Before we share with you the top fashion brands in the world (2021), there’s something to agree on.
The word ‘top’ (not only in fashion) is subjective.
It is TOP, according to what you like.
The same applies to hot, popular, demanded, high-end, luxurious, and so on.
In the past, TOP fashion brands and companies were measured according to their market value.
However, a more objective ranking of top fashion brands needs more than the number of sold products.
In this article, I combine two lists of ‘Top Fashion Brands’:
Without further ado, here are the…
A. Top Fashion Brands of 2020-2021 (10 Most valuable fashion brands)
|RANK||BRAND||COUNTRY||2020 (BILLION USD)||2019 (BILLION USD)||CATEGORY|
B. Top Fashion Brands (Best 25 – Lyst Index 2020/21)
lyst.com is a marketplace that ranks brands based on consumer demand and sales.
Lyst analyses sites for consumer terms such as the hottest, most popular, and most recognized clothing brands and companies.
These terms are then used as further judging criteria components in their ‘Top Fashion Brands’ ranking index system.
To create the top fashion brands in the world, we have combined brands’ valuation data, Google analytics and, Lyst’s findings as below:
– Shopping behavior of over 9 million online buyers.
– Sales data from over 12,000 designers and online stores.
– Search data from Google and other worldwide statistics.
– Social media mentions, engagement, and brand involvement during the COVID-19 crisis.
Without further ado, here are the top fashion brands in the world right now – 25 best in 2020-2021.
This American label Founded in 1994 by a designer with the same name, Rick Owens.
Since then, the clothing brand has expanded its core audience through impressive streetwear collections.
Often riffing on and reinterpreting, Rick Owens stands as an excellent way for newcomers (or those looking to round out their wardrobe) seeking to experience unique aesthetic concepts.
Rick Owens’ presence in the top fashion brands of 2020-2021 rank is attributed to:
- Rick Owens x Moncler collaboration.
- Champion partnership on a sportswear collection.
- Veja collaboration on two sustainable sneakers.
Giorgio Armani S.p.A., commonly known as Armani, is an Italian luxury fashion house founded by Giorgio Armani.
The Italian fashion house designs, manufacture, distribute, and retails haute couture, ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, watches, jewelry, accessories, eyewear, cosmetics, and home interiors.
The brand markets these products under several labels: Giorgio Armani Privé, Giorgio Armani, Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani (including EA7), Armani Jeans, Armani Junior, and Armani Exchange.
Making the top fashion brands list for 2021, Armani is one of the best designer brands right now thanks to:
- By utilizing the Armani name the brand has been able to convey an understated and timeless sophistication, benefiting from prestige in the fashion industry.
- In 2019, the estimated annual revenue (sales) of the company was around $2.99 billion.
- Armani Beauty collection is leading the luxury beauty brands in Asia and the Middle East in terms of sales and customer demand.
Hermès International S.A., or simply Hermès is a French luxury goods manufacturer established in 1837.
The French fashion house specializes in leather goods, lifestyle accessories, home furnishings, perfumery, jewelry, watches, and ready-to-wear.
Its logo, since the 1950s, is of a Duc carriage with a horse. Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski is the current creative director.
In 2015, Hermès partnered with Apple Inc. to produce the Apple Watch Hermès, combining Apple’s smartwatch with Hermès’s specially crafted single tour, double tour, and cuff watch bands.
The Birkin bag is on top of the list as the most iconic product from the French Maison.
First released in 1984, the Birkin has been made in different kinds of leather and released in a rainbow of colors throughout the years.
Hermes is on the top fashion brands and leading luxury brands’ list thanks to:
- Birkin bag is a cultural icon thanks to the many prominent women that have carried it, the number of times it’s been featured in mainstream media, and partly because of the price tag it comes with.
- In 2018, a matte white Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Birkin became the most expensive handbag ever sold when it was auctioned for nearly $250.000 at Christie’s.
- Hermes is considered the home of the world’s most recognizable bags for women, such as the Birkin, Kelly, and Constance bags.
Rolex SA is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Originally founded as Wilsdorf and Davis by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London, England in 1905, Rolex is not a fashion house (yet).
