The luxury fashion industry is a multibillion dollar industry. And every year, the revenues from these luxury or designer brands just get bigger. The cult-like following of many designer brands, which is the primary factor in their sales growth, does not come as a surprise knowing the quality of the products they bring to the market. Men and women patronize designer brands because of their style, quality, and status.
There are now about 200 to 300 designer brands in the fashion industry. Each of them has its own aesthetics and brand identity that it portrays through its selection of clothing. The aesthetics among these brands vary that fashion enthusiasts can seemingly identify which brand it represents by its fabric, tailoring, and technique. Over time, there are really brands that dominate the fashion industry and have received higher recognition from the people. Here are the top 24 most respected fashion designer brands of today. Note that the brands are enumerated with the designer brand topping the list being revealed in the last part of the countdown.
Taking the 24th spot is Zara, a Spanish fashion retailer, which was launched in 1975 by Amancio Ortega and Rosalía Mera. It is the flagship store of the world’s largets fashion group, Inditex. Its stardom as a brand is a result of the perfect blend of quality and accessibility. Its creations are guided by Zara’s core principles: beauty, clarity, functionality, and sustainability. Zara offers men and women’s clothing, as well as kids, in their over 6,000 stores in at least 80 countries around the world.
Moschino is an Italian retailer of luxury ready-to-wear fashion pieces. It was founded in 1983 by Franco Moschino and has caught the attention of many with its collection of colorful, eccentric, and innovative designs. The brand started out as a fashion brand for casual wear and jeans, but later on expanded to include lingerie, shoes, evening wear, and perfume. Among the popular faces wearing Moschino are Miley Cyrus, Rita Ora, and Gigi Hadid.
Chloe is a French fashion house that retails women’s luxury ready-to-wear items. The brand was established in 1952 by Gaby Aghion. The brand features fashion pieces that showcase the carefree personality of the modern women. It offers clothing in soft and romantic hues. Chloe combines the quality of haute couture and accessibility of ready-to-wear ladieswear. Among the designers who worked for the brand are Stella McCartney and Karl Lagerfeld.
Giorgio Armani is a prominent Italian designer who launched a fashion house in his namesake in 1975. From a menswear brand, Giorgio Armani rose to becoming a leading luxury brand in the industry that now includes footwear, accessories, and cosmetics. The brand now has over 500 stand alone stores in various countries.
Calvin Klein is an American fashion brand founded in 1968 by Calvin Klein himself featuring coats and dresses. The year after that, his creation graced the cover of the American Vogue. His first show took place in 1970 and little did he know, it was about to change his life. The brand then introduced selections of sportswear and lingerie. Followed these articles were his jeans, boxer shorts, and underwear collection. The brand was believed to be an instrument to the modeling success of Kate Moss and others. Calvin Klein has successfully blended minimalism and sensual imagery.
Among the most valued brands in the world is Coach. The brand was only established in 1941 in New York City, but today it has over 1000 stores across the globe. Coach is famous for its collection of leather goods and accessories showcasing modern luxury amidst heritage and history. It has revolutionized the world of luxury by advancing accessibility through its products. Among the most popular faces of Coach are Selena Gomez and Chloe Grace Moretz.
Dubbed as the ‘shoemaker of the stars,’ Salvatore Ferragamo launched his fashion company in 1927 studying and creating ladies’ footwear. He operated his directly-operated stores in Italy and UK in 1938. In the same year, he designed Roman sandals for the Cecil de Mille epics. Shortly thereafter, he launched his first store in the United States. He also patented his first invention, which was the cork wedge. In 1965, Salvatore Ferragamo showcased its first collection of ready-to-wear ladies wear. Ferragamo was also attributed with the invention of the stiletto heels. Years later, the brand now houses luxury leather goods that include bags and shoes, as well as, accessories, jewelry, and perfume.
The Fendi we know of today has been around as early as 1925 founded by Adele and Edoardo Fendi. The brand is headquartered in Rome, which started out as a secret fur shop in the guise of a leather goods store. Its legacy of excellently working on fur has been a key for the brand to make it to the top. It was the only brand known to have its own fur atelier. Fendi also became more famous with its line of leather goods including the Baguette and Peekaboo bags.
Founded in 1960 by Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, Maison Valentino, has emerged to be one of the superpowers in the world of fashion. Valentino was about the celebration of the beauty and form of women. He rose to fame with his collection of gowns and skirts. In the 60s, women of power including Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Margaret were sporting his creations. Valentino is known for the color red and the V logo has been a symbol of luxury. Among its muses are Julia Roberts, Troye Sivan, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Hugo is an upscale apparel company founded in 1925 by Hugo Boss. It was a homegrown brand in Germany, which is now prominent for its sophisticated and modern men and women’s clothing. The brand features its broad range of casual and athletic wear, but it was most famous for its exquisite tailoring. Their creations show the brand’s trademark of clean design and sharp cuts. For women’s wear, Hugo Boss is not restricted by any rule considering fashion as a means of self expression.
Tiffany and Co., is a luxury brand known for its massive collection of luxurious jewelries. The brand was born in the United States in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany. He introduced the world to the majestic and breathtaking beauty and luxury of diamonds and other elusive gemstones. In 1845, it published the first mail-order catalogue in the United States, the Tiffany Blue Book, which showcased the stylish and glamorous collection of Tiffany and Co.
Yves Saint Laurent, or otherwise known as Saint Laurent, is a French fashion house founded in 1961 by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge. YSL was the first to introduce the concept of luxury prêt-à-porter. Yves Saint Laurent speaks volumes of modernity with its wide range of products that include ready-to-wear for men and women, leather goods, jewelry, and shoes.
