50 Top Designer Brands You Need to Know

Another must-know Italian fashion brand is Etro. The company is family-owned and was founded by Gerolamo Etro in 1968. The longevity alone should be a testament to the company’s success, but this is also thanks to its ability to evolve with the times. There are statement pieces and staples, classic colors, and tailored garments to paisley prints and unique colors. The brand is celebrated for its paisley designs, making it easy to recognize that the piece is an Etro design.

High End Fashion Brands: 15 of the World’s Top Designers

High fashion – more eloquently known as haute couture – is the creation of exclusive clothing made from exceptionally high quality fabric and sewn with expert finesse by trained hands.

Luxury fashion houses design, create and market high fashion clothing and accessories which are trend-setting, limited in quantity and extremely expensive to purchase.

For labels to be classified as a high fashion brand, the designer must show their collection at one of the world’s four annual major fashion weeks in Paris, Milan, London or New York.

Many of the world’s top designer brands are based in Europe, most notably across France, Italy and the UK, and despite global economic uncertainty the luxury fashion sector continues to grow faster than many other industries.

Because of this, major business publications such as CNBC , Forbes and Business Insider run a yearly financial analysis of the best performing brands on earth to determine what fashion house fares best in the sartorial sales stakes.

New Idea brings you a list of the world’s most famous fashion brands – and what you need to know about each before you invest.

high end fashion

15. Dolce and Gabbana

Italian fashion house Dolce and Gabbana was founded in 1985 by designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.

After presenting their first collection for women at Milan Fashion Week in 1985, the fashion gurus and former couple opened their first store in 1986.

In 1992, the house showcased its first line for men and also launched its first eponymous fragrance.

Dolce and Gabbana create a wide variety of fashion products including clothing, footwear, handbags, sunglasses, watches, jewellery, perfumes and cosmetics.

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The new initials of the #DGAmoreBag reveal a baroque inspiration, inexorably joined by the word “Amore” on the front. #DGWomen

Anne Hathaway, Emma Roberts and Eva Mendes are all notable celebrities who often wear D&G pieces.

The brand also designed costumes for the 2000s international tours of Beyoncé, Kylie Minogue, Missy Elliott and Mary J. Blige.

Madonna appeared in Dolce and Gabbana’s 2010 campaign and models such as Emily Ratajkowski, Ashley Graham and Vittoria Ceretti walked in the 2018 show at Milan Fashion Week.

High end fashion brands

Ashley Graham walks the runway for Dolce and Gabbana during Milan Fashion Week 2018

In recent years, the brand has felt the brunt of numerous public controversies, most of which were triggered by the bizarre social media ravings of Stefano Gabbana himself.

After cruelling trolling a number of high profile celebrities including Selena Gomez and Chiara Ferragni on Instagram, the designer went on a racist rant against China which involved slurs such as “China, ignorant dirty smelling mafia”.

This led to the brand’s Shanghai show being boycotted by models and subsequently cancelled, while luxury online retailer Net-A-Porter pulled all Dolce and Gabbana products from its platforms.

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14. Burberry

Burberry is perhaps Britain’s best known luxury fashion house with headquarters in London, England.

This historic and iconic label was founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, and continues to market its trademark trench coats, ready-to-wear outerwear, handbags, fragrances, sunglasses and cosmetics to this day.

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The quintessentially British household name made headlines in March 2018 by appointing Italian creative Riccardo Tisci as Head Designer.

Tisci previously worked with Parisian house Givenchy for 12 years, where he pioneered shark teeth and nose ring motifs.

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Israeli actress Gal Gadot wears the iconic Burberry trench coat

The Duchess of Cambridge famously wore Burberry for her 2017 Vogue cover.

Since Tisci’s takeover last year, Burberry has amassed a new legion of celebrity fans including Rihanna (his longtime pal), Madonna, Julia Roberts and Carey Mulligan.

It girl models including Kendall Jenner, Irina Shayk and Cara Delevigne are all regulars on the Burberry catwalk.

high end fashion brands

Kendall Jenner walks in the Burberry show during London Fashion Week 2018

13. Valentino

Valentino S.p.A is an Italian fashion house founded by designer Valentino Garavani in 1960.

Inspired by his early years spent working in Paris, Garavani opened his first upscale fashion boutique on Rome’s Via Condotti and began to create clothing, footwear, glasses, fragrances, watches and accessories, initially primarily for women.

The house is known for its trademark fabric shade known as “Valentino red”.

Meghan Markle wore a red Valentino dress for an official engagement during the February 2019 royal tour of Morocco.

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The brand made its international debut in 1962 in Florence, and garnered such acclaim Valentino went on to design custom wedding dresses for icons such as Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Lopez, Anne Hathaway, Courtney Cox and Princess Madeleine of Sweden.

Valentino was the favourite designer of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

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Major celebrities who often opt for Valentino gowns or awards shows include Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Penelope Cruz and Keira Knightley.

Since the summer of 2016, Pierpaolo Piccioli has been the creative director of Valentino.

high end fashion brands

Valentino Garavani with Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2014 Valentino show in Rome

12. Off-White

Founded in 2013, Milan-based streetwear label Off-White is the brainchild of American fashion designer entrepreneur and Dj Virgil Abloh.

Abloh, who has also been the artistic director at Louis Vuitton since March 2018, serves as chief executive officer of the Italian house.

Off-White designs include trend-setting throwbacks like cycling shorts and the now-iconic yellow industrial belt.

Paper Magazine report the belt was the world’s 6th most popular women’s fashion product in 2018.

