With the industry, which is worth an estimated AU$579 billion, only growing, it can be hard to decipher what’s what. Although there are countless brands — including watch and jewellery brands, which we haven’t listed below — only a few have the history and heritage to be at the top.
Below, we’ve rounded up the 10 luxury brands everyone should know about. From the American labels which have history on their side to the Parisian staples we’ve grown up with, these luxury fashion brands all have one thing in common: we want to buy everything!
One of the most popular (and profitable) fashion brands in the world, Gucci is a mainstay in every fashion girl’s wardrobe. Founded in Florence, Italy in 1921, the brand has had a number of high-profile designers at the helm, including Tom Ford, who famously turned the brand into a high-glamour, super sexy label, synonymous with luxury and celebrity. Today, the Gucci name has been reinvented into a maximalist’s dream, with creative director Alessandro Michele taking the brand in a new, lucrative direction, which has seen a significant increase in sales and celebrity fans including Harry Styles, Lana del Rey and Kim Kardashian West.
One of America’s most well-known and loved accessories brands, Coach has fans in celebrities like Selena Gomez and Chloe Grace Moretz, who have both fronted the label. Founded in 1941 — which has now been added to the end of the official name, Coach 1941 — the label is known for quirky leather bags, and more recently, an innovate ready-to-wear line. Current creative director Stuart Vevers has taken the brand in a new direction, going back to its American heritage roots and creating clothes and accessories which are a nod to Western whimsy and bohemian fashion.
Founded in Rome in 1925, Fendi is one of Italy’s top fashion brands. Known for its It girl bags, including the famous ‘Baguette’ bag, which was worn by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex And The City, Fendi is a staple on the street style set. Despite being designed by Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi is still closely aligned with the Fendi family, who run the business. Recently, the double F logo has had a comeback, being put on everything from hats to leggings, with models, influencers and editors touting the brand in all manner of shapes and forms and confirming the brand as a strong one.
Famous for its iconic Burberry coat, this heritage British brand is perhaps one of the country’s most famous labels. Inherently English, the brand was recently taken over by Riccardo Tisci, the former creative director of Givenchy. In his new brand direction, Burberry has embraced its heritage check pattern, but is expanding into ready-to-wear beyond the iconic jacket.
One of the most influential fashion brands ever, Christian Dior’s timeless designs have been a grounding point for many new designers. Founded in Paris in 1946, Dior crafted the ‘New Look’, a style of dress that took French fashion by storm and essentially put the designer on the map. Today, the house is helmed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first female creative director of the brand, who has taken Dior in a new, feminist direction packed with empowering messages.
Despite its legacy as an Italian fashion house, Prada only showed its first women’s runway collection in 1988, sparking a 20+ year relationship with the world’s most fashionable people. Designed by Miuccia Prada, the brand has become known for its cheeky, quirky take on luxury, presenting inherently wearable pieces loved by fashionable women. Celebrity fans of the brand include Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian West and Australian model Gemma Ward, who walked her first ever show for the Italian label.
Perhaps the most famous of all fashion brands, Chanel was founded by Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel in 1910. Known today for its chic, traditional take on dressing, Chanel’s famous tweed suits and leathergoods have been reinvented to cult status by the house’s current creative director, Karl Lagerfeld. Loved by celebrities including Keira Knightley and Kristen Stewart, the brand puts on spectacular fashion shows each season, making them one of the most talked-about brands in the country.
Founded in the late 1800s, Louis Vuitton was traditionally known for upmarket luggage, but moved into ready-to-wear with much acclaim. The famous LV logo has been worn by just about every major celebrity, and the brand is known for their understated take on ready-to-wear. Today, the French luxury brand is the cornerstone of LVMH, one of the world’s biggest fashion companies.
After founding his eponymous label in 1961, Yves Saint Laurent went on to become one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century. Today, the brand goes by Saint Laurent and has been turned into a high octane, high glamour label, thanks to creative tenures by Hedi Slimane and most recently, Anthony Vaccarello. Famous for their monogrammed bags and party dresses, Saint Laurent has one of the most-talked about collections every season and is a staple on the street style set.
Founded in 1981, Michael Kors has become one of the United States’ most well-known and lauded designers. Known for his relaxed and modern take on dressing women, Kors has made a place for himself with women who value easy, good quality design. Famous for his handbags, Kors makes billions selling MK-branded totes, cross body and clutch bags, loved across the world for their minimal design and easy aesthetic.