As of June 2019, among the world’s top ten most expensive watches ever sold at auctions, three are Rolex watches.
In particular, Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona currently holds the title of the second most expensive wristwatch and the third most expensive watch ever sold at auction, fetching 17.75 million US dollars in New York on October 26, 2017.
Rolex is one of the world’s most loved high-end brands in the world thanks to:
- Rolex is the largest manufacturer of Swiss-made certified chronometers.
- More than half the annual production of watches certified by Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) were Rolexes in 2005.
- To date, Rolex still holds the record for the most certified chronometer movements in the category of wristwatches.
Cartier International SNC, or simply Cartier is a French luxury goods conglomerate that designs, manufactures, distributes, and sells jewelry and watches.
Founded by Louis-François Cartier in Paris in 1847, the company remained under family control until 1964.
The company maintains its headquarters in Paris, although it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Swiss Richemont Group.
You might not be Princess Grace who received numerous gifts of jewelry by Cartier, including her engagement ring, set with a 12-carat (2.4 g) emerald-cut diamond or, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, who keeps showing off her Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.
Yet, a watch or a piece of jewelry from Cartier is a statement of opulence and power, instantly recognized all over the world.
Cartier is one of the most expensive luxury brands right now thanks to:
- Cartier operates over 200 stores in 127 countries, with three Temples (Historical Maison) in London, New York, and Paris.
- Cartier is regarded as one of the most prestigious jewelry manufacturers in the world and it has a long history of sales to royalty.
- King Edward VII of Great Britain referred to Cartier as “the jeweler of kings and the king of jewelers.”
Considered a visionary in the world of suiting and tailoring, Thom Browne has grown from a small “by appointment” shop to a globally admired lifestyle label.
Questioning standards and proportions, Thom Browne’s clothing put a fresh spin on heritage-inspired style, shrunken silhouettes, and playful androgyny.
Thom Browne’s ranking in top clothing brands of 2020-2021 is based on:
- Created a sports-inspired collection for Nordstrom’s New Concepts pop-up program.
- Released a co-branded Galaxy Z flip phone with Samsung.
- Launched both, women’s and men’s collections for Fall/Winter ‘20.
In closed circles, Loewe is called the mother of all luxury fashion brands.
The Spanish luxury fashion house specializes in leather goods, clothing, perfumes, and unique high-end accessories.
Founded in 1846, Loewe is one of the world’s oldest major luxury houses, and an incontestable leader.
Loewe’s inclusion in the top-ranking fashion brands is based on:
- Announced athlete Megan Rapinoe as the face of the Autumn/Winter ‘20 campaign.
- Revealed the 30 finalists for the 2020 Loewe Foundation Craft Prize.
- Released the third Eye/LOEWE/Nature outdoors wear collection.
Raf Simons launched his menswear label in 1995.
Ever since the Belgian fashion designer has taken the world of fashion by storm.
The ex-creative director of Jil Sander, Christian Dior, and Calvin Klein, as of 1 April 2020, together with Miuccia Prada, Simons is the co-creative director of Prada.
Raf Simon’s inclusion to the top fashion labels in the world rank is based on:
- Unveiled a new line of sportswear-influenced footwear.
- Collaborated with Dr. Martens to celebrate the boot’s 60th anniversary.
- Released an 11th collaboration collection with Fred Perry.
Vetements was founded by two Georgian fashion designers and brothers, Demna Gvasalia and Guram.
The designer label is one of the most talked-about labels in fashion right now.
The brand name means “garments” in the French language.
Based in Zurich, Switzerland, Vetements creates menswear and womenswear inspired by “regular people wearing ordinary fashion”.
Vetements’s inclusion in the top 25 fashion labels of 2020-2021 rank is based on:
- Sent celebrity lookalikes down the runway for Fall/Winter ‘20.
- Announced a collaboration of special edition bottles with Evian.
- Released its latest Spike Runner 200 sneakers in collaboration with Reebok.
Simon Porte Jacquemus had launched his label when he was only 19.
Credited with bringing a ‘freshness’ to the French fashion scene, Simon’s collections are deconstructed, surrealist, and often ‘NSFW.’
