Top 9 High Fashion Brands [2023]: Designer Brands of the World for Luxury and Upscale Lifestyles

Top 9 High Fashion Brands [2023]: Designer Brands of the World for Luxury and Upscale Lifestyles

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We constantly feel the urge to look our best to elevate our self-confidence. The good news is that fashion can positively affect our self-perception.

Yves Saint Laurent, for example, revolutionized fashion giving women beauty, freedom, and self-confidence. He dressed them in tuxedos to give them freedom in choosing what they want to wear and a certain sense of power.

But what do other high fashion brands have in store for us? Here are some of the most famous luxury brands in the world.

Top High Fashion Brands

  • Yves Saint Laurent – Best high fashion brand overall
  • Prada – One of the oldest high fashion brands
  • Gucci – Best high fashion brands logo
  • Dior – One of the best French high fashion brands
  • Kenzo – One of the best high fashion brands for urban style
  • Giorgio Armani – One of the best Italian luxury fashion brands
  • Stuart Weitzman – One of the best high fashion brands for shoes
  • Nike – One of the best high fashion sports clothing brands
  • Balenciaga – One of the most iconic women’s high fashion brands

There are a few things to consider before committing to high fashion brands. All luxury brands cover the desire for self-fulfillment, but the best designer brands prioritize quality in all aspects, from the fabric used to the cut and style.

To follow are the top nine luxury brands for chic clothing, accessories, and groundbreaking designs to meet all your style needs.

1. Yves Saint Laurent – Best High Fashion Brand Overall – Ranking 4.9/5

Pros

  • Gender-neutral aesthetics
  • Timeless, classic luxury pieces
  • Unmatched variety and quality

Cons

Why Pick Saint Laurent?

Saint Laurent—one of the most valuable fashion brands in the world—is associated with luxury and uncompromising excellence.

YSL style emphasizes gender fluidity through gender-neutral clothing and simple yet classic designs. Saint Laurent’s target market comprises fashion-conscious, independent, and strong-willed customers.

The luxury fashion house has a significant global presence, comprising over 250 directly operated boutiques worldwide [1]. Its primary objective is to create innovative products that meet the needs of fashionable customers.

Who Shouldn’t Pick Saint Laurent?

YSL style is not for those who are not devoted admirers of classic avant-garde and French refinement. Additionally, if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to look elsewhere.

Yves Saint Laurent Ranking: 4.9/5

Overall Quality – 4.9/5

In terms of quality and craftsmanship, YSL goods are made with the utmost attention to every detail, using only the highest quality materials.

Cost – 4.8/5

For the average shopper, YSL’s goods may seem staggeringly expensive. However, they are several thousand dollars less costly than those from other high fashion brands. For instance, Dior handbags cost significantly more than similar YSL models.

Variety – 4.9/5

The brand has a little something for everyone: women’s and men’s ready-to-wear apparel, shoes, handbags, accessories, fragrances, and cosmetics. You can rest assured you’ll get the best gifts for women from their enormous collection of luxury products.

Summary

Yves Saint Laurent is a French fashion house that has gained worldwide fame for its elegant outfits, high-quality cosmetics, and androgynous style. Under Anthony Vaccarello’s creative direction, the brand continues to uphold its tradition of absolute refinement, modernity, and rebellion.

2. Prada – One of the Oldest High Fashion Brands – Ranking 4.8/5

Pros

  • Thriving for decades
  • Highly recognizable
  • Great presence in the fashion world
  • Finest level of Italian craftsmanship

Cons

  • Ultra-expensive price tags
  • Dupes of various products have hit the market

Why Pick Prada?

Founded in 1913 by Mario Prada, Prada is one of the oldest luxury brands of the world. The Italian fashion house has withstood the test of time, growing from a modest company to the vast fashion empire it is today.

The Milan-based company is known for its leather goods made from the iconic Saffiano material—a textured leather of the highest quality, defined by its waxed finish. Prada is one of the largest fashion brands in the world, operating over 635 stores and e-commerce channels worldwide [2].

