How The Frankie Shop Turned Basics Into Insider-Beloved Fashion Must-Haves

.disclaimer{width:90%;margin-bottom:1rem}.disclaimer__lines{width:100%;margin:0 auto;border-bottom:1px solid #999;padding:0;max-width:150px}.disclaimer__copy{width:100%;max-width:355px;font-family:Brown Regular,sans-serif;font-size:.9rem;font-weight:300;line-height:1.3em;color:#333;padding:0 0 .4rem;margin:1rem auto;text-align:center}

All linked products are independently selected by our editors. If you purchase any of these products, we may earn a commission.

On the surface, The Frankie Shop best-sellers sound like a capsule closet 101 list: a blazer, T-shirt, jeans. But, as anyone who has ever shopped from the brand — which has stores in New York and Paris — knows, nothing about the offering is basic. The blazer is perfectly oversized, the tees are shoulder-padded, and the jeans have an adjustable waistband. It’s this attention to detail and cool factor that has made Gaëlle Drevet’s label a fashion-insider favorite since its launch nine years ago — and, as recently as last week, resulted in an exclusive The Frankie Shop x Moda Operandi collection. “When I started Frankie, I wanted to have modern, minimal fashion, what people would call Quiet Luxury now [laughs],” Drevet tells Refinery29. After a career in journalism, Drevet, who is French-American, opened the first store in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 2015. She says she created the brand “as a personal quest,” because “what I wanted to wear was missing” from the market. 

“The common thing between fashion and journalism is, you have to do your research,” she says. “And I knew there was a gap for something that was affordable without being fast fashion.”

In the beginning, The Frankie Shop set out to create a line of menswear-inspired offerings for women. “[The designs were] taking from the menswear world and adjusting it to women. So it was reworking silhouettes that were already there,” says Drevet. “My goal was to dress women in business in a cool way, not in like a sexy way… not trying to please the patriarchy but to please themselves.” 

Almost a decade later, Drevet says that the brand continues to operate with that “what are we missing in our closets” mentality. “[When coming up with new pieces, I think,] Oh, I wish I had a burgundy jacket. Why don’t we have it? So we’re going to start developing something. Oh, khaki is coming back. We need some silhouettes.” But, rather than just offer the season’s hottest trends, The Frankie Shop makes decidedly wearable looks that happen to be trendy, whether it’s a butter yellow longline vest or a completely sheer skirt, something that the brand’s styling plays into.

“Outfit formulas for your everyday looks are very important for us,” Drevet says. “Right now, capri pants [are trending]. So [I think,] How would I wear my capri pants? You need a top, but the top has to be a certain length, you need a blazer. All these things that will help people style their pieces together. That’s a big part of how the design process works.”

While over the years, The Frankie Shop has expanded into more than just pantsuits, separates still make up many of the brand’s best-selling pieces. “I don’t do too many dresses. I think making dresses takes special skills, which I don’t think I have. I’m very much still a menswear-inspired brand. I also don’t like looking too elegant, too dolled up,” she says. “I like clothes that give me power and confidence. My outfit needs to help me in my daily endeavors.”

To reinforce the versatility of the pieces, Drevet puts few editorial photos on the brand’s Instagram page, instead, more frequently showcasing fans of the brand wearing the clothes in their everyday settings. “People don’t always look for perfection because they know that it’s hard to achieve. Showing them the clothes, the styling, in an environment they are familiar with is a very big part of our branding,” Drevet says. And a strategy that is working. After a video featuring the Hayla jeans went viral, the brand has been unable to keep the style in stock. (I myself bought the jeans after seeing several people in New York City wearing them and placing myself on the waitlist.) “I’ve never sold so many pairs of jeans in my life,” says Drevet. “The video sold the jeans basically.”

The Frankie Shop’s success might also have to do with the aforementioned price point, which, for the brand’s signatures, ranges from $75 for the padded-shoulder muscle tee to $125 for the said jeans and $165 for the Boyfriend blazer, with the outerwear hovering at $700 on the highest end of the spectrum. (The website also stocks other designer brands, ranging from Proenza Schouler to Coperni.)

“Price point was very important to me. I wanted the fashion I was making to be accessible but not disposable,” says Drevet. “I wanted to have quality clothing for a reasonable price. Something that you keep forever and that’s not going to look damaged after one wear but at the same time that you could buy a few of.” 

This mindset is what attracted Moda Operandi, who partnered with the brand on “The Art of Dressing” collection, featuring elevated warm-weather essentials. “The Frankie Shop has long been a fashion insider and Moda client-beloved brand, featuring everyday wardrobing pieces at a sharp price point, all with that certain ‘je nais se quoi’ that only the French can get so right,” April Hennig, chief merchandising officer at Moda Operandi, says. “We’re incredibly excited to have collaborated with Gaëlle and her team on an exclusive capsule that solves the ever-present conundrum of what to wear to look chic in the city heat.”

The 15-piece collection features pieces that would look just as good in a workplace as a party environment: a cinched blazer paired with, yes, capri pants; an elegant peplum top styled with a silky midi skirt; and a sheer button-down-skirt set — all in a neutral color palette. “Moda Operandi is curating fashion to empower women and their lifestyles, so it was a natural fit,” says Drevet. Timed to coincide with the Frieze New York art fair, the collection’s campaign featured gallerists Hannah Traore and Emma Scully and artist Simone Bodmer-Turner. 

This isn’t the first time that The Frankie Shop featured models from the world that Drevet is inspired by. In celebration of the Los Angeles pop-up launch in February, the brand released “The Frankie Shop Goes to Hollywood” campaign starring Demi Moore. “You need to embrace people who represent [the campaign],” Drevet says of the casting choices. 

While people are just getting on the Quiet Luxury train now, The Frankie Shop will continue to do what it has done for the last nine years: “Invest in beautiful staples that will stand the taste of time.” While Drevet believes that quality basics are “something that people should always have in their closet,” she points to the padded shoulder and the extra-long hemlines as proof that they don’t have to be boring: “There is always something that makes The Frankie Shop not so quiet.”

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

Leave a Reply