The label was included in the top fashion brands and designers of 2020-2021 thanks to:
- Showed women’s and men’s collections together for Fall/Winter ‘20.
- Simon Porte Jacquemus announced he would feature in a series of free online fashion courses.
- Unveiled a jewelry version of its Le Chiquito bag.
Balmain is a French luxury fashion house founded by Pierre Balmain in 1945.
It currently operates 16 mono-brand stores, including locations in New York City, London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and Milan’s Via Montenapoleone.
Rousteing had joined the company in 2009, after attending a prestigious French fashion school and working under Roberto Cavalli.
Nowadays, Rousteing is credited with adding an Asian influence to Balmain’s clothing, as Asia comprises a huge part of the brand’s buyers.
Balmain is one of the most famous clothing brands in 2020-2021 thanks to:
- Balmain’s capsule collection with Victoria’s Secret.
- Balmain capsule makeup collection KYLIE X BALMAIN, in collaboration with cosmetics entrepreneur, Kylie Jenner. The makeup received lots of positive reviews and it is advertised as a must-have makeup set, part of a healthy skincare routine.
- Appointing Jenner as the Artistic Director for the brand’s makeup for the Spring-Summer 2020 Runway Collection.
Leaders of contemporary fashion trends, the Parisian luxury fashion house of Givenchy was founded in 1952 by Hubert de Givenchy and Jaani Robert Duffy.
Givenchy is worn by the world’s celebs such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Emma Stone, Julia Roberts, Rooney Mara, and Meghan Markle.
The French luxury conglomerate, LVMH now owns the couture, fragrance, jewelry, and cosmetics empire.
Givenchy’s top fashion brands of 2020-2021’ highlights are:
- Appointed a new CEO, Renaud de Lesquen.
- Released its Spring/Summer ‘20 campaign, fronted by Marc Jacobs and Charlotte Rampling.
- Parent company LVMH said the brand’s fragrance arm would make hand sanitizer in response to Covid-19.
Founded in 1966 in Vicenza, Veneto, Bottega Veneta is an Italian luxury good and high fashion brand.
The label started to gain popularity when its previous creative director, Tomas Maier, set about returning the brand to its original identity.
Maier removed visible logos from the brand’s products, highlighted the signature intrecciato weave, and put the accent back on artisanal production.
Vogue described Maier’s changes as “stealth wealth”.
However, the brand’s presence in the top fashion brands in the world is attributed to Daniel Lee, the new Creative Director.
Bottega Veneta is one of the top fashion brands right now thanks to:
- Reported 9.4% sales growth for the previous quarter.
- Unveiled a 100% biodegradable boot in the Fall/Winter ‘20 collection.
- Launched the Residency program to promote hope and happiness during the Covid-19 crisis.
Launched in 1982 as a ‘design lab’ by Massimo Osti, this Italian label has roots in industrial design.
Stone Island is recognized for its stripped-back aesthetics and iconic compass logo patch.
The brand’s inclusion in the top fashion brands in 2021 is based on:
- Launched exclusives with retailers Browns, END, and Luisa via Roma.
- Unveiled installation by artist Ken-Tonio Yamamoto in Milan store.
- Rumored to consider buying a stake in soccer club Modena F.C.
Established in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, Burberry is a British luxury fashion house headquartered in London, England
The total brand value of Burberry was about $6 billion in 2020, making Burberry one of the top British fashion brands.
While initially focused on outdoor attire, in more recent years the label has moved into high fashion couture.
Burberry is famous for its trench coats, leather goods, footwear, fashion accessories, eyewear, fragrances, and cosmetics.
Burberry is one of the top clothing brands right now thanks to:
- Held a carbon-neutral show at London Fashion Week.
- Launched an AR shopping tool with Google Search.
- Committed to supplying surgical masks in response to Covid-19.
Versace is an Italian luxury fashion company founded by Gianni Versace in 1978.
The brand’s logo is the head of Medusa, a Greek mythological figure.
In time, Versace began to commercialize high-end ready-to-wear apparel and leather accessories.
Gianni Versace chose Medusa as the logo because she made people fall in love with her, and they had no way back.