Who Shouldn’t Pick Prada?

In response to animal welfare groups, Prada has ceased using animal fur in their designs. While this is excellent news for activists and animal lovers, it’s bad news for those who enjoy fur trim on their clothing or handbags.

However, recent advancements in sustainable fashion allow for the same superior quality with cruelty-free materials [3].

Prada Ranking: 4.8/5

Overall Quality – 4.9/5

Prada uses only the finest artisanal techniques and materials. One fabric of choice is nylon. Impressed by the shiny, tactile, waterproof, and light fabric, the designer created the first nylon backpack after touring a military-grade nylon mill in 1984.

Cost – 4.7/5

Prices for Prada products tend to be higher than those of competing labels. The high price is due to high-quality materials, meticulous artistry, and luxury branding.

Variety – 4.8/5

All Prada products, including handbags, clothes, shoes, and accessories, are defined by cutting-edge aesthetics and exceptional durability. Some examples include petal pink double satin mini-dress, slingback leather pumps, and personalized America’s cup lace-up sneakers.

Summary

Prada is one of the oldest luxury brands still in business due to its long history of delivering goods and the unwavering quality of its products. In 1913, Prada opened its first flagship store in the world’s oldest shopping mall, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. Prada continues to wow with its innovative designs and pieces that have evolved into emblems of luxury.

3. Gucci – Best High Fashion Brands Logo – Ranking 4.8/5

Pros

  • Combines timeless tradition with modernity
  • Rich history with royals, heads of state, and Hollywood stars
  • Instantly recognizable iconic emblem

Cons

  • Opulent and expensive, contrasting the average shopper
  • Attention-grabbing patterns

Why Pick Gucci?

Founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, this is one of the most renowned designer brands. From Tom Ford’s daring advertising campaigns to Alessandro Michele’s maximalist designs, Gucci has withstood the test of time and continues to be highly regarded today.

The double G in the Gucci logo symbolizes the founder’s name, the importance and timelessness of the brand. The symbol is frequently displayed in gold, a testament to the brand’s luxury and extravagance.

Who Shouldn’t Pick Gucci?

The “geek chic” style introduced by Alessandro Michele—the new creative director of Gucci—is thought to be boring or unfashionable by some people.

Gucci Ranking: 4.8/5

Overall Quality – 4.8/5

As a top-tier Italian luxury brand, Gucci employs only high-quality materials and production methods.

Cost – 4.7/5

Gucci’s products are staggeringly expensive, and there are reasons for this. Gucci blends unique design features with savvy marketing to generate consumer desire and high demand.

Furthermore, the Italian luxury fashion house is viewed as a brand name that instantly confers social standing on the wearer.

Variety – 4.9/5

Gucci’s major product categories include leather accessories, shoes, the best leather jackets, watches, jewelry, and home décor for those who want their houses to drip in opulence.

This Italian brand’s fragrances, puffer jackets, and ballet flats are preferred among women, while men’s favorite items include watches and cardholders. They also offer the best men’s wallet in case you need designer gifts for men.

Summary

From its early days as a small luggage store to finally creating high fashion clothing and accessories like the best sunglasses for men, Gucci has traveled a long way to become what it is today—an influential player in the global growth of luxury fashion goods [4]. The iconic logo has been the cherry on top of this fashion behemoth.

4. Dior – One of the Best French High Fashion Brands – Ranking 4.7/5

Pros

  • The world’s benchmark of elegance, refinement, and good taste
  • Stylistically innovative and technically exceptional reputation
  • Revitalized French fashion, reviving Paris as the Fashion Capital

Cons

Why Pick Dior?

The fact that most fashion terms such as chic, en vogue, haute couture, and pret-a-porter are rooted in French is no coincidence. French designers like Christian Dior, have created the world’s most famous and coveted designer brands.

