Jean-Paul “Bébel” Belmondo, sometimes hailed as France’s answer to Humphrey Bogart or Steve McQueen, took the international film scene by storm in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 classic Breathless. Check out a primer of his best films here. Belmondo, the sexy and stylish star of the Nouvelle Vague (the new wave of cult French cinema), worked with leading directors from Louis Malle to Truffaut, and was widely heralded for his comedic and action star talents (he routinely performed his own stunts)– but for some reason, he never really connected with the mainstream American audience.
Jean-Paul Belmondo’s seemingly carefree chic and sensational style were no accident– he had an innate sartorial talent that was light years ahead of his peers, and remains the benchmark for classic French street style. In fact, he’s easily one of the most legendary style icons of our time– no doubt about it.