Fashion has always been a large presence in culture on a global scale. Designers are constantly trying to imagine new trends that will catch the attention of mass media. Red carpet events are a time where everyone sits in front of their televisions and gasp at the elegant and extravagant dresses that the celebrities wear. But just how expensive are these brands and how long have they been around? Many of the big fashion houses that dominate the industry have been here for decades and they have grown into such large empires, it’s nearly impossible for new brands to emerge. Here is a list of the top 10 most expensive and recognized fashion houses in the world.
Guess is an American clothing brand that is known primarily for its high quality denim jeans. The brand was founded by Georges Marciano in 1981. He and his three other brothers began running the business from their house in California. Georges was in charge of all the designing. The Guess brand became widely popular because their stone-washed jeans were lighter, better fitting, and softer than their competitors at the time. There was a falling out between the brothers because Georges wanted to only supply his brand to exclusive stores while his brothers wanted to begin selling in mass market places such as KMart. Georges stuck to his initial goals for his brand and ended up becoming one of the first companies to sell designer jeans. Guess has been worn and advertised by supermodels Anna Nicole Smith, Kate Upton, and Julia Lescova. Additionally, in the 1985 movie, Back to the Future, the iconic Marty McFly wore Guess denim which was allegedly designed exclusively for the film.
Guess has since evolved as a brand. They now sell clothing and accessories for men, women, and children. In addition to their widely popular jeans, you can now buy jackets, watches, shoes, and fragrances from the Guess brand.
9) Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani founded his self-titled clothing brand in 1975 and its headquarters are located in Milan, Italy. Armi is known primarily for its leather products, shoes, eyewear,
and jewelry. In 2016 the label discontinued manufacturing their products made from real animal fur. Additionally, Armani has branched out from clothing to chain hotels. They own properties in some of the world’s largest cities such as Paris, New York, London, and Hong Kong.
Perhaps what makes this particular brand so interesting though, is that there are several sub-labels that range in degrees of expensiveness. These sub-labels include Giorgio Armani Privé, Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and more. This allows the brand to appeal to people with varying degrees of income. Some celebrities associated with Armani include Alicia Keys, Beyonce, and Cate Blanchett.
8) Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton started off as a luggage brand in 1854 in Paris, France. During that particular period in time, most trunks were rounded in shape which made them impossible to stack on top of one another. Vuitton designed a line of flat, trianon canvas trunks that were light and airtight. Many other brands of the time attempted to imitate the Vuitton style, but none of them quite reached the same level of quality that he achieved.
After his death, Louis’s son took over the business and began campaigning to make his father’s brand a worldwide corporation. He also attained worldwide patents for the product which finally put an end to imitators. Since then, Louis Vuitton has become a widely famous brand among the wealthy and are one of the world’s leading fashion houses. Their handbags and luggage are still the most popular of their products, but they now produce shoes, watches, and other accessories.
Founded in 1972 by Gianni Versace, this fashion house was first launched under the name “Gianni Versace Donna”. Gianni was one of the first independent designers of the age. He controlled everything from designing products to setting up retail locations.He opened the first Versace boutique in Milan in 1978. Versace has become an incredibly popular brand among celebrities such as Elton John, Michael Jackson, and Jennifer Lopez.
On July 15 of 1997, Gianni was shot dead at his Miami beach mansion by Andrew Cunanan. Why Cunanan killed Versace was never determined because a few days later after murdering him, Cunanan killed himself. Versace’s legacy was left in the hands of his sister, Donatella. She took over as creative director and Santo Versace became CEO of the company. The fashion brand itself is still one that’s frequently mentioned at galas and red carpet events. However, Versace is such an exclusive name that there are only around 80 boutiques worldwide.
6) Dolce and Gabbana
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana founded their fashion house brand in 1985 in Legnano. Their first ever line designed for women was showcased in Milan. However, the two designers didn’t have enough money at the time to hire models to wear their work. So they sought out the help of their friends and the show went over so well that they next year, in 1986, they were able to open their own store in Milan.