He hoped his company would have the same effect on people and on those who wore his clothes and shoes.
As one of the most expensive clothing brands, Versace reaches the top fashion brands thanks to:
- Presented women’s and men’s collections on the runway together for the first time.
- Announced new flagship stores in Paris and London.
- Donated over $850,000 in response to Covid-19.
Yves Saint Laurent, more recently known as ‘Saint Laurent’, is a French luxury fashion house founded by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé.
Founded in 1961, Yves Saint Laurent was the first couture house to introduce, in 1966, the concept of luxury prêt-à-porter with a collection called “Saint Laurent Rive Gauche”, synonymous with youth and freedom.
Part of the Kering Group, and under the creative direction of Anthony Vaccarello, appointed in April 2016, Saint Laurent kept true to its identity of absolute modernity and fashion authority.
YSL is one of the most expensive brands thanks to:
- Announced that 2019 turnover surpassed €2 billion.
- Released a ‘Valentine’s Day’ capsule collection.
- Parent company Kering said the brand would manufacture surgical masks in response to Covid-19.
Of all the fashion companies on this top, Valentino is a case apart.
The story of Valentino began in 1959, in the heart of Rome, the Eternal City, where the house of Valentino is nested and expresses its view of the contemporary world using history as a playground.
Founded by Valentino Garavani, 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.
Valentino went on to design custom wedding dresses for icons such as Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Lopez, Anne Hathaway, and Julia Roberts.
In 2016 under the sole creative direction of Pierpaolo Piccioli, a new chapter began for the brand when a new set of values’, contemporary but faithful to the brand’s heritage, were created.
Valentino is one of the best clothing brands right now thanks to:
- Unveiled a sneaker collaboration with Onitsuka Tiger.
- Opened a pop-up store in Beverly Hills.
- Parent company Mayhoola donated €2 million in response to Covid-19.
Established by Adele and Edoardo Fendi in Rome in 1925, the house of Fendi has emerged as a name renowned for its elegance, craftsmanship, innovation, and style.
In 1965, Karl Lagerfeld joined Fendi and gave a real boost to the brand’s design.
In 2001, the LVMH group acquired Fendi and helped finance the global expansion of the luxury brand.
Since shifting to LVMH, the Italian luxury fashion house has become synonymous with quality, tradition, experimentation, and creativity.
The brand’s popularity is driven by high celebrity adoption and growing social media mentions.
Fendi is one of the most popular clothing brands right now and has been placed in our top fashion brands thanks to:
- Launched a capsule collection for Chinese New Year.
- Teamed up with model Winnie Harlow for its #BaguetteFriendsForever campaign.
- The Carla Fendi Foundation donated €100,000 in response to Covid-19.
Founded in 1952 by René Ramillon, Moncler takes its name from the French Alpine town of Monestier-de-Clermont.
With a firm grip on its mountaineering heritage and a perfect fusion of street style and alpine sensibility, Moncler has gained cult status across men’s, women’s, and children’s styles.
Alongside its main lines, the collaborative Genius Project eschews bi-annual runway shows in favor of original capsules with a contemporary undercurrent.
Moncler reaches the top fashion brands in 2020-2021 thanks to:
- Reported 13% revenue growth for FY 2019.
- Tapped JW Anderson and Rimowa for its Genius project.
- Donated €10 million to a Milan hospital project in response to Covid-19.
Started as a small leather goods store 100 years ago, Prada is now one of the world’s most iconic fashion houses.
More recently Prada has begun to combine the distinctive elements of its know-how with principles inspired by the enhancement of people, the protection of the environment, the respect of ethical values, and the promotion of culture, believing that in this way it can pursue inclusive economic development.
Today, Prada is conducted by a revolutionary duo of designers: Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, nailing the sweet spot between classic and fun.
Prada is one of the most popular clothing brands in 2020-2021 thanks to:
- Raf Simons joined Prada as co-creative director.
- Partnered with UNESCO on an education program.
- Funded two new ICUs in three of Milan’s hospitals in response to Covid-19.
Gucci is an Italian luxury brand of fashion and leather goods founded by Guccio Gucci in Florence, Tuscany, in 1921.