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Off-White™ “Box Bag” as seen during NYFW. photography c/o @j2martinez

Abloh has amassed a huge cult following for his infant label through the help of social media and well-placed influencer friends, including models Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin who all regularly rock the designs.

Beyoncé is a huge fan of the new label and Abloh also dresses many of the Victoria’s Secret ambassadors for red carpet events including Dutch model Romee Strijd.

The label is also close to the heart of eccentric genius Kanye West, who first met Abloh when they were both interning at Rome-based fashion house house Fendi.

high end fashion brands

Off-White designer Virgil Abloh with models Gigi and Bella Hadid and Karlie Kloss at the finale show for Paris Fashion Week 2019

11. Givenchy

Falling just inside the top 10 is luxury Parisian fashion house Givenchy.

Founded in 1952 by Hubert de Givenchy and Jaani Robert Durfy, the clothing, fragrance and cosmetics empire is now owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH.

The brand became known for its iconic shirt dress, and Givenchy became the first high fashion designer to create a luxury ready-to-wear clothing line for women.

In 1969, Hubert de Givenchy launched his first collection for men, and a decade later received the accolade of Most Elegant Man of the Year by The Best Magazine.

The award was presented by Audrey Hepburn.

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Audrey Hepburn was the muse and friend of Hubert de Givenchy

Givenchy has been worn many times by some of the world’s most iconic women, including Lauren Bacall, Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich and Princess Grace of Monaco.

Contemporary devotees of the label include Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Emma Stone, Julia Roberts and Rooney Mara.

high end fashion brands

Kim Kardashian wears Givenchy to the 2013 MET Gala

Givenchy’s current artistic director is Clare Waight Keller, the first woman to hold the position and the designer tasked with creating Meghan Markle’s custom bridal gown for her May 2018 royal wedding to Prince Harry.

high end fashion brands

Meghan Markle wore a Givenchy gown on her wedding day to Prince Harry

10. Balenciaga

Bucking the trend for Italian and French maisons , Balenciaga is a luxury fashion house founded in 1917 in San Sebastian, Spain by Basque designer Cristobal Balenciaga.

Dubbed “the master of us all” by Christian Dior, Balenciaga swiftly developed a reputation for impeccable quality and high standards of womenswear and tailoring, with his bubble skirts and contemporary silhouettes becoming his trademark.

Balenciaga’s designs were worn by the Spanish royal family and during WWII clients even risked their own lives by travelling to war torn Europe to see his collections.

Balenciaga designed the 1960 wedding dress of Queen Fabiola of Belgium, and Jackie Kennedy infuriated her husband JFK by buying multiple pieces from the designer during his presidency which he believed set a bad example for the public.

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Rapper A$AP Rocky in Balenciaga in 2017

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Balenciaga trained and honed the skills of many great designers including Oscar de la Renta and Hubert de Givenchy who went on to open their own successful couture houses.

In 1992, House of Balenciaga designed the French Olympic team outfits and throughout the 2000s stars like Sinéad O’Connor, Nicole Kidman, Kylie Minogue and Madonna favoured the brand.

According to Paper Magazine, Balenciaga’s Platform Crocs were the 10th most popular women’s fashion product in the world in 2018.

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Instagram post by Balenciaga * Mar 2, 2019 at 4:01pm UTC

Today, Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia is at the helm of Balenciaga as creative director.

Fashion editors and industry models have a penchant for vintage Balenciaga pieces which are often seen on the likes of Lara Bingle, Cardi B, Kim Kardashian, Sienna Miller, Jennifer Garner and Chloe Sevigny who was the muse of former Balenciaga creative head Nicolas Ghesquiere.

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Kim Kardashian at the Balenciaga show at Paris Fashion Week 2017

9. Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent, also known simply as Saint Laurent, is a French luxury fashion house created by the designer of the same name and his partner, Pierre Bergé.

Founded in 1961, the brand revived its haute couture collection in 2015 under the artistic direction of Hedi Slimane.

In April 2016, Slimane was succeeded by Anthony Vaccarello as Creative Director.

high end fashion brands

Yves Saint Laurent with his muse Raquel Welch around 1975

Saint Laurent is considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious womenswear labels thanks to the eponymous designer’s obsession with the female form.

Among his muses were French actress Catherine Deneuve, American star Raquel Welch and British-Irish model Betty Catroux.

Major contemporary celebrities who adore the French house include Kate Moss, Margot Robbie, Angelina Jolie and Jessica Chastain.

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Kate Moss wears Saint Laurent for a YSL show in Paris, February 2019

Saint Laurent’s many quotes include “Chanel freed women, I empowered them” as well as the iconic mantra “Fashions fade, style is eternal”.

The brand now create a vast range of YSL products including best selling fragrances, cosmetics, handbags, footwear and jewellery.

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One of the most iconic contemporary designs is the vertiginous YSL Opyum heel which uses the logo for the stiletto point.

The iconic YSL Opyum heel

8. Prada

Prada S.p.A. is an Italian luxury fashion house founded in 1913 by Mario Prada.

The world famous designer specialises in leather handbags and accessories, shoes, ready-to-wear clothing for men and for women, fragrances and cosmetics.

Mario’s granddaughter, Miuccia Prada, joined the family business in 1970 and took the helm as head designer in 1978, a position she holds to this day.

Miuccia focused on creating a trademark offering for the brand, namely waterproof nylon bags which remain hugely popular.

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Prada launched the “classic Prada handbag” in 1985, which catapulted the name to stardom. A women’s clothing line followed in 1989 characterised by drop waistlines and thin belts.

