An iconic figure of cool from the enduringly stylish French New Wave the actor Jean-Paul Belmondo was a natural choice for the latest instalment of our Style Icon series. Undeniably one of those annoying ‘girls want to date him, guys want to be him’ types Belmondo was a figure of style inspiration for a generation of young men in the 50s and 60s who refused to carry on dressing like their dads. And the style legacy continues to the modern  day with photographs of Belmondo from the New Wave era still symbolic of a European attitude to dress and life.

Best known for starring in the Goddard classics Breathless (1960), Pierrot le Fou (1965) and Une Femme est Une Femme (1961), Belmondo represented much of what made the Nouvelle Vague so appealing –  the ruffled nonchalance, great suits and a rebellious spirit. Belmondo clearly doesn’t give a damn what you think of him and when this attitude is matched with a seemingly flawless wardrobe you’ve got a recipe for a style icon on your hands.

The key elements of Belmondo’s style are fairly routine: knitted ties, leather loafers, sportcoats and an ever-present cigarette, the key factor here however, is the attitude and as we all know this is something that you either have or you haven’t.

Have a look through some great photographs below of Belmondo below and see if you can introduce some New Wave inspired cool to your wardrobe.

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