Dolce & Gabbana launched a handful of other collections after their first. Most of their inspiration was drawn from their Italian roots. They designed dresses and knitwear, then later branched out into lingerie and beachwear. As a result of the Dolce & Gabbana brand exploding so successfully on the market, they were able to experiment with designing their own accessories and scents as well. In 1991 they won the Woolmark award and in1993 they received the Perfume’s Academy award for “Most Feminine Flavor of the Year”. By 2003 they were bringing in over $600 million in revenue.
Guccio Gucci was an immigrant who worked in hotels in both Paris and London. While he was working, he was fascinated by the luxurious luggage that travelers would bring along with them. He later ventured off on his own in 1920 and started up his own workshop in Florence, Italy. There he produced high quality leather goods and he received so much recognition for his work that he and his three sons were able to expand to Milan and Rome.
The Gucci fashion house has become such a lusted after brand that many have tried to imitate their unique style. However, none have succeeded. In recent years, Gucci has taken their strong presence in modern day media and culture to work towards empowering women. In 2013 they started the “Chime for a Change” campaign. Artists such as Beyonce, Ellie Goulding, Florence and the Machine, and Rita Ora all made appearances and performed for the cause.
With the help of his father, Valentino Garavani launched his fashion house in Rome in 1960. It didn’t take very long for his brand to launch internationally. He held his fashion debut in Florence by 1962. His designs were sleek made out of exotically patterned fabric, which is why the brand became so lusted after. Many celebrities have requested exclusively designed wedding dresses. Some of which include: Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Hathaway, and Courtney Cox.
Valentino is a brand that reaches across the globe and designs clothing for both men and women. Their prices range in the thousands of dollars which makes this fashion house especially inaccessible to your average working class citizen.
Mario and Martino Prada initially started their business out as a leather good’s shop in Milan in 1913. Most of their products were traveling trunks and handbags. Ironically enough, Mario had no interest in allowing women in the work place, but it was his granddaughter, Miuccia who turned it into one of the world’s largest fashion houses. When she inherited the company in 1978, she finally had the creative freedom to do as she pleased with the brand. She designed a few new backpack lines and later released a ready-to-wear collection. Prada hightailed it towards fame in the fashion realm because they were commended for their clean lines and choice of fabrics.
Today Prada still leaves an impact on the fashion world. Their bags are highly lusted after and celebrities flaunt their Prada clothing in tabloids all the time. There are boutiques all over the world and advertisements everywhere.
Christian Dior launched his first fashion collection in 1947. At the time, his clothing were designed exclusively for women only. This line became known as the New Look line,
because fashion critics everywhere were impressed by his fresh take on fashion. Not everyone fell in love with his designs, but the point of the matter was that his designs started to get people talking about fashion again. In 1949 he opened up a boutique in New York City and by the end of that same year, Dior fashions made up 75% of Paris’s fashion exports.
Today Dior is primarily recognized for their designer leather goods, footwear, accessories, and fragrances. Some celebrities who have endorsed and worn Dior include Charlize Theron, Emma Watson, and Jennifer Lawrence.
Coco Chanel is perhaps one of the most widely recognized and celebrated designers of all time. She began designing and selling hats to women of fashion in 1909. In 1910, Boy Chapel assisted in financing her very own millinery shop in Paris. After that Chanel branched out from making hats to dresses and suits for women. She became known for designing her clothing out of jersey fabrics, which were comfortable and affordable at the time. Then after the first World War, Chanel produced many of the iconic beaded dresses that became a staple in every “Flapper” woman’s wardrobe.
Chanel has been a major part of women’s fashion for decades. Their products ranging from elegant perfumes, to business casual clothing, to extravagant dresses. Celebrities today still flaunt the fashion house’s designs on runways and red carpet events. Chanel is definitely one of the world’s most recognized and talked about fashion brands.