Miuccia started an offshoot label, Miu Miu, based on her own nickname in 1992, targeting the collections towards younger consumers and celebrities.

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Italian businesswomen and influencer Chiara Ferragni at Prada’s Milan Fashion Week show 2018 – she carries an iconic Prada leather handbag

In recent years, major influencers such as Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Rita Ora and Hailee Steinfeld incorporate Prada accessories into their street style.

A-list actresses including Nicole Kidman, Michelle Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Weisz and Carey Mulligan regularly wear Prada on the red carpet.

According to Paper Magazine, the Prada Nylon Belt Bag was the world’s 4th most popular women’s fashion product in 2018.

high end fashion brands

Fashion blogger Chen Xiaxue carries a classic Prada bag at London Fashion Week 2016

7. Fendi

The house of Fendi was founded in 1925 by Italian designers Adele and Edoardo Fendi in Rome.

The luxury brand creates fur, ready-to-wear clothing for women and men, small leather goods and handbags, shoes, fragrances, sunglasses and watches.

Fendi became a household name during the 1990s thanks to its tiny shoulder bag called the Baguette which has made an incredible comeback over the past two years.

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Famous for its FF logo, Fendi is a bonafide family business with the founder’s granddaughter Silvia Venturini Fendi acting as the current Creative Director for Accessories and Menswear.

The late Karl Lagerfeld joined the brand in 1965 and stood as creative director for fur and womenswear from 1977 until his death in February 2019.

high end fashion brands

Models walk the runway at the Fendi show, Milan Fashion Week September 2018

Fendi’s creative marketing team leveraged the power of social media to revive the struggling house, garnering international notice after major celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Nicki Minaj wore head to toe Fendi on their respective Instagram accounts.

Supermodel sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid are also major proponents of the Italian label and regularly storm the catwalks for Fendi’s fashion week presentations.

high end fashion brands

Gigi Hadid on the runway in head to toe Fendi, February 2019

6. Dior

Christian Dior SE, commonly known as Dior, is a French luxury goods label primarily specialising in clothing for women, handbags, footwear, jewellery, sunglasses, fragrances, cosmetics and skin products.

Founded in Paris in 1946 by designer Christian Dior, the brand remains focused on womenswear but contemporarily branched out to create a Dior Homme collection for men.

Dior was wildly popular among European royalty during the 1950s and 1960s, and modern day designers still draw inspiration from Dior’s first evening gowns.

high end fashion brands

Diana, Princess of Wales carries a Dior handbag on her 1995 trip to Argentina

So popular was Dior that by the end of 1949 – just three years after its foundation – the company’s fashion made up 5 percent of France’s total export revenue.

Today, the iconic creation of the house of Dior is arguably the saddle bag which comes in a vast range of colours, patterns and fabrics.

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Dior details @leatherandlacebyelyse 📸: @carlytumen #repost

In recent years, Dior has employed a vast number of celebrity ambassadors to promote its designs. These include Carla Bruni (1996), Charlize Theron (2004 to present), Marion Cotillard (2008-2017), Natalie Portman (2010-present), Rihanna (2015-present) and Jennifer Lawrence (2012-present).

Former Valentino designer Maria Grazia Chiuri is the current creative director of Dior, following a long line of talent including John Galliano and Raf Simons.

Grazia Chiuri famously designed the two Dior wedding dresses of original Instagram businesswoman Chiara Ferragni in 2018.

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The second dress for the night is a custom made Dior haute couture dress with embroderies about the song Fede wrote me to propose and all our symbols. Thank you @dior for creating the dresses of my dreams and these wonderful gifts 💘 #TheFerragnez

5. Hermes

Hermes International S.A. is a French high fashion luxury manufacturer with a history spanning centuries.

Founded as an equestrian accessories workshop in 1837 by Thierry Hermes, a German-French carriage maker, the company transitioned to a budding fashion house in 1918 when it created the first leather golf jacket with a zipper, custom made for Edward, Prince of Wales.

Hermes is best known for its handbags, but the brand began manufacturing them by somewhat of an accident when the director’s wife complained about not finding any bags to her liking.

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Clearly, this is the perfect city bag. @thefashionpsych #repost

Today, Hermes market a huge collection of the world’s most expensive and exclusive bag, including the iconic Birkin named for English actress Jane Birkin.

The Hermes Kelly was christened in honour of Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco.

Hermes also produce a range of ready-to-wear clothing for both men and women, as well as footwear, jewellery, watches, fragrances, homewares, stationery and its world renowned silk scarves.

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Queen Elizabeth wears a Hermes scarf

The Hermes scarf – or carré – was introduced in 1937 using raw Chinese silk and printed with individual screen patterns.

Notable celebrities who have worn Hermes scarves include Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Sharon Stone, Cameron Diaz, Anne Hathaway and Madonna.

A plethora of A-listers love to tote Hermes handbags, from Victoria Beckham and Kim Kardashian to Emma Watson and Sarah Jessica Parker thanks to the status they evoke.

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Victoria Beckham carries a Hermes Birkin bag

Designers who have headed up the historic house include Jean-Paul Gaultier and artin Margiela.

The current creative director is Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski.

high end fashion brands

A model walks the runway at the Hermes show, Paris Fashion Week 2017

Versace is an Italian luxury fashion company founded by designer Gianni Versace in 1978 in Milan.

The brand’s mainstay includes boldly printed, Italian-made ready-to-wear clothing for women and for men, as well as handbags, sunglasses, fragrances, homeware, jewellery and small leather accessories.

Gianni chose the head of Medusa, a Greek mythological figure, as the logo for his now famous label which became renowned for its flashy chain patterns and vibrant colours.

