IRO: The Vanguard of Contemporary French Style With Rocker-Chic Elegance

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French luxury fashion is much more than Chanel tweed suits and extravagant Dior gowns — a new wave of contemporary brands cement 21st-century French style as effortless and casual.

IRO is a French luxury clothing label founded by brothers Arik and Laurent BittonIRO is a French luxury clothing label founded by brothers Arik and Laurent Bitton (Credit: Joop Hoek / Shutterstock)

It’s refined streetwear for the modern trendsetter. IRO, in particular, is paving the way for cool girls across the globe with their prêt-à-porter collections inspired by Parisian sophistication and the vintage American rock scene.

Find out how IRO is reinventing French fashion with its luxurious rocker-chic designs below:

Musically Motivated Designs

Founded by brothers and former musicians Laurent and Arik Bitton in 2005, IRO has become a shining example of the contemporary Parisian aesthetic; many of their going-out pieces are made of gleaming metallic fabrics.

Joined by her husband Andrew J. West, Amber Stevens West wore a floral print IRO long-sleeve dress at Entertainment Weekly's annual Comic-Con partyJoined by her husband Andrew J. West, Amber Stevens West wore a floral print IRO long-sleeve dress at Entertainment Weekly’s annual Comic-Con party in celebration of Comic-Con 2017 at Float at Hard Rock Hotel San Diego on July 22, 2017, in San Diego, California (Credit: Vince Flores / Startraksphoto)

The design duo has shared that their muses are fun, fearless women who wear what they want when they want. An IRO woman will always look flawless without trying too hard.

Music is at the core of any IRO collection, from inspiration to curation.

IRO clothing store at the upmarket French department store chain Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris IRO clothing store at the upmarket French department store chain Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris (Credit: Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock)

The brothers believe that their collections give customers a strong foundation for a fashion-forward capsule wardrobe that they can ‘compose like a soundtrack.’

Laurent and Arik are also inspired by America’s rock scene in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. A vintage flair runs through their designs, from the voluminous sleeves of the 80s to the slinky camisoles, slip dresses, and fluffy aviator jackets of the 70s and 90s.

Model Gigi Hadid posing on a motorcycle in skinny Givenchy leather pants and a pink IRO Paris cropped biker jacketModel Gigi Hadid posing on a motorcycle in skinny Givenchy leather pants and a pink IRO Paris cropped biker jacket for a photoshoot in New York City on April 29, 2015 (Credit: MachettePix / Startraksphoto)

IRO is particularly renowned for its acid-wash denim pieces, textured knitwear, leather biker jackets, and studded belts. What sets IRO apart from other luxury brands is that the designers are grounded and practical.

Rather than focusing on extravagant runway shows and experimental styling that would only work on a catwalk, IRO clothes are designed for real life.

Sophia Bush hits the red carpet in an Iro jacket, Enza Costa tank, Helmut Lang pants, Christian Louboutin shoes, and a Chanel clutch at the premiere of Total RecallSophia Bush hits the red carpet in an IRO tuxedo blazer, Enza Costa tank, Helmut Lang pants, Christian Louboutin shoes, and a Chanel clutch at the premiere of Total Recall held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on August 1, 2012, in Hollywood (Credit: Sara De Boer / Startraksphoto)

They’re made with comfort in mind for women constantly on the go, from days at the office to cocktails and indie gigs in the evening.

A Global Fashion Mosaic

Although IRO’s Parisian roots are strong, the brand has always had a global mindset. Their clothing blends the free-spiritedness of New York with Parisian romance and Japanese eccentricity.

Jessica Alba wears a grey IRO Jova leather jacket with jeans, a Mary Katrantzou shoulder bag, and Ill.I by Will.I.Am Wa508s 04 sunglassesJessica Alba wears a grey IRO Jova leather jacket with jeans, a Mary Katrantzou shoulder bag, and Ill.I by Will.I.Am Wa508s 04 sunglasses in New York City on September 29, 2014 (Credit: ACE / INFphoto)

IRO’s unique blend of cultures results in clothing and accessories that are equal parts cool, elegant, and modern. The brothers are inspired by stylish women from all the world’s major capitals, from Seoul to Santa Monica.

Mesh IRO Enom sandals made in Spain with padded leather footbedMesh IRO Enom sandals made in Spain with padded leather footbed

IRO’s dedication to diversity is reflected in its business strategy. The brand has 70 boutiques across Europe, North America, and Asia.

It has been owned by the Chinese apparel group Shenzhen Ellassay Fashion Co. since 2019.

Lightweight IRO Shavani jacket made in Poland and IRO Temi cutout dress made in BulgariaLightweight IRO Shavani jacket made in Poland and IRO Temi cutout dress made in Bulgaria

Most of their products are made in Europe, with most clothing manufactured in Poland and Romania and leather goods crafted in Italy or Portugal to ensure premium quality.

The Heroes Of Contemporary French Fashion

The name IRO itself is a play on words and pronunciation.

Laurent and Arik previously shared that their brand name is derived from the French pronunciation of the word hero; their accent makes the hero sound more like “iro” with a silent h.

IRO Sugars leather belt with silver-tone hardware made in ItalyIRO Sugars leather belt with silver-tone hardware made in Italy

Other sources share that IRO is an anagram of the word roi, which means king in French.

Whichever version you believe, it’s safe to say that the Bitton brothers can be considered heroes or kings of contemporary French fashion. Their label has been picked up by some of the world’s biggest luxury department stores.

The magenta-purple IRO Ashley jacket and the black leather IRO Han jacket are both made in ChinaThe magenta-purple IRO Ashley jacket and the black leather IRO Han jacket are both made in China

It has been spotted on style-savvy influencers and celebrities, including Nicole Richie, Jenna Lee Dewan, Jaimie Alexander, and Hilary Duff.

As their global expansion continues, we can only expect IRO to be adopted by even more of the world’s most stylish women.

Where to Buy IRO

Do you want to join IRO’s tribe of cool international girls?

You can shop the label on IRO’s official website or several major luxury department stores and online retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Amazon, and Farfetch.

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