Clothing Brands that are Leading the Way in Fashion

2 years ago / by Nancy Amon
clothing brands
Image credits: Shutterstock

Clothing brands are the leaders when it comes to top fashion trends and inspiration for each season. High-end fashion brands are the ones seen on runways and fashion shows. Designers work hard at creating some of the most amazing couture suited for all occasions.

It’s clear that there will be a steep price tag when it comes to top fashion brands. While this is so, there are also affordable options available that mimic the idea of the original designer piece. 

What Gives a Fashion Brand its Identity?

In the past, high fashion was more chic and glamorous than it is in modern days. Runways have all sorts of clothing designs, not only fine couture. In fact, sneakers, denim and other facets are common too. 

But to determine what makes a brand, we can look at the name behind the brand. Most high-end clothing brands were around for decades. Still now, when we think about these names, we think about the people who started the label. 

Fashion brands get their identity because they are: 

  • Unique – They have a genuine and unique concept of design that sets them apart from their competitors.
  • Brands know their audience – It’s about catering to a specific audience. When you think about successful brands this is part of their success. 
  • Loyalty from customers – Once a brand is established, they could have their line-up of loyal customers. Some celebrities and personalities will only buy certain designer brands. 
  • They promote and sell a specific look – Part of what makes a brand unique is selling their designer look. Some may be flamboyant and bold, while others focus on minimalism. Either way, they cater to their customers and audience. 
  • Communication through visual appeal – Designer brands focus on telling their story with beautiful imagery.
  • They’re keeping it new and bold – Great designer brands are always genuine and fresh about their ideas. Ideas set them apart from their rivals. 
  • They’re no stranger to exposure – Everyone knows good fashion brands and that’s because of the influence and exposure they gain through networking and marketing their brand. 

High-end fashion clothing brands that have lead the industry 

When we think about big fashion brands, we automatically think of top designers in the modelling industry. While brands like Fendi, Gucci and Roberto Cavalli rank in the modelling industry, the following covers various designer brands., 

This list also covers how much the brand was worth in 2020.   


Nike may have only been founded in the 60s, but its rise in popularity sets it apart from competitors, raking up top dollar value. Nike is the number one and leading company when it comes to sports apparel. 

Impressively, Nike is also one of the wealthiest clothing brands in the world. In 2020, Nike’s brand value was $36.8b. It ranks as the largest sports warehouse in the world followed by the Dassler brother’s Adidas and Puma.  

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton ranks at the top as well, with their value at $32.3b. Founded by Louis Vuitton Malletier in 1854. It is one of the world’s most expensive brands, and they feature superior quality leather and garments. 


Hermes is another fashion brand based in France. The brand is renowned for its variety of equestrian and outdoor, jewellry, fragrance, makeup, and special editions. Founded in 1831 by Thierry Hermes, the company is now worth $18.3b


From the fashion base of, Florence Italy, comes Gucci. Founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, the brand is still a leader on the catwalk. The company was worth $18.3b in 2020 and continues to thrive in luxury fashion. 


Founded in 2008, Zalando took the fashion market by storm and the figures can show. The German-based designer Zalando features fashion and lifestyle products primarily catering to the European markets. To date, the company is worth $17.9b.


German sports manufacturer Adidas is another brand leader in the industry. Founded by Adolf Dassler in 1949. The brand caters to pro athletes, high-end sports apparel and accessories for all sportspersons. The company is valued at $16.2b and is a multinational corporation. Adidas ranks second largest in the world.  


Fun fact, the Puma brand was founded by Rudolf Dassler (the brother of Adolf re founder of Adidas.) The Puma sports brand started in 1948 and today ranks as the third-largest sports warehouse in the world. The company is valued at $4b. 

Tiffany & Co

Tiffany & Co is a beloved name in the jewelry industry. They specialize in luxury jewelry for men and women, as well as fragrances. The company is worth $15.2b. 


Spanish fast-fashion clothing brand thrives on trending fashion at affordable prices. The company has expanded across the world and continues to grow. Zara features womenswear, menswear, and kids clothing. Zara is worth $13b.


Just like Zara, H&M is renowned as a fast-fashion clothing brand with stores across the world. The value of the company stands at $11.5b. While not as old as the more renowned high-end or haute couture brands, H&M is still loved by folks looking to mimic fashion trends on a cheaper budget. 


The Canadian-American brand Lululemon features an array of sports apparel. The value of Lululemon is $9.6b.


Famous watch company Cartier is loved for its luxury timepieces. But watches aren’t the only thing Cartier designs. The company also has a jewelry line and is valued at $10.7b. 


French brand Chanel specializes in luxury handbags, fragrances, women’s clothing and accessories.  The company is worth $9.2b.


Masters of extravagant and exquisite timepieces, Swiss brand Rolex is sought after and much-loved. The company value ranks at $9.1b. 


Italian designer brand Prada began in 1913 by Italian designer Mario Prada. Today the brand graces the catwalks with high-end fashion for women and men. The brand value is at $8.8b and still recognized for the iconic handbag that began its journey in 1985. 


Burberry is one of Britain’s most-loved brands specializing in luxury trench coats, outdoor wear and accessories. Founded by Thomas Burberry in 1856, it continues to thrive in trending fashion. Burberry is valued at $7.1b.


In 1978, Gianni Versace founded the luxury fashion brand loved by many looking for an edgy fashion appeal. The brand is worth $1.7b

Fast-Fashion is Not Ethical

As its name suggest, “fast-fashion” aims to produce trending clothing in the least amount of time, for the lowest amount of expense. Inevitably the process also negatively affects the environment. Fast fashion is a very critical subject within the fashion industry and plagues many clothing brands worldwide. 