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@vittoceretti and @kaiagerber arrive to the runway show after party at the Palazzo Versace wearing #VersaceFW19 looks. #MFW

After the murder of Gianni Versace in 1997, his sister and business partner Donatella took the reins as Creative Director, a position she holds to this day.

Back in 1994, Versace made headlines when Elizabeth Hurley wore a jaw droppingly sexy black chain dress – dubbed “THAT dress” by the media” – to the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral.

high end fashion brands

Elizabeth Hurley in THAT Versace dress, 1994

Versace continues to attract a vast range of celebrity devotees who adore the brand’s flamboyant and unapologetically sexual designs, including Sir Elton, Beyoncé, Naomi Campbell, Demi Moore, the Kardashians, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.

J Lo famously created the need for Google Image search by wearing a green printed Versace dress, slashed to the navel, to the Grammy Awards in 2000.

high end fashion brands

Jennifer Lopez in the now famous navel-slashed Versace gown, 2000

Along with Louis Vuitton and fast-fashion brand Fashion Nova, Versace was the most-searched label of 2018.

Versace enjoyed a major moment at last year’s MET Gala, the theme of which focused on the Catholic imagination of art and fashion.

The Italian behemoth dressed major names including Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian West, Katy Perry, Blake Lively, Irina Shayk, Gisele Bundchen, Mary J Blige and Cindy Crawford for the prestigious event.

high end fashion brand

Creative Director Donatella Versace with Russian model Irina Shayk, both in Versace for the 2018 Met Gala

3. Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Malletier – Louis Vuitton – is an esteemed French fashion house founded Paris in 1854 by creative designer Louis Vuitton.

One of the world’s leading maisons, the brand is famous for its trademark LV monogram which appears on almost all of its products, particularly handbags for which the house is best known.

Louis Vuitton create a vast array of lavish goods including luxury luggage, ready-to-wear clothing for women and men, bags, belts, small leather goods, jewellery, sunglasses, shoes and stationery.

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For six consecutive years between 2006 and 2012, Louis Vuitton was named the world’s most valuable luxury brand.

The label first launched its signature LV monogram tote bag in 1896, a style which remains hugely popular to this day.

Louis Vuitton’s Speedy and Neverfull bags are worn the world over and continue to be the “It” bag of the fashion industry.

high end fashion brands

Rihanna at the Louis Vuitton menswear show in Paris, June 2018

Renowned designer Marc Jacobs acted as Louis Vuitton’s Artistic Director from 1997 until 2013, when he was replaced by Nicolas Ghesquiere and subsequently Kim Jones.

Since March 2018 Off-White creator Virgil Abloh has been the Louis Vuitton menswear director, the first African-American at the helm of the prestigious label.

In recent years Louis Vuitton has garnered the following of big names from the rap and hip hop industries, including A$AP Rocky and Kanye West who are regularly spotted in the houses’ clothing.

Last August, actress Emma Stone was named the face of the iconic brand ad the LV monogram is consistently seen on stars like Ariana Grande, Hailey Baldwin, Taylor Swift, Rita Ora, Kate Moss, Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Nicki Minaj, DJ Khaled and Selena Gomez.

high fashion brands

Supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss walk with Louis Vuitton director Kim Jones during the menswear show at Paris Fashion Week 2018

2. Gucci

Gucci is an Italian luxury fashion brand founded by Guccio Gucci in Tuscany in 1921.

The house went on to become Italy’s top selling label and has enjoyed a recent revival to become the world’s most sought after millennial brand under the creative direction and fresh digital marketing strategy of Alessandro Michele who has headed up design since 2015.

During WWII, Gucci created handbags made of cotton canvas as opposed to traditional leather due to fabric shortages, and distinguished his creations with a double G monogram decorated with red and green bands.

high end fashion brands

The GG Logo belt at Milan Fashion Week 2017

Filmstars and world leaders flocked to Gucci’s Florence store after the war to get their hands on the luxurious designs, and the brand was catapulted onto the international fashion stage.

Despite incredible success, Gucci experienced a difficult time during the 1980s when the founder’s grandson and then president of the company was murdered by a hit man in Milan.

In an effort to salvage the struggling name, designer Tom Ford was hired to restore Gucci’s reputation (while he also designed at Yves Saint Laurent).

high end fashion

British model and designer Alexa Chung in Gucci at the Gucci at the Gucci Cruise fashion show, London 2017

The brand was reincarnated under his direction and since Michele’s takeover in 2015 has gone on to grow it’s online presence by an incredible margin.

Today, Gucci is worn by the “It” crowd all over the world, and regularly dresses celebrities such as Rihanna, Brad Pitt, Blake Lively, Rachel McAdams, Harry Styles, Kylie Jenner and Salma Hayak for red carpet events.

So impressive is Gucci’s resurrection, Business Insider dubbed it “the designer comeback of the year” for 2018.

According to Paper Magazine, the world’s most popular women’s fashion products of 2018 was the Gucci GG Logo belt.

Kim Kardashian put her own spin on the GG obsession by wearing a Tom Ford era G-string featuring a gold plated double G for an Instagram shoot.

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The brand’s Logo Print Swimsuit came in at number three, making it the only house to have two items in the top ten.

It is now the most desired and most loved brand among millennials and teens (for those who can afford it, that is).

high end fashion

A guest carries a Gucci bag at Milan Fashion Week 2017

1. Chanel

Chanel S.A. is a French luxury fashion house specialising in haute couture and ready-to-wear clothing, handbags, sunglasses, footwear, cosmetics, fragrance, jewellery, belts and small leather goods.