An Italian luxury house, Dolce & Gabbana showcases authenticity and unconventional style through its collections. The brand shows its distinct aesthetics of modern classicism. Dolce and Gabbana takes pride of its strong and unmistakable style with cues from its Mediterranean origin. The brand was founded in 1985 by designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. The inner circle of the Italian house includes Emilia Clarke, Scarlet Johannson, and Justin Bieber.
The fashion house of Christian Dior, or simply Dior, was a brainchild of French couturier, Christian Dior. His revolutionary style stole the limelight during his first show in 1947. Even up to today, Dior continues to make headline with its collection of structured, elegant, and feminine pieces. This was a reflection of Christian Dior’s wish for women to “rediscover joy, elegance, and beauty.” His inspiration for his works includes architecture, floral, and colors.
In 1952, a fashion house was established by Hubert de Givenchy in his namesake. Givenchy embodies through its works the aspects of elegance, femininity, and sophistication. The house is known for its chic, elegant, and timeless styles that have since then captured the heart of both men and women. Hubert de Givenchy was a notable designer who introduced the industry to his collection of “separables,” which is a pair of elegant blouses and light skirts. Among its famed muses are Julia Roberts, Gisele Bundchen, and Cate Blanchett.
Jewelries are essential for an upscale look. Apart from being a fashion statement, jewelries are viewed as investments. And when it comes to designer jewelry brands, you are talking about Cartier. With $9.3B brand value as of May 2017, Cartier is a status symbol of luxury. It was founded by Louis-François Cartier in 1847. Known for its Tank watches, Cartier accessorizes the celebrities and royalties including Princess Mathilde and Duchess Catherin of Cambridge.
An Italian fashion house, Versace was founded in 1978 by Gianni Versace. The brand carries the excellent Italian craftsmanship and offers the world fresh, powerful, and fearless designs. The brand does everything from designing, manufacturing, to distribution and retail of its products that include eyewear, jewelry, fragrance, pret-a-porter, and haute couture. Its logo, the distinctive Medusa, has likewise achieved a status of luxury.
The Burberry fashion house, which is headquartered in London, has been in the industry since 1856 when its founder Thomas Burberry was only 21 years old. Specializing in outdoor wear, their clients back then were people who enjoy hunting and fishing. From there, he invented and patented gabardine, a weatherproof and breathable fabric. Thomas Burberry also designed military uniforms and coats for some time. Then 1924 came, he gave birth to the iconic Nova check, which is a plaid made of colors beige, white, black, and red checks. By the 1950s, Burberry was all over Hollywood. Today, Burberry’s presence in around 50 countries makes it one of the most respected designed brands in the world.
In 2017, Forbes reported a $3.91B revenue for Italian brand Prada. Prada was founded in 1913 by Mario Prada. Its first store in Milan sold leather bags and beauty cases. In 1979, their market expanded to include women’s footwear. It made headline in 1986 after setting foot in fashion capitals, Madrid and New York. In 1993, the brand has launched its first collection for men. Among its faces are Eddie Redmayne, Joe Alwyn, and model Pasha Harulia.
Hermes is a French fashion house that dress up some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry and politics. Valued at around $11B, Hermes is one of the most luxurious brands especially with its flagship creation, Hermes bag. The bag was first sold in the United States in the 1930s. The luxury of their bag fits perfectly for a royalty that when Grace Kelly exhibited the “Kelly” bag in 1956, the brand has become of a higher value. At present, Birkin bags from Hermes are considered symbols of high status in the society.
With its eyes on nothing less than elegance and modernity, Balenciaga employs a combination of innovative quality fabrics and mastery of techniques to create stunning pieces. Baleciaga is a French fashion house founded by Cristobal Balenciaga in 1917. Its Paris store, however, was only established twenty years later. Balenciaga offers ready-to-wear for men and women, as well as, handbags, shoes, accessories, fragrance, and eyewear. In 2017, while Louis Vuitton and Gucci were awarded as the best fashion brands by Interbrand, fashion search platform, Lyst, analyzed consumer data and found Balenciaga as the hottest brand for that year.
A representative of the unmatched quality and top-notch Italian craftsmanship, Gucci is now one of the most respected fashion designer brands in the world. With its brand value at $12.7B as of 2017, Gucci is undeniably a powerful brand with a humble beginning in the beautiful city of Florence. It opened as a leather goods company that offered luggage. For many years, Gucci was applauded for its eclectic fashion that traveled through time. Today, it further reinvents itself by employing a modern approach towards fashion.
Chanel is a French company established in 1909 by Gabrielle Chanel, otherwise known as Coco Chanel. The company, Chanel, started out as a designer of hats for women. But later on, its market stretched to include women’s wear like dresses, skirts, blazers, blouses, and suits. By the 1920s, Chanel started to offer its line of skincare and cosmetics. One of its most famous creations is the Chanel Perfume No. 5. Apart from its muses that include Nicole Kidman, Keira Knightley, Lily Rose-Depp, and Kristen Stewart, Chanel is also known for its interlocking CC design.
Topping the list for the most respected fashion designer brands is Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton is a French fashion retailer, which was founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The company started out as a manufacturer of trunks, but today it is known for its array of luxurious bags that feature the iconic beige and brown pattern as well as the LV monogram. Among its faces include Angelina Jolie, Jaden Smith, and Emma Stone. As of May 2017, the brand value of Louis Vuitton is at $28.8B.
Featured image credit: The futuristic building of Louis Vuitton shop in Marina Bay, Singapore. Photo: littlewormy / Shutterstock