Over the past one hundred years, the purpose of clothing has changed dramatically – from merely protecting ourselves from the elements to a whole new level of grandeur. We live in a modern era where the fashion and style of our clothing are vital components utilised to affirm ones individual entity.
Today, fashion consumers love to indulge in wearing expensive, high-fashion attire. The impression that you show of yourself is not entirely based on the clothes that you wear, but it certainly is a high factor. Much like the size of your home, or the car that you drive, the designer that you wear says more about you than just where you shop. Shoppers’ not only invest time and energy into the selection of apparel, but they also spend a colossal amount of money directly on such attire. This amount of money says a lot about levels of income, taste and style. It’s the natural instinct of a desire to be different that leads to the impulse of the purchase.
“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.” Coco Chanel
So, what makes a brand luxurious?
A brand is considered to be luxurious when they sell products that are desired by most, however only few are ever lucky enough to enjoy their lifestyle living in the lap of luxury. In simple terms, luxury goods are present at the highest end of the market in terms of quality and price. The famous international consulting firm Bain & Company estimated the luxury market to be valued at an astonishing $274 billion in 2014, forecasting this value raise to $290 billion in 2015. And just like only a tiny percentage of rich individuals make up the worlds wealth, only a handful of the most expensive brands make up the bulk of the luxury fashion market.
Luxury is all about the notion of perceived scarcity – that not everybody can attain it. The more the perceived scarcity, the higher the perception of luxury and status. Just like in the case of diamonds, so is luxury fashion. Below are the top six luxurious high-fashion labels of 2015. If you’re a true fashion lover, you ought to obey the reign of these fashion giants as they continue to rule the throne of international style icon status and dictate trends with their sheer power.
Guccio Gucci was a fashion designer based in Florence when he founded this extravagant label in 1921. It was when the young Guccio Gucci came across luxurious leather goods in a Paris hotel that his interest into the world of fashion was ignited. He established his first shopfront in 1920, where fine leather goods with classic styling were available for purchase. Aldo Gucci, Guccio’s eldest son, took control of the brand in the 1940’s and revolutionised the family business into an ideal luxury brand. From this point on, the brand sky-rocketed: there are now roughly 278 storefronts worldwide and the brand has a value of $7 billion. Gucci is the perfect example of a luxury label that conveys its own particular class and charm, offering an array of a high quality articles for remarkable individuals. Typically, the clients of Gucci are ready to pay any cost to indulge in its fashion regalia status, including numerous celebrities. There are a variety of articles available for both men and women, including shoes, handbags, clothing, ties, perfumes – practically anything relating to style.
Very few high fashion names invoke thoughts of luxury like the way Prada does. Prada is one of the most reputable and widely renowned labels in the fashion industry: an Italian luxury house founded by Mario Prada in Milan, in 1913. Mario’s daughter, Luisa Prada took the helm of the label as his successor and ran it for roughly 20 years. Following that, her daughter Miuccua Prada took over in 1978 and began refreshing the companies merchandise with self-made designs, specialising in various fashion accessories that have significantly altered style with their astonishing outlines. Prada products include ready-to-wear leather and fashion accessories, shoes, luggage, perfumes and jewellery. The label has over 250 boutiques worldwide and has a brand value of $9.4 billion due to its exceptional – and very expensive – collections.
This list would simply be incomplete without mentioning Chanel, founded in 1909 by Coco Chanel. Chanel revolutionised fashion by replacing the structured silhouette with garments that were both functional and flattering for women, believing that luxury must be comfortable… otherwise it is not luxury. After her death in 1971, designer Karl Lagerfeld took the reigns of Chanel to continue her legacy. Headquartered in Paris, this iconic brand has more than 1200 employees and has an annual revenue of $8 billion. It is an elite fashion house that is paramount in clothing and haute couture, luxury accessories, house perfumes and luxury products. Their one-of-a-kind range and quality is applauded by every individual who chooses to purchase their outfits; and the uniqueness of Chanel lies in the fact that the brand simply does not duplicate other styles, but rather maintains a very unique presence.
Not many brand names demand thoughts of sophistication the way the word Armani does. In 1975, famous international designer Giorgio Armani founded this Italian fashion house. Armarni is undoubtedly one of the most extravagant style brands for men and women and is one of the most expensive labels around the globe. It was the high popularity for Mr Armani’s fashioning that facilitated his prominence in the fashion industry, and this still prevails today. The brand is marketed with products under several sub-labels including Armani Collenioni, Emporio Armani, Giorgio Armani, Armani Jeans, Armani Exchange and Armani Junior. The luxury label designs, distributes and retails haute couture, ready-to-wear leather goods, jewellery, accessories, shoes, eye-wear and cosmetics and make these available in Armani boutiques, speciality clothiers and some select high-end department stores. More recently, the brand has broadened its horizon to opening restaurants, hotels and lavish garments for children. After conquering the fashion world for adults, why not do the same for stylish kids’? Armarni has its own personality which is applauded by many high fashion muses and critics, making it one of the top six luxurious brands and giving it an annual revenue of $1.8 billion. Yes, that’s right – billion.
This French luxurious fashion company was founded by the renowned designer Christian Dior in Florence, 1946. Christian Dior began to make ends meet by selling his own fashion sketches in France. From the very beginning of its days in Paris to its gradual global expansion, this label has certainly not ever stopped whisking people away with its unique approach to fashion. Dior is known for its modernised and highly sophisticated designs, offering a range of different products like fashionable wears, fragrances and cosmetics, footwear, accessories and leather goods. Dior has a brand value of $12.7 billion and has experienced significant growth since 2012 when its brand value increased by 48%. Dior’s designs have been worn by film stars and royalty alike and the company continues to operate at the forefront of the fashion industry.
This company is at the forefront of luxury brands: it is boasted by practically every A-list celebrity you can think of and has Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga favouring their new collections when released. One could refer to this label the synonym to fashion that no brand has been able to replace or replicate. Founded by French entrepreneur and designer Louis Vuitton Malletie in 1854, the brands products stems from luxury trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear couture, shoes, jewellery, accessories and sunglasses. For six consecutive years (2006-2012) Louis Vuitton was named the worlds most valuable luxury brand, operating in 50 countries with more than 460 stores worldwide. This luxurious label has an amazing brand value worth $28 billion.