Chanel was founded Paris in 1909 as “House of Chanel” by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, a former singer and fashion designer.

Coco Chanel made elegant, minimalistic clothes for women which grew in popularity as ladies moved away from the excessive, maximalist designs of the 19th century.

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Marilyn Monroe sprays herself with No. 5 de Chanel perfume

Some of Chanel’s many legacies include “the little black dress” and the iconic “Chanel suit”, as well as the iconic Chanel No. 5 fragrance.

The talented designer also popularised the “flat-chested” model look thanks to her simple but flattering designs which better suited a small bust.

Chanel struggled to stay relevant in the 1980s, and in 1983 German-born designer Karl Lagerfeld was hired as chief creative to revive the dying brand.

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Lagerfeld reinvented the label and made it a roaring success thanks to his new ready-to-wear line. He also reimagined the interlocked CC monogram of Chanel and used it as the brand’s logo.

He remained as chief designer until his death in February 2019, when Virginie Viard was announced as he successor.

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To this day, Chanel favours colour tones usually worn by men such as grey, white, black and navy blue which Coco used to exude feminine dominance and confidence.

Since foundation, Chanel has become the world’s most elite fashion house beloved by the rich and famous from London to Shanghai.

high end fashion

Kaia Gerber walks in the Chanel fashion show in Paris October 2018

Chanel bags, in particular, are worn as status symbols and vintage pieces continue to fetch exorbitantly high prices to the point that some in the fashion world recommend investing in Chanel – the one commodity that never depreciates in value.

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Famous faces who have fronted Chanel campaigns include Catherine Deneuve, Vanessa Paradis, Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tautou, Keira Knightley, Kristen Stewart, Margot Robbie and Marilyn Monroe.

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Chanel ambassador Margot Robbie attends the Chanel Metiers D’Art 2018/19 Show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on December 4, 2018 in New York City

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Alice Murphy Alice Murphy is a freelance journalist and self-professed news addict. Originally from Ireland, Alice is on a mission to visit every country in the world (telling stories along the way). She is most commonly found eating sushi, drinking strong coffee and reading horoscopes.

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50 Top Designer Brands You Need to Know

30 Designer Brands For Men You Need To Know

Everyone loves a bit of luxury in their life, and there’s no denying that these designer brands are at the forefront. They supply everything from suits to basic tees and underwear. These brands know style and comfort, making their designs to the highest of quality. To help you out, we’ve rounded up the best designer brands that you need to know.

1. Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton decided that he wanted to become a trunk master at the ripe age of sixteen. Not only did this lead to him becoming a designer, but also an inventor, creating locks that had never been seen before. The brand continues to be best known for their bags and luggage, with travel remaining at the heart of the house alongside their RTW collections.

Louis Vuitton

2. Gucci

Founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921, the label is one of the original luxury labels and one of the world leaders in apparel and accessories. The label is best known for its extravagant style and luxury textiles. Gucci continues to redefine fashion to fit the 21st century while representing the highest quality of Italian craftsmanship and attention to detail.


3. Balenciaga

Balenciaga is now more than 100 years old, with the luxury fashion house being founded in Spain back in 1917, by Cristóbal Balenciaga. Though the brand is now owned by the French multinational company, Kering, they have managed to uphold the label’s high-end status, as well as its on-trend style that can only be described as inventive, expensive, and bold.


4. Dior Homme

The brand was founded in 1948 by Christian Dior. Though the European luxury goods company is now chaired by the French businessman, Bernard Arnault, who is also the head of LVMH which is the worlds largest luxury group. Dior’s sophisticated, contemporary and confident style, sticks to a formal and minimal style. While Dior Homme has introduced a characteristic slim silhouette under the creative direction of Hedi Slimane, the brand continues to challenge convention.

Dior Homme

5. Prada

Prada always thinks outside the box and doesn’t create their designs based on preconceived styles or fashion trends. As a result, the label prides itself on the uncompromised quality and freedom of expression. The Italian luxury fashion house is one of the biggest names in the industry, founded in 1913 by Mario Prada. Specializing in leather handbags, travel accessories, shoes, ready-to-wear, perfumes, and other fashion accessories, the brand has managed to stand the test of time.


6. Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo’s dream was always to transform his brand into a great fashion house, so when he passed in 1960, he left it as his legacy, hoping his family would fulfill his goal. Eventually succeeding, Salvatore Ferragamo is now one of the biggest and most well-known shoe labels, made from high-quality leathers and other unique materials.

Salvatore Ferragamo

7. Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney launched her brand in 2001, owning a 50% partnership with the Kering group. The label was one of the first fashion brands to join the sustainability movement, choosing to follow in the footsteps of her mother, Linda McCartney, an animal rights activist. Due to this, the brand uses non-violent materials to create their ready-to-wear clothing, accessories, lingerie, and eyewear, strongly believing in sustaining the planet and taking care of animals. Stella McCartney menswear has a unique urban look and is known for its soft tailored shapes and sporty feel.

Stella Mccartney

8. Fendi

Founded in 1925 in Rome, Fendi is one of the original designer brands, reaching over 90 years of age. The Italian fashion house was just a fur and leather shop when it was first launched by Adele and Edoardo Fendi. Keeping to its roots, the label is still, to this day, the only brand to have an in-house, fur atelier. Their product line also includes bags, shoes, accessories, eyewear, fragrances, leather goods, and ready-to-wear clothing.


9. Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé, founded the brand 1961. The French luxury house is still considered one of the world’s most prominent fashion houses, known for its modern and iconic pieces. Saint Laurent embodies youth culture and emphasizes gender-fluidity through their gender-neutral clothing and simple, yet classic style, that’s explosively cool, entwining rebellious, punk with luxury.

