Translating Fashion Copy: English to French Email Copy

Emails are a great way for fashion retailers to connect with their audience on a regular basis. Newsletters allow brands to promote specific lines and content depending on the weather, the news and pop culture. I think a brand’s tone of voice truly shines through its emails. How does your company adapt marketing messages for a foreign market? Here is how I would have translated these emails from English to French.

Kate Spade newsletter [20 May 2015]

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a big institution in England. Would a foreign audience understand the reference to the flower show? Would customers from the age bracket you are targeting understand? This is something you need to keep in mind when crafting emails for a French audience. Is there a similar event in your local market that you can refer to? In this instance, there is nothing comparable to the Chelsea Flower Show in France so you will have to spell it out for your audience.

Source language:
Swinging by the Chelsea in Bloom flower show? It’s only right that you should dress the part… Shop now.

Target language:
De passage à l’exposition florale Chelsea en Fleurs ? Habillez-vous de circonstance… Achetez maintenant.

French Connection newsletter [20 May 2015]

Source language:
How to: the hippy braid. Learn how to create the perfect summer plait from the experts at Blow Bar. Watch now.

Target language:
Comment faire : une tresse hippie. Apprenez à faire la parfaite tressse estivale grâce aux experts du Blow Bar. Voir la vidéo.

Miss Selfridge newsletter [20 May 2015]

I chose to translate ‘Heaven scent‘ into ‘Parfum paradisiaque‘ to stay in line with the original meaning as a literal translation would be inaccurate. ‘Heaven scent‘ is a play on word on ‘heaven sent‘ which would be translated into ‘tombé du ciel‘ in French. However the marketing copy promotes a fragrance so ‘scent‘ – which would translate to ‘parfum‘ in French – is the most important word here.

Bear in mind that ‘Mai‘ is the French word for the month of May so I would use inverted commas to emphasise the name of the fragrance.


Source language:
Heaven scent. Introducing Mai, our new fragrance for summer – a heady mix of yellow grapefruit, blood orange, Sicilian bergamot and amber. Dreamy. Shop Mai now.

Target language:
Parfum paradisiaque. Découvrez “Mai, notre nouveau parfum estival : un mélange grisant de pamplemousse, d’orange sanguine, de bergamote sicilienne et d’ambre. Comme un rêve ! Achetez “Mai.

Dorothy Perkins newsletter [19 May 2015]


Source language:
The Flower Show. This time of year is all about show-stopping show gardens. Take inspiration from Britain’s beautiful blooms with our favourite florals and petal shades.

Target language:
Spectacle floral. Voici venu le temps des expositions florales à couper le souffle. Inspirez-vous des belles fleurs de Grande-Bretagne avec nos motifs à fleurs et couleurs florales préférés.

River Island newsletter [19 May 2015]


Source language:
Half term. Kids 3-12yrs.  Only three days left, we bet they’re smiling. Help them enjoy a week of sunshine [finger’s crossed!] with these sunny favourites. Boys. Girls.

Target language:
Vacances scolaires. Enfants de 3-12 ans. Plus que trois jours à tenir ! On parie qu’ils sont ravis. Aidez-les à profiter d’une semaine de soleil (croisons les doigts!) avec nos tenues estivales préférées. Garçons. Filles.

Reiss newsletter [20 May 2015]


Source language:
This week at Reiss. Blog. How to style the white shirt. Keep the white shirt at the top of your sartorial line-up with our guide on how to style it for spring. Shop now.

Target language:
Cette semaine chez Reiss. Blog. Comment assortir une chemise blanche ? Faites de la chemise blanche la clef de voûte de votre répertoire vestimentaire grâce à notre guide pour l’assortir durant le printemps. Achetez.

Kurt Geiger newsletter [19 May 2015]

The festival season has started hence the reference to ‘headline acts‘ and ‘line up‘ – which I chose to translate into ‘têtes d’affiche‘ and ‘programme‘.

Source language:
Headline acts. Perfect your festival style whatever the line up. Shop now.

Target language:
Têtes d’affiche. Ayez le look parfait pour les festivals quel que soit le programme. Achetez maintenant.

Need help with your email copy? I offer creative translation services. I can help you transcreate your email copy for the French market. Get in touch now.

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