R ounding up the most expensive luxury clothing brands in the world may seem like an odd choice for a blog that mostly focuses on affordable and accessible menswear, but there are two reasons why these brands are worth knowing about.
First, a lot of the more affordable brands I usually talk about – like J.Crew, Banana Republic, and pretty much any store that might be found at your local mall – take some of their cues from the world’s major fashion houses, which tend to lead the way in terms of designs, styles and trends.
Second, while it may not be advisable long-term, it can be fun to splurge every once in a while.
And – to borrow a phrase from my favorite residents of Pawnee, Indiana – there are few better ways to treat yo’ self than by shelling out a few extra bucks for high quality pieces from some of the world’s most expensive luxury brands.
So whether you’re looking to expand your sartorial knowledge or just upgrade your wardrobe, below you’ll find some of the most expensive clothing brands in the world.
Mo’ Money, Mo’ Prada:
What Are The Most Expensive Clothing Brands?
Arguably the world’s most expensive clothing brand, this one likely needs no introduction.
(But here we go anyway).
Based in Florence, Italy, and founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921, his eponymous brand name is probably best known for its iconic (and exorbitantly priced) handbags.
The brand also offers a full line of ready-to-wear men’s and women’s fashions, along with non-clothing products like home decor, fragrance, and beauty products.
Moving from an Italian brand to a French one, Louis Vuitton was named the world’s most valuable luxury brand by Forbes for six consecutive years from 2006 to 2012, and is still considered both one of the most luxurious and most expensive brands in the world.
Founded by Louis Vuitton as a line of flat-top trunks back in 1854, the brand is still known for its famous line of luggage today, but also carries full lines of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories.
Did you know…?
In 1987, Louis Vuitton merged with Moet Hennessey to form LVMH, a multinational holding company specializing in prestigious brands and luxury goods.
Today, LVMH controls over 60 subsidiaries (many of which are on this list), including brands like Tiffany & Co., Dior, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, and Sephora.
Famously founded by Coco Chanel in 1909 and later overseen by Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld, the Chanel brand has been a staple of women’s high fashion for more than a century.
Known for its iconic perfume, Chanel No. 5, the brand is both a historic pioneer and a modern powerhouse.
Today, Chanel offers everything from haute couture fashion and fine jewelry to makeup, perfume and more.
Brion is an Italian fashion house owned by a French holding company (turns out a lot of the most expensive clothing brands are French, too) that specializes in couture menswear.
Named for the Brionian islands, which were formerly part of Italy but now belong to Croatia, the brand started in 1945 as a men’s tailoring company.
Today it’s grown into both one of the most expensive men’s clothing brands in the world, and one of the most coveted.
Famously founded by Giorgio Armani in 1975, Armani the designer is considered one of the most successful Italian designers of all time.
His eponymous Italian clothing brand, meanwhile, remains one of the most luxurious brands.
The flagship brand, Giorgio Armani, specializes in ready-to-wear fashion for both men and women, along with accessories, glasses and fragrances.
There are also a number of other Armani brands, which tend to offer less expensive options, including Emporio Armani (where you can find a wide selection of Armani jeans), Armani Exchange and Armani Collezioni.
And speaking of famous Italian designers…
Versace was founded in 1978 by Gianni Versace, before famously being taken over by his sister Donatella upon Gianni’s death in 1997.
The brand began by offering luxury Italian ready-to-wear clothes before expanding into accessories, jewelry and even home furnishings.
You’re not going to believe it:
Prada is another luxury Italian designer that ranks among the planet’s most expensive clothing brands.
(The Italians like to live large.)
In recent years, the name has been largely associated with Meryl Streep and the film The Devil Wears Prada.
But in the fashion industry, Prada is best known for the leather handbags designed by head designer Miuccia Prada.
Today Prada dabbles in pretty much every aspect of the clothing world, from ready-to-wear pieces to travel accessories, shoes and more.
Founded by Christian Dior in 1946, Dior is a French luxury fashion house with both ready-to-wear and haute couture lines.
Dior is probably most famous for its iconic Lady Dior bag, created in 1995 and named after Princess Diana, but the label is also sought after for its high-end women’s fashions, accessories, beauty products and fragrances.
However, there’s also a line for men and and one for (extremely fashionable) children and babies, as well as home decor.
Another French high-fashion house, Hermès opened its doors weigh back in 1837 with a line of luxury goods.
Today it offers a pretty wide selection ranging from leather goods and lifestyle accessories to perfume, clothes and home furnishings.
But it’s probably best known for its iconic status symbol, the Birkin bag.
An anomaly among a sea of Italian and French designers, Oscar de la Renta was a designer from the Dominican Republic.
He first rose to fame in the 1960s, as one of the haute couture designers who dressed Jacqueline Kennedy.
Still known as one of the world’s top dressmakers, today de la Renta’s namesake brand sells everything from wedding gowns to belts and scarves.
Suit-maker to no less a luxury icon than 007 himself, Tom Ford is one of the world’s top fashion designers.
And his eponymous brand is both one of the world’s most expensive clothing brands, and one of its most coveted.
Where some of the brands on this list exclusively focus on a specific type of clothing, or a specific gender, Ford has a full line of clothing and fashion accessories for both men and women, which offers just about everything under the sun.
Best known for their timeless, classic (and incredibly stylish) trench coats, Burberry is a London-based luxury brand that sells everything from clothes to cosmetics.
Founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, the brand originally focused on outdoor attire (hence the specialty in trench coats).
But it’s long been a staple of the high fashion world; in fact, their famous tartan is one of the world’s most recognizable patterns.
Yet another famous Italian fashion brand, D&G was founded by designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in 1985.
While they started by offering a line of women’s wear, underwear and swimsuits, today they sell men’s and women’s clothing, footwear, handbags, sunglasses, watches, jewellery and fragrances, for which they’ve won multiple awards.
Founded as a fur and leather shop in 1925 by married couple Adele and Edoardo Fendi, Fendi remained a family-controlled company until 1999, when Prada and Louis Vuitton bought a 51% stake.
Today the brand has expanded far beyond fur to offer just about every form of clothes and accessories for both men and women.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Valentino, one of the most expensive clothing brands in the world, is from – you’re not going to believe it – Italy.
Founded by Valentino Garavani in 1960, today Valentino offers a full range of clothes and accessories (again, not unlike other brands on this list).
But it’s probably best known as a dressmaker who’s outfitted the biggest Hollywood stars for the red carpet, from Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lopez to Elizabeth Taylor and Julia Roberts.
Givenchy is a French fashion house specializing in haute couture, which also has a line of ready-to-wear clothing, cosmetics, and fragrances sold under its Parfums Givenchy brand.
The brand had aristocratic aspirations right from the start:
It was founded in 1952 by Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy (seriously—an actual count), who designed clothes for the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy.
Spanish brand Balenciaga began in 1917 in San Sebastian, founded by Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga.
As a designer, Balenciaga was so exacting that Christian Dior once called him “the master of us all.”
The brand actually went under in 1972, but it was revived and reopened by new ownership in 1986, and has ranked among the world’s most luxurious and expensive brands ever since.
Founded in 1961 by Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé, YSL rose to fame in the ’60s when it popularized looks that we now consider iconic.
(If you can picture “beatnik style” or “safari jackets” in your head, you have YSL to thank.)
Today the brand sells a full line of ready-to-wear clothes for both men and women, along with shoes, jewellery and leather goods.
Another brand named for its Italian founder, this time there’s a twist:
Ferragamo actually emigrated to the U.S. in 1914 and opened his first Hollywood Boot Shop in 1923, where he sold boots to movie stars like Joan Crawford.
He then made his way back to Italy, where his brand became one of the premier fashion houses, known for its innovative designs and ingenuity in choosing materials.
Stella McCartney is the namesake of the brand of the famous designer with even more famous parents: Sir Paul McCartney and his late wife, the animal rights activist Linda McCartney.
McCartney began her fashion career as the creative director of Chloe, before launching her own label in 2001, which initially focused exclusively on women’s fashion.
She launched her first line of menswear in 2016, and more recently, designed Meghan Markle’s wedding dress for her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry.
Founded by Pierre Balmain in 1945, Balmain is another French fashion house and luxury brand headquartered in Paris.
Balmain became known as “a king of French fashion” during his early post-war years, and designed clothes for some of the biggest stars in the world, including Ava Gardner, Brigitte Bardot and Marlene Dietrich.
Pierre Balmain served as head designer of his eponymous brand until 1982, after which has a slew of successors took over, by far the most famous of which was Oscar de la Renta.
Known as the “bad boy” of British fashion, designer Alexander McQueen founded his own namesake brand in 1992 and succeeded John Galliano as chief designer of Givenchy in 1996.
McQueen continued to run his own brand while working at Givenchy, building it into a powerhouse of its own before selling a 51% stake to Gucci in 2000.
Though McQueen himself committed suicide in 2010, the brand continues to this day under the leadership of creative director Sarah Burton, who continues to infuse the brand with McQueen’s trademark rebelliousness.
Though the name sounds Italian, luxury leather maker Berluti is a Paris-based brand that specializes in men’s leather accessories like shoes, boots, wallets, belts and bags.
It was founded in 1895 by Alessandro Berluti, an Italian who opened his first store in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.
In addition to leather goods, the brand launched its first prêt-à-porter menswear collections in 2012, after acquiring Arny’s, a Paris-based tailoring house.
American fashion designer Thom Browne launched his namesake menswear brand in New York after serving as lead designer for Ralph Lauren’s Club Monaco brand.
Browne picked up multiple awards for his slim-fitting and modern menswear, including GQ’s Designer of the Year moniker in 2008, and expanded into womenswear in 2014.
Ermenegildo Zegna bought 85% of the Thom Browne brand in 2018, with Browne himself retaining the other 15% and continuing to serve as chief creative officer.
As you’ve probably guessed from the name, this is another luxury fashion house from Italy.
What you may not know is that Cucinelli is passionate about sustainability and what he calls “Humanistic Capitalism” – ideas he presented to world leaders at the G20 summit in Rome in 2021.
The company has committed to significantly reducing its greenhouse gas emissions over the next few years, so a purchase from Cucinelli may cost you a paycheque, but it’s one you can feel good about.
What began as a children’s luxury shoe business in Paris in 1945 evolved into one of the world’s most expensive fashion brands.
What do we mean by expensive?
Well, the signature Triomphe shoulder bag in calfskin starts at around $3,100 but if you’d like it in crocodile then you’re looking at around $29,000.
They also carry men’s and women’s fashion lines as well as fragrances.
This luxury goods company was originally founded by engineer Pietro Loro Piana, a descendant of wool merchants, in – you guessed it – Italy.
Today, the company is regarded as one of the largest manufacturers of cashmere in the world.
They carefully source their high-quality materials from animals in the Andes and Mongolia using sustainable methods, which is probably why their sweaters are as soft as they are expensive.
Founded in 1910, menswear label Zenga is another luxury Italian company with humble beginnings in textiles.
The company was formerly known as Ermenegildo Zegna, after its founder of the same name, until 2021 when it became just simply, Zegna.
The name may be shorter but they haven’t cut corners when it comes to quality:
The company is renowned for its premium cashmere products, as well as luxury footwear and ready-to-wear men’s fashions.
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