Saint Laurent

10. Givenchy

The French luxury fashion and perfume house were founded in 1952 by designer Hubert de Givenchy came to prominence through his mastery of silhouette. The label strikes the perfect balance between traditional and modern style, keeping to a casual yet classic look that has been inspired by many artists, friends, muses and loyal clients. Though the fashion house is now owned by the luxury conglomerate, LVMH, the brand is still known for being one of the original top-designer brands, and a leader in the fashion industry.


11. Balmain

Balmain has a design heritage of rich decorative fabrics and luxe trims. The label uses innovative ways to embody its French legacy. It has a unique style and immaculate craftsmanship that is evident in the small details. Each design carries one of their signature embellishments, including their gold medallions, the new re-designed logo, buttons and symbols, the blazon coat of arms, their gold ornaments, or tassels. Recent designer collaborations include H&M, and Victoria’s Secret.


12. Kenzo

The French fashion house was founded in 1970 and created by Kenzo Takada, whose Japanese background inspired him to create the brand’s looks based on his Japanese influences and the culture of Paris. For that reason, the company has upheld his creative concept to this day, merging exotic prints with an ethnic twist, as well as many floral designs.


13. Alexander McQueen

British fashion designer, Lee Alexander McQueen founded his label in 1992 after completing an apprenticeship at London’s prestigious Saville Row. Exaggerated shapes and innovative tailoring combined with traditional techniques are the label’s key look. Punky streetwear and strong graphic effects are also an essential part of the brand’s DNA.

Alexander Mcqueen

14. Giorgio Armani

Italian fashion designer, Giorgio Armani formed his company in 1975, reaching the status of ‘most successful designer of Italian origin’ by 2001. The Italian luxury brand is one of the biggest and most influential names in fashion, best known for their suits and formal wears clean, tailored lines. Armani is a symbol of success for many business professionals and has been since the early ’80s.

Georgio Armani

15. Tom Ford

In 2005 Tom Ford announced the creation of his brand, and while it is a relatively new name to the fashion world, Ford has already succeeded at making it as well known as your ‘old as time’ designer brands; he spent the previous fifteen years working to revolutionize Gucci. Tom Ford is your one-stop fashion shop that supplies everything from apparel to luggage and fragrances.

Tom Ford

16. Berluti

Berluti exceeds at making bags, accessories and ready-to-wear clothing, but the heart of the company is their leather shoes. Due to challenging the boundaries of craftsmanship, the fashion house was able to create their own special leathers and unique designs, including a supple smooth leather which can be transformed into many colors with the option of personalization.


17. Burberry

Thomas Burberry originally designed his clothing to protect people from the cold harsh British weather, sourcing hardwearing fabrics that revolutionized weatherproof clothing, starting in 1856. To this day, Burberry has a distinctive British identity known for its classic outerwear pieces, using traditional woven patterns and slick tailoring.


18. Comme Des Garçons

Comme Des Garçons was founded in 1969, yet wasn’t established as a company until 1973. The brand quickly made a name for itself in Japan, where it was created by Rei Kawakubo, before spreading to many other regions of the world. Though the label is nearly 50 years old it still manages to be the most inventive brand of the 21st century, specializing in making unique, funky, radical fashion that fiercely challenges conventions and transcends gender stereotypes with completely original clothing.

Comme Des Garcons

19. Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein was launched in 1968 by American fashion designer, Calvin Richard Klein. The label is a global lifestyle megabrand with a global presence that prides itself on its provocative, modern and sensual nature. The brand has a minimal aesthetic, that cleverly combines unstructured tailoring with iconic staples.

Calvin Klein

20. Brioni

The Italian brand, Brioni has a very particular method of creating their suits which they have practiced since the late ’50s. It requires 220 steps and more than 22 hours’ worth of work to complete this unique process manually. Though it’s well worth the end product, creating quite a smart and sophisticated look, even in their day-to-day clothing.


21. DKNY

Donna Karen founded her diffusion brand DKNY in 1984, though it wasn’t until 1992 that DKNY Men was launched. The label soon became known for its sporty influences, casual chic, and clever use of branding. It carries a strong sense of New York, with many of their shirts and jumpers featuring the city landscape. The DKNY design ethos is at the core of its uncomplicated and laid-back style.


22. Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren stands at the forefront of fashion, being a global leader in design and marketing since the fashion house was invented in 1967, while Ralph himself, is an icon in the industry. The brand provides apparel, accessories, and fragrance for men, women and children, and is super stylish. The label continues to be the leader in the latest trends and always provides the best runway looks.

Ralph Lauren Men's Spring 2018

23. Valentino

The brand was founded in 1959 in Rome by the Italian fashion designer, Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani. Valentino is one of the original leaders of international fashion and continues to be today. The label makes shoes, bags, eyewear, scarves, ties, fragrances, and clothes that are super edgy and most interesting in style.


24. Paul Smith

Paul Smith came up with the concept of the company in the ’70s and has kept to these standards ever since, the motto being, ‘classic with a twist’. The brand stands apart from many others due to its unique taste and playful sense of style. Paul Smith’s fashion sits somewhere between high fashion and formalwear and uses both for inspiration.

Paul Smith

25. Ermenegildo Zegna

Founded in 1910, Zegna is an Italian luxury fashion house specializing in men’s clothing and accessories. The label has a very holistic approach to the way they run the business, always sourcing high-quality, nature-friendly raw materials. In fact, the label is one of the biggest global producers of fine fabrics and have been active in promoting improvements in wool production around the world. By revenue, the brand just so happens to be the largest menswear brand in the world with its smart casual, basic designs.