Every time the luxury fashion house is mentioned, we think of the elegance, refinement, and grandeur of the clothing, fragrances, and cosmetics that this renowned brand, with more than seventy years of history, produces.

The total brand value of Dior was approximately seven billion U.S. dollars in 2021, making Dior one of the most valuable global brands [5].

Who Shouldn’t Pick Dior?

Dior has a “Very Poor” animal rating and a basic written policy to preserve animal welfare. Consequently, Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Armani may be better choices if you are an ardent fan of ethical fashion and vegan clothing.

Dior Ranking: 4.7/5

Overall Quality – 4.9/5

The French luxury house uses intricate techniques, materials of the highest quality, visionary design, and expert craftsmanship.

Cost – 4.4/5

Since Dior is haute couture, it is more expensive than other designer brands, so not everyone can afford to buy it.

Variety – 4.9/5

The Dior luxury brand has continued to expand throughout the years, now offering ready-to-wear creations and accessories like designer wallets for women, the best makeup brands, and home items.

They also offer the best smelling perfume for women with timeless fragrances you can wear any time and with any outfit. Their luxury perfumes go well with the best winter coats, winter fashion trends, or fall fashion.

Summary

In the years following World War II, when women were used to shorter, boxier skirts that originated from fabric rationing, Dior was noted for his extravagance in women’s clothing. The French fashion business has preserved its refinement over the years while also identifying new trends that are an unqualified success.

5. Kenzo – One of the Best High Fashion Brands for Urban Style – Ranking 4.7/5

Pros

  • Vivid patterns and bold colors
  • Fun-filled and wearable pieces
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Not a prominent figure in the world

Why Pick Brand Kenzo?

Kenzo is a luxury clothing brand created in Paris, in 1970 by Japanese-born Kenzo Takada. He became famous for his unique, modern style, and beautifully combining Japanese and Asian design elements.

Today, Kenzo’s creative director revealed his vision for the Kenzo Takada-founded label: a combination of the house’s classic norms and his modern streetwear preferences.

Who Shouldn’t Pick Brand Kenzo?

The streetwear approach is not appealing for all consumers and some feel the unflattering cuts will be obsolete in months. As youth is regarded as the time to experiment without regret, Kenzo products may appeal to the younger audience.

Kenzo Ranking: 4.7/5

Overall Quality – 4.7/5

Although Kenzo is not as well-known as other luxury fashion brands, it remains a popular option for individuals who value high-quality clothing.

Cost – 4.8/5

Kenzo clothing is not cheap but is less expensive than other luxury brands on the list.

Variety – 4.7/5

Kenzo offers a wide range of products, including fragrances, accessories, home goods, and outdoor attire for men, women, and children.

Summary

Renowned for its elegance and time-honored traditions, Kenzo gave Paris a contemporary approach to fashion with his vibrant prints, jungle themes, and flower patterns.

Nigo — an iconic figure in streetwear — is now the new artistic director of Kenzo. Nigo’s debut Kenzo collection expanded on aspects inherent to the Kenzo brand — youth-centricity, iconography, and French flare.

6. Giorgio Armani – One of the Best Italian Luxury Fashion Brands – Ranking 4.7/5

Pros

  • Known as the King of Italian fashion
  • Prestige, status, and desirability
  • Great variety of products

Cons

  • Confusion surrounding Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani

Why Pick Giorgio Armani?

Giorgio Armani is considered the most successful designer, and his boutiques in Milan are among the busiest. Today, the designer is over 85 years old and still works most of his time. A-list stars like Lady Gaga, Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio and Beyonce have worn Armani clothes for red carpet events.

Who Shouldn’t Pick Giorgio Armani?

Armani is stopping the use of angora wool, effective from the fall 2022 season, due to animal welfare concerns about fur farming. You may want to look elsewhere if you prize angora clothing for its softness, and warmth.

Giorgio Armani Ranking: 4.7/5

Overall Quality – 4.8/5

Armani uses only materials of the highest quality and takes pride in doing so. As a result, the products are sturdy, easