan French furniture desiger

A painter before becoming active as an interior architect, he was a cabinetmaker and designer of lighting, printed fabrics, and furniture. His furniture reflected the influences of Chippendale, Louis XVI, Directoire, Restauration, and Louis Philippe styles. Some of Nathan’s furniture was produced by Beyne.Read More →

Pierre Paulin Tongue Chair featured image

Pierre Paulin (1927 – 2009) French furniture designer

He was active in research for the government-sponsored Mobilier International. His first plastic object was the 1953 Chair 157 in polyester, ABS, and elastomers produced by Artifort of Maastricht. Around 1955, he was one of the first to work in elasticised fabrics for Thonet and subsequently for Artifort.Read More →

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Raymond Loewy (1893 – 1986) 🇺🇸 American Designer

He arrived in the United States in 1929, just in time for the great depression. As it happened the beginning of the depression was a fortuitous time for a talented designer with new ideas to arrive in the United States. The old design aesthetic was disappearing with the collapsing economy. Manufacturers wanted to stimulate demand for their products by offering customers new designs, and Loewy had an abundance of them with the ego to match. His mother had always told him, “It is better to be envied than pitied.”Read More →

Andre Hermant Table 1937, France

Andre Hermant (1908 – 1978) French architect and furniture designer

In 1936, he became a member of UAM (Union des Artistes Modernes); after World War II, he participated in the reconstruction of the port of Le Havre under the direction of architect Auguste Perret.Read More →

Suzanne Guiguichon

Suzanne Guiguichon French Furniture Designer

Suzanne Guiguichon was a French furniture designer and decorator. She was born and worked in Paris. Since 1929 she worked as a designer with Maurice Dufrene at the Galeries Lafayette design studio La Maitrise in Paris. Most of the furniture, clocks, lighting, fabrics, rugs, accessories Guiguichon designed anonymously.Read More →

Société des Artistes Décorateurs

Société des Artistes Décorateurs (Society of Decorative Artists) – France

The creation in 1901 of the Société des Artistes Décorateurs (SAD) reflected the increasing significance in France of this new profession of Decorative Arts. This resulted from a series of government-funded projects carried out in the fine and applied arts schools of France to improve the status of applied arts and training. Read More →

Jean-Paul Gaultier French Fashion Designer

Jean-Paul Gaultier (b.1952) French Fashion Designer

Before launching his label in 1976, Gaultier worked for Cardin, Jacques Esteirel, and Patou. From the onset, Gaultier was dubbed the ‘enfant terrible de Paris’.Read More →

Lacquer screen, Eileen Gray, about 1923, Paris, France

Eileen Gray (1879 – 1976) Irish/French Furniture Designer

Eileen Gray was an French furniture designer and architect. Her work reflected a stylistic pastiche of far eastern and french influences.Read More →

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René Lalique (1860 – 1945) French goldsmith and glassmaker

Artisan in glass and creator of family firm Cristal Lalique René Lalique was a French glass designer, jeweller, furniture designer, painter, and sculptor. He was born in 1860 in a small town in the province of Champagne. The family moved to Paris, and Lalique was apprenticed to the well known Paris goldsmith, Louis Aucoc,Read More →

George Barbier featured image

George Barbier one of the Great French Illustrators

George Barbier was one of the Great French Illustrators of the early 20th centuryRead More →

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Jean Adnet (1900 – 1995) French designer

In 1928, Jean Adnet became director of the window-display department at Galeries Lafayette, where, in 1922, brother Jacques Adnet became director of its La Maitrise decorating studio; they collaborated under the name ‘JJ Adnet.Read More →

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Mario Botta (b.1943) Swiss Architect and Designer

While the space arrangements in this structure are inconsistent, its relationship to its site, separation of living from service spaces, and deep window recesses echo his stark, robust and towering style. Read More →

Exposition Universelle

‘Exposition Universelle’ Paris 1900

The Exposition Universelle of 1900, better known in English as the 1900 Paris Exposition, was a world’s fair held in Paris, France, from 14 April to 12 November 1900, to celebrate the achievements of the past century and to accelerate development into the next. It was held at the esplanade of Les Invalides, the Champ de Mars, the Trocadéro and at the banks of the Seine between them, with an additional section in the Bois de Vincennes, and it was visited by more than 50 million people. Read More →

Malvine Tcherniak (1894 – 1968) French/Russian Decorator

In the 1920s, she designed ceramics, textiles and wallpaper and domestic items for the Primavera department store of the Au Printemps department store, Paris.Read More →

Opera Glasses - Lucien Falize

Lucien Falize (1838 – 1897) French goldsmith and jeweller

Lucien Falize (1838- 1897) was French goldsmith and jeweller. He was active in Paris and son of Alexis Falize, father of Andre Falize. When his father retired in 1876, Lucien assumed directorship of the family business. He attempted to expand the business by showing at 1878 Paris ‘Exposition Universelle’ and becoming partners with Germain Bapst. In 1892, the partnership was dissolved. Read More →

New York Fashion featured image

New York Fashion: The Evolution of American Style (Hardcover)

New York Fashion has been a seminal book on the story of American fashion since its hardcover debut in 1989. Caroline Rennolds Milbank chronicles the enormous changes in the fashion world from the early nineteenth century to the late twentieth century and the rise of prominent American designers such as Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and others.Read More →

Jean Luce (1895 – 1964) French ceramicist and glassware designer

French designer. He worked primarily in ceramics, but also designed for glass and gold. His ceramics, in an Art Deco style, were manufactured in Limoges Read More →

Jean-Maurice Rothschild cocktail table

Jean-Maurice Rothschild (1902- 1988) French decorator and designer

He began working in 1921 for Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann in Paris as a designer and artisan. He participated in the design of Ruhlmann’s ‘Hôtel du collectionneur’ at the 1925 Paris ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes.’Read More →

Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann interior featured image

Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann (1879 – 1933) outstanding furniture designer

Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann (1879 – 1933) was a French designer who was born and lived in Paris. n 1907, he took over his father’s house painting company in Paris. He first exhibited his work in 1911, with architect Charles Plumet and couturier Jacques Doucet, Frantz Jourdain, and Tony Selmersheim.Read More →

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Philippe Starck (1949 – ) the artist-designer

Phillippe Starck is one of the most widely known artist‐designer ‘names’ in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Starck is one of France’s most fêted designers who has worked across a wide range of media. His work epitomises the intersection of art and design, its often fanciful qualities attracting both critical approbation and criticism, particularly in such commissions as pasta for Panzani (1987). Read More →

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Paul Follot (1877 – 1941) French decorative artist and sculptor

His early graphic design reflected a fascination with mediaeval and Pre-Raphaelite art. He joined Julius Meier-shop Graefe’s La Maison Moderne in Paris in 1901. He met Maurice Dufréne and designed bronzes, jewellery, and fabrics.Read More →

Mainbocher and models wearing his dresses

Mainbocher (1890 – 1976) – Simplicity without Boredom

When designing his 1945 spring collection, Mainbocher – the noted French designer who worked in New York after the fall of Paris in WWII. Declared that he had attempted more than ever to make clothes “that would embody the right amount of novelty, were stimulating for today,Read More →

American Fashion featured image

American Fashion (Hardcover) – Council of Fashion Designers America

American Fashion is the definitive book on the country’s fashion culture, spanning eight decades and featuring the work of more than 100 designers. American Fashion is a visual journey through classic and fresh photographs by the century’s most outstanding photographers and illustrators, followed by essays defining nearly a century of fascinating culture, commissioned by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).Read More →

Main building of the École de Nancy

École de Nancy – Art Nouveau artisans and designers

Between 1890 and 1914, the École de Nancy, or Nancy School, was a group of Art Nouveau artisans and designers based in Nancy, France. The furniture designer Louis Majorelle, the cabinet maker and glass artist Jacques Grüber, the glass and furniture designer Émile Gallé, and the Daum crystal factory were important contributors.Read More →

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Gilbert Poillerat (1902 – 1988) French Designer and metalworker

In 1927, he started working for Baudet, Donon et Roussel, a carpentry and metal construction workshop. He was in charge of the new wrought iron section. Grillework, tables, chairs, consoles, screens, lighting, and firedogs were all designed and manufactured by him. Poillerat’s metalwork was rendered in characteristic winding calligraphic forms in various media ranging from jewellery to clothing.Read More →

Charlotte Perriand in the famous “Chaise longue basculante B 306,” from 1929

Charlotte Perriand (1903 – 1999) French designer and architect

Charlotte Perriand (1903 – 1999) was a designer and architect from France. Perriand’s designs are most commonly associated with furniture created in the 1920s in collaboration with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret. Still, her contribution to design was much more critical.Read More →

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