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Ermenegildo Zegna

26. Hugo Boss

The German luxury fashion house was founded in 1924 by Hugo Boss, originally specializing in uniforms during World War II. Though changing over time, the label now has a mix of both classic business attire and casual athleisurewear which are all made to a premium standard, making a confident statement, while keeping with simple yet classic designs.

Hugo Boss

27. DSquared2

Twin brothers Dean and Dan founded DSquared2, in 1996, in Milan, Italy. The designs are a mix of edgy and sensual, made with Canadian and Italian tailoring, choosing their countries of heritage. Hence, their collections are perfectly contrasted, creating an alternate concept to luxury, by melding together opposite designs.


28. Thom Browne

In 2001 Thom Browne realized that there was a gap in the market for formal clothing due to the fact that everyone had become overly casual in the way that they dressed. Therefore, the brand specializes in suits and formal wear, making even their casual clothing quite dressy. Though the most noteworthy thing about Thom Browne is that he loves playing with traditional proportions and creating clothes that are ‘shrunken’, reconceptualizing the classic men’s suit, while also accepting gender fluidity by dressing his male models in skirts, dresses, and heels.

Thom Browne

29. Hermes

Hermes sells leather goods, accessories, perfumes and ready-to-wear clothing that is quite traditional in style. Out of all of their products, their leather goods are their biggest contributor to the company’s revenues, followed by their ready-to-wear line. The brand also has many partner brands including, John Lobb (bootmaker), Puiforcat (silversmith), Saint-Louis (crystal manufacturer) and Shang Xia (contemporary fine living lifestyle brand).


30. Lacoste

Founded by 1920’s tennis champion Rene Lacoste, one of the greatest preppy brands of all time emerged from a determination to improve sporting apparel which, at that time, was largely woven. He is credited with the invention of cotton pique, a sturdy knit fabric which to this day is still used in the company’s iconic polo shirts. Over time the Lacoste range has grown to include a strong offering of technical and outerwear apparel with punchy coloration and classic tennis whites.


31. Belstaff

There is a lot to like about the brand, Belstaff. It is practical but stylish, great for those who want a statement jacket or a great pair of boots; the best-known pieces are the iconic waxed cotton jackets. It is a British brand with a long history, dating back to 1924 when it was founded by Eli Belovitch and his son-in-law Harry Grosberg in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent in the United Kingdom. It was initially created as an outerwear brand but has since become a luxury designer brand, celebrated for its quality items that are made to last.


32. Diesel

Diesel is an Italian clothing company celebrated for its fresh denim designs, but it also sells accessories, footwear, and everything from beachwear to knitwear. It was founded in 1978 in Molvena, Colceresa, Italy, by Italian fashion mogul and businessman Renzo Rosso. The brand can feel rebellious and youthful, with distressed items and sometimes the unusual placement of zippers or pockets. This makes each piece of Diesel clothing ideal for those who want something special and different.


33. Etro

Another must-know Italian fashion brand is Etro. The company is family-owned and was founded by Gerolamo Etro in 1968. The longevity alone should be a testament to the company’s success, but this is also thanks to its ability to evolve with the times. There are statement pieces and staples, classic colors, and tailored garments to paisley prints and unique colors. The brand is celebrated for its paisley designs, making it easy to recognize that the piece is an Etro design.


34. Erdem

Erdem is a company started by British fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu. His name is not the only thing unique about the brand, which was founded in 2005, and features collections for men and women. Best known for their botanical prints, the appeal of Erdem is that the designs are made to last, created using high-quality materials. There are items that are perfect for everyday wear, or you can find special designs for memorable occasions. From embroidered cotton jackets and chinos to floral tailored shorts, there is something to suit every preference and are often more affordable than other designer brands.


35. 3.1 Phillip Lim

3.1 Phillip Lim is a fashion label founded by friends Phillip Lim and Wen Zhou. The brand made its debut at the New York Fashion Week in 2005, and over the years, it has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of the most sought-after designer brands in the world. It is celebrated for creating ethical luxury fashion; they have stated that Community and Sustainability are integral to its design process. They also aim to make their pieces accessible to the “global citizen.” The designs are special, with standout pieces including quilted jackets, duvet parkers, and edgy suede combat boots.

3.1 Phillip Lim

36. Vetements

Vetements is a luxury French fashion house known for its bold prints, interesting color combinations, and designs that are made to be noticed. Founded in 2014 by Demna Gvasalia and Guram Gvasalia, it has become easy to spot a Vetements product, which is the appeal of the luxury fashion brand. Designer pieces are costly, but they are also built to last so that you can expect superb quality.


37. Stone Island

Stone Island is perhaps not as well-known as some other luxury fashion brands, but it certainly deserves recognition. Founded in 1982 by Massimo Osti, the Italian brand is celebrated for its interesting colors and clever use of fabrics; these include a shiny, transparent bomber jacket made in a canvas with polyester monofilaments and flat nylon threads. Garments include everything from coats and jackets to knitwear and fleece and come in various sizes and fits.

Stone Island

38. Rag and Bone

Rag and Bone was founded in 2002 by Nathan Bogle and Marcus Wainwright and has gone from strength to strength over the last 20 years. The appeal of this American fashion label is the urban style, and pieces are effortlessly cool and easy to wear, lending themselves to various occasions. The brand is sold in hundreds of stores around the world and has become one of the best-known luxury labels, with pieces expertly crafted and designed to last. These include linen shorts, cotton knit shirts, and casual linen blazers.