Nowadays, under the romantic and eclectic direction of Alessandro Michele, Gucci is redefining luxury for the 21st century.
Hailed as one of the top fashion brands of 2020-2021, Gucci represents the pinnacle of Italian craftsmanship.
From ‘Horsebit’ loafers and ‘Dionysus’ bags to exquisite hand-finished dresses, these collections include some of fashion’s most sought-after pieces.
Also, Gucci is the highest-selling Italian fashion brand in the world.
Gucci is one of the most most popular clothing brands in the world for 2020-2021 thanks to:
- Reported 10.5% revenue growth for the previous quarter.
- Released a Mickey Mouse collection for Chinese New Year.
- Pledged to donate €2 million in response to Covid-19.
Nike is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services.
Nike’s presence in the top fashion brands of 2021 is justified by revenue, collaborations, and how it dealt with COVID-19, in regard to partners and customers at the same time.
Nike also hits the top fashion brands in the world thanks to:
- Released ‘Mamba Forever’ ad in tribute to Kobe Bryant.
- Announced a multi-year partnership with Liverpool FC.
- Donated over $15 million to the Covid-19 response effort.
Balenciaga is a luxury fashion house founded in 1917 by Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga.
Christian Dior referred to Balenciaga as a couturier of uncompromising standards and “the master of us all.”
Nowadays, Demna Gvasalia brings Balenciaga back to its creative roots.
The designer works closely with house archives to reimagine the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga — from a fresh perspective, of course.
The French brand hits the ground running when it comes to streetwear.
Balenciaga reaches the 2nd spot among the top fashion brands in the world thanks to the following:
- Released koala hoodies to raise funds for Australia’s bushfire relief.
- Flooded the runway for apocalyptic Fall/Winter ‘20 Paris Fashion Week show.
- Parent company Kering said the brand would manufacture surgical masks in response to Covid-19.
Here we are, we’ve reached the number one place in the top fashion brands in the world right now.
The winner is Off-White, the hottest brand in the world for the third successive quarter.
The designer label builds on younger buyers and celebs who champion the label’s anti-establishment take on luxury.
It is also one of the best streetwear fashion brands of 2021.
With a digital-native approach, both Off-White (which surpassed 10M Instagram followers this quarter) and founder Virgil Abloh (5.2M followers) have a huge social media following.
Off-White makes the top of best designers brands in the world thanks to recent collabs and excellent collections:
- Launched the Activate Movement program with Evian.
- Released a Lunar New Year capsule collection.
- Debuted Off-White x Air Jordan IV at Paris Fashion Week.
Best Fashion Brands Ranking During COVID-19
Ranking top fashion brands during COVID-19 is not an easy task.
For example, 2019 ended on a note of optimism for the coming decade in fashion.
Asia was booming again, luxury was on the rise, and a new wave of sustainable clothing brands was emerging fast.
Unfortunately, 2020 put a damper on the optimism, as few in the fashion industry imagined what would come next.
Wildfires ravaged Australia, geopolitical tensions escalated, and then, COVID-19 put the world on total lockdown, changing life beyond recognition.
In response to the virus, Asia was grounded to a halt, retailers lost hope, and fashion buyers were confined to their homes, resulting in a sharp drop in demand.
There were no longer glamorous events, concerts, social occasions, and holidays and slowly, fashion purchases started to dry up.
On top of all, COVID-19 lockdown has also disrupted the sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing, logistics, and retail operations of most brands.
Without a doubt, the upcoming reports will draw a more precise picture of top fashion brands and how COVID-19 has impacted them.
For example, despite not being in the top fashion brands list of 2021, Adidas, Levi’s, Uniqlo, and Nordstrom, kept improving user experience and transparency and most likely will influence the 2022 ranks.
But for now, according to brand value, Google, and Lyst, these are the top fashion brands in the world, in 2020-2021.
Now it’s your turn…
Is your favorite clothing brand in our ‘Top Fashion Brands’ rank?
Do you think the ranking will change in 2022? If yes, how and why?
Is there a brand you feel should be placed in this top fashion brands list, and why?
Would love to hear your thought below!