The ordinary folks just dream of them, while the wealthy worship them. And both know that luxury brands give two important things: style and status. Apart from those things, they are also a reminder that we really get what we pay for. Here are the top 30 luxury fashion brands that are widely recognized, valued, and loved the world over.
This French fashion house, operating since its founding in 1854 by Louis Vuitton, has been the darling of every well-heeled, snooty, famous fashionista. You can recognize its monogrammed label on almost all of their luxury products — from bags to shoes to sunglasses to jewelry. Last year, in 2014, the company posted its total revenue posted 30.638 billion euros (or about $34.81 million dollars). It has over 400 stores in many parts of the world.
Manolo Blahnik’s line of specially designed footwear has been worn by Hollywood A-listers and other members of the elite from around the world. Established in the 1970s, the brand actually went against the wedges and platform shoes-dominated fashion norm with its more feminine and sexy stilettos which became successful. Blahnik’s shoes, which are exclusively designed in small quantities, can go for as much as about $4,000 a pair!
Marc Jacobs is the company headed by former Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs. Aside from the self-titled principal high-end fashion house, he also operates Marc by Marc Jacobs, a secondary line of ready-to-wear stores which is aimed for the broader market. His eclectic style is found on the company’s clothes, footwear, timepieces, children’s wear, and fragrances. His fashion empire has spawned over 250 stores in many parts of the world.
Award-winning American designer Michael Kors founded his company in 1981, but it went a long way before it introduced its first line of retail stores in 2006. The company produces chic designer handbags, as well as ready-to-wear dresses, men’s clothes, purses, and accessories, are worn by several famous Hollywood celebrities and personalities.
Missoni’s knitted patterns have been the Italian company’s trademark since it started in 1953. You can find Missoni’s signature colorful, wavy and geometrical designs on the company’s line of men’s and women’s clothes, shoes and children’s wear. The family-owned fashion house has been operating stores in 20 countries worldwide.
Narciso Rodriguez is an American fashion designer who launched his own label in 1997. His fashion house features both ready-to-wear and customized designs in its clothing. It also has a fragrances line. Among Narciso Rodriguez’s clients include Sarah Jessica Parker and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Prada is a luxury fashion house established in Milan, Italy in 1913. The store specializes in fashionable and high-priced bags, ready-to-wear clothes, and accessories. The company also operates a chain of subsidiary stores such as Miu Miu, Church’s, and Luna Rossa, among many others.
In 2013 Prada posted a net income of 627.8 million euros ($713 million).
There’s no doubt that the name connotes sophistication, class, and good fashion taste. Ralph Lauren produces luxury men’s and women’s clothes, children’s apparel, fragrances, and even household furnishings. The company boasts over 170 stores as well as several concessions within other business establishments worldwide.
Roland Mouret is a French designer who specializes in women’s clothing. When fashion icon Victoria Beckham wore Mouret’s pink Moon dress, every fashion-crazy girl has been wanting to have that same wardrobe. Mouret’s name has risen in the international fashion world since.
Stella McCartney is a British fashion designer who specializes in designer ready-to-wear clothes, bags, and accessories. McCartney has also extended her empire to custom-made products, lingerie, a skincare line, and fragrances. Her net worth now amounts to about $75 million. She is the daughter Paul (from the Beatles) and Linda McCartney.
Stuart Weitzman is an American designer whose own titular company sells high-end designer shoes. He has also been designing custom-made shoes to several celebrities for the Academy Awards (Oscars) since 2002. Apart from leather shoes, Weitzman also introduces unique pieces in his collection such as sandals made of Lucite, shoes with cork, wallpaper, and 24-karat gold. He has also introduced his own line of high-priced designer bags.
The former designer for Gucci and Yves St. Laurent came out on his own in a big way. He specializes in high-end designer women’s clothing, menswear, fragrances, and eyewear. His eponymous company operates over 80 stores worldwide.
Tory Burch is an American designer whose line of designer women’s clothing, shoes, watches and accessories, beauty products, and handbags are sold at over 160 stores internationally.