Rag and Bone

39. Roberto Cavalli

Luxury fashion label, Robert Cavali, is the eponymous brand of famed Italian designer Robert Cavali. Founded in 1972 in Florence, Italy, the label has become known for its bold prints, brightly colored garments, and leather accessories. These pieces have a youthful feel and are for those who prefer to stand out from the crowd rather than blend in. Designs include the tiger-inspired Felix print silk shirt or the equally daring zebra-print slim-fit jeans.

Roberto Cavalli

40. Rick Owens

Rick Owens is a brand that was designed to stand out. It is an interesting mixture of grunge and gothic designs and superb tailoring, creating unique pieces that are made to be seen. Founded by ​​American-born, Paris-based fashion designer Rick Owens, the brand is edgy and cool and has earned Owens the nickname of the Lord of Darkness. The first show took place in 2002 during New York Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer season, and in the last two decades, the brand has continued to thrive.

Rick Owens

41. Dunhill

Founded by Alfred Dunhill more than 120 years ago, this London designer has from a long day fro its origins. Alfred inherited his father’s saddlery business, which he began developing leather goods for cars. Over the years, the family business entered into the luxury goods space, leading us to where it is today. With menswear, leather goods, accessories, fragrances and watches, it has become one of the oldest and largest brands in the industry.


42. Maison Margiela

Renowned for its innovative and iconic designs, Maison Margiela is one of th most polarising designers of today. Founded in 1988 in France by Martin Margiela, the label reduces ready-to-wear and couture-inspired pieces. Inspired by shocking and provoking artwork, many have described the work of Margiela as the Marcel Duchamp of fashion. Some of its most recognisable items is its Tabi boot, inspired by the split toe Tabi sock from Japan. The founder left the business in 2009, with John Galliano taking the role of Creative Director in 2014.

Maison Margiela

43. Vivienne Westwood

As a symbol of British punk and rebellion, Vivienne Westwood remains one of the most iconic designers in modern fashion history. Launching a store in London called SEX, she paved the way for the punk subculture to enter the mainstream. Her pieces include ripped T-shirts, plaid, and sky high platform heels – of which supermodel Naomi Campbell famously wore (and fell) on the runway in 1993. A proud rebel of the industry, her pieces remain political and symbolic statements against conformists, and defined an era of defiance against the norm.

Vivienne Westwood

44. Ted Baker

Although Ted Baker’s history only stretches back to the ‘80s, the British high street brand has certainly made a name for itself. Founded in 1988 in Scotland by Ray Kelvin, it started as the founder’s alter-ego – complete as an aviator and “all-round sportsman”, surrounded by princess and “Hollywood beauties”. Over the years, the brand launched a women’s line, and opened several stores over the UK. Today, you will find ready-to-wear pieces, footwear and accessories, complete with men and women’s pieces across the world.

Ted Baker

45. Tommy Hilfiger

Dubbed as one of the most American brands in fashion history, Timmy Hilfiger is an inspirational and influential designer. Pursuing fashion as a career in the ‘80s, Tommy created button-down shirts, chinos and pieces reminiscent of the preppy culture. In the decades since, it has gone on to be more than just a fashion brand. Tommy Hilfiger has inspired the next generation of culture, sparking the preppy revival of the ‘00s and in the hip hop scene. Aside from fashion, Tommy Hilfiger supports and encourages philanthropic efforts such as Save the Children and the World Wildlife Fund.

Tommy Hilfiger

46. Zadig and Voltaire

Zadig and Voltaire is an edgy and rebellious brand, founded in 1997 in France. Perhaps best known for its cashmere sweaters and Tunisian t-shirt, it’s Street wear aesthetic has gone on to inspire a multitude of other designers in its wake. The womenswear designer is heavily inspired by the Parisian woman, who is free-spirited with a touch of rock and roll. The most prominent designs feature leather, denim and a blend of soft fabrics like cashmere, often with a streetwear edge and a timeless attitude.

Zadig and Voltaire

47. Derek Rose

While most will think of luxury designers as haute couture or ready-to-wear, Derek Rose defies them all with its high-end loungewear and pajamas. The intimate apparel designer was founded in 1926, with the core focus of making the wearer feel relaxed and comfortable. In 1987, it received the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement, and expanded its stores across the world. Even 100 years later, its luxurious fabrics and effortless designs are intended for those who want to enjoy their free time.

Derek Rose

48. Lanvin

Lanvin in is one of the oldest fashion houses in France. Founded in 1889, it started out small and focussed only on hats. Created by Jeanne Lanvin at the age of 22, she but soon entered the world of womenswear, hone decor and lingerie. As the third oldest French fashion house still in operation, today it works alongside some of the most influential designers in modern fashion history. With names range from the late Alber Elbaz to Claude Montana in its long list of creative directors, it remains an important element of the rich history of French fashion houses.


49. Belstaff

For those who enjoy two-wheeled motor vehicles, you would be well aware of Belfast and its influence on motorcycle fashion. Founded in 1924 by Eli Belovitch and Harry Grosberg in Staffordshire. As the first company to use wax cotton, it paved the way for waterproof apparel. In the decades since, it has remained true to its heritage, crafting men’s and women’s outerwear and pieces designed for adventures and those on the go.


Designer Brands FAQs

What are the top designer clothing brands?

The top 10 designer clothing brands are Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga, Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Burberry, Hermès, and Prada.

What is the most expensive designer brand?

The most expensive designer brand is Louis Vuitton which has a valuation of around $32.223 billion.


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