Fast fashion uses the same concept by adapting designs featured in fashion week and at high-end fashion shows. The difference here is the garments are mass-produced at deadly speeds for very cheap. This process fills many clothing stores with bulk products to resell to their customers. It caters mainly to “street fashion,” whereas high fashion isn’t about mass production. 

But as quickly as seasons in fashion change, fast fashion manufacturers are changing to stay relevant in their market. As a result, the poorly manufactured garments will have no use sooner than later and the factories start speedily mass-producing the next “runway look.”

Customers purchase the clothing available because they are relevant and on-trend. This keeps the manufacturer’s cash flowing, while ignoring the poor conditions back at the factories and the negative impact on the environment. 

Where did this monstrous method of clothing brands manufacturing begin?

The industry was probably around since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. People developed sweatshops thanks to the invention of sewing machines. These machines allowed clothing manufacturing to develop faster at lower costs. This also made room for faux materials and items no longer handcrafted or produced in limited numbers. 

The negative impact of the fast fashion trend

    •    Clothing is mass-produced for street fashion by copying designs from the runway

    •    Workers are outsourced in poorer countries for cheap labour (these countries may not have any worker’s rights for labor)

    •    The use of cheap materials results in poor quality garments with a low lifespan

    •    Questionable chemicals used for the dye to produce on the cheaper side

    •    Polyester contributes 10% of carbon emission and 20% in water waste

    •    Massive negative impact on the earth

    •    Poor wages

    •    Unacceptable work conditions

    •    The concept promotes modern-day slavery and child labor

Sustainable Clothing Brands are Making their Mark in the Fashion Industry

For many years, high-end fashion brands crafted excellent designs that are concept and genuine. If the clothing goes into production for the public, it often requires limited time to mass-produce these pieces. 

In some cases, leading fashion companies outsource laborers in less fortunate and 3rd world countries. The working conditions are bad and some factory workers earn a meager income. This is an ongoing struggle and battle in the world, but thankfully, more and more sustainable top fashion brands are breaking this cycle. 

Supporting these sustainable clothing brands will break the chain of modern slavery within the fashion industry. 

Some of the best clothing brands promoting fair trade and ethical values include, but are not limited to: 


Pact is a sustainable brand located in Colorado, USA. Their main feature is sourcing sustainable cotton to produce their clothing, and their range caters to kids and adults’ clothes. 


Based in Colorado, this company is dedicated to supporting local cotton farmers and their children. In doing this, the brand was able to open ten schools, partner with 2390 farms and positively impact over 107 000 lives.  


Quince is a San Francisco-based clothing store dedicated to fair wages, safety, sustainable and organic material. They specialize in adult’s clothing and homeware. Quince believes that sustainability is not a luxury but a necessity. 


Reformation is a California-based clothing manufacturer Reformation is a 100% carbon neutral company. Balancing water and waste in crafting their products, they aim to be climate-positive by the year 2025.  Reformation sizes range from XXXS to XXXL. 


Vetta values responsible ethics and sustainability in fashion, using 100% recyclable materials to manufacture their products. Sizes are from XS to XL. 


Boden is a popular clothing brand based in London and focuses on fair trade, eco-friendly practice and an ethical supply chain. Sizes range from XS to XL. 


Based in Missouri, USA, Summersault produces garments made with recyclable materials and sustainable products. They specialize in swimwear and active apparel. 


From Tennessee comes responsibly sources materials and fair trade and wages to all workers. Able caters for sizes XXXS to XXXL and specializes in leather, jewelry and apparel. 


Tentree is a Canada-based brand headquartered in Vancouver. Their focus is on creating “earth first” garments for the whole family. Part of their mission is to give back to nature. For every item purchased from their brand, they plant ten trees. They’ve planted over 60 million trees to date. The clothing sizes range from XS to XXL. 

Mate the Label 

Mate the Label believes in “clean dressing.” The company focuses on the use of low-impact dyes, nontoxic and natural materials, and organic cotton.  Their core practice is called the “Mate Eight” which focuses on 1-Clean, 2-Essential, 3-Organic, 4-Ethical, 5-Women Centered, 6-Plastic-free, 7-Circular and 8-Local. 

Fair Indigo 

Fair Indigo uses organic materials that are not only sustainable to earth but also longevity in use. You’re investing in clothing made for the long haul with a reduced carbon footprint. Garments are ethically made in Peru using an organic fabric range. 

FAQ About Fashion Brands

What are the top fashion brands? 

Top brands include but are not limited to Nike, Hermes, Gucci, Valentino, Cartier, Tiffany & Co, Chanel and Rolex. 

Which are the high end fashion brands?

High end fashion brands include Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce and Gabbana, Burberry, and Prada to name a few. 

Which are the famous fashion brands?

Some famous fashion brands include House of Versace, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton and Fendi. 

Are high end fashion brands very costly?

Yes. High end fashion brands make a limited amount of garments and this puts it in extreme demand. This also raises the price, even if artisans don’t particularly craft it.  The trend and hype are what raise costs. 

Conclusion to Clothing Brands 

We all have our favorite clothing brands, and some are super expensive like those in haute couture. Other brands might be locally made and could cost less. Still, being mindful of the manufacturing process and how the materials are sourced is very important. It has not only a long-lasting impact on the environment and future of local designers but also your wallet.

So, what’s your favorite fashion brand?