Turnbull & Asser is an English company that specializes in exquisite, high-end, handmade shirts and menswear. The company has been consistent in bringing traditional menswear since its establishment in 1885, but it has also been bringing vividly colorful designs. The company has clothed American and British leaders, celebrities, and members of the European nobility.
One of the most recognized global brands, it is an Italian fashion house founded in 1978 by the late designer Gianni Versace. His trademark imaginative, eclectic (and sometimes outrageous) designs have been found on women’s dresses, menswear, bags, shoes and accessories. Versace has over 80 stores worldwide.
Armani is an Italian-based international fashion house founded by Giorgio Armani. His line of mostly tailored suits and other menswear items have been sought after for years. His principal company Armani and his diffusion line Armani Exchange (which was created to be more accessible to the wider market) operate more than a combined 700 stores internationally.
Burberry’s unique tartan patterns are easily the company’s trademark and have been copied by other lesser clothe stores. Established in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, the company produces a line of clothes (for men, women, children), bags, scarves, and trench coats. The company has also introduced a beauty line. Burberry has stores in over 46 countries.
Also known by its monogrammed logo “cK,” Calvin Klein is an American fashion house founded by designer Calvin Klein in 1968. It produces a line of clothes for men and women, underwear, shoes, accessories, and fragrances. It has also garnered fame for its advertising and its high-profile celebrity endorsers such as Brooke Shields, Kate Moss, Mark Whalberg and Scarlett Johanssen, among many others.
The French fashion house Chanel is one of the companies that revolutionized the “haute couture” (high fashion) and has made memorable moments in the world of fashion (such as the famous “little black dress” and the Chanel No. 5 perfume). The company founded by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel has over 200 stores internationally.
Christian Dior is a French high-fashion house and luxury goods company founded by fashion designer Christian Dior in 1946. Also known only as Dior, the company creates and sells high-end designer clothes, shoes, jewelry, watches, and beauty products. It has over 210 stores in many parts of the world.
French shoe designer Christian Louboutin has earned international acclaim for his trademark shiny red-lacquered soled shoes. His creations have been worn by several high-profile Hollywood actresses. His self-styled company operates over 50 stores worldwide.
American fashion designer Donna Karan founded her own fashion house DKNY (Donna Karan New York) in 1984. It specializes in high-end designer men’s and women’s clothing, bags, shoes and accessories.
Dolce & Gabbana is an Italian fashion house that specializes in high-end ready-to-wear men’s and women’s clothing, watches, jewelry, eye wear, and beauty products. It also operates a secondary line of stores, called D&G, to cater to the broader market.
The Germany-based international fashion house specializes in luxury women’s and kids’ clothing, handbags, shoes, eye wear, accessories, and perfumes. Escada stores and outlets are present in over 80 countries worldwide. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is one of the company’s loyal customers.
Fendi is an Italian luxury house founded in 1925; it specializes in designer clothing (men, women, children), bags, and timepieces. Fendi’s most famous product is the classic Baguette bag, which was designed by Silvia Venturini. The company has over 197 stores worldwide.
Gucci is the biggest-selling Italian brand in the world fashion market. A subsidiary of the Gucci group, the company specializes in high-end designer leather goods but it also sells clothes, fragrances, timepieces and jewelry, among other items.
The term “bespoke” is synonymous with “custom-made.” That’s why English clothier Henry Aston Bespoke specializes in high-grade, designer handmade suits, shirts, coats and jackets per customer’s specifications and preferences.
Hugo Boss is a Germany-based international luxury brand that specializes in men’s and women’s clothing, bags, shoes, eye wear, watches and fragrances. It is named after its founder Hugo Boss, who founded the company in 1924.
John Varvatos is an American luxury fashion house named after its founder John Varvatos, who once worked for Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. The company’s specialties include clothing, shoes, accessories, and fragrances. The company’s designs have an edgy, “rock-n-roll” aesthetic that help put John Varvatos a mark above on the high fashion scene.
La Perla is an Italy-based international luxury fashion brand whose line of products mainly include lingerie, swimwear and perfume, but has also added dresses, sleepwear, and bridal wear. The company was founded in 1971 and is now operating over 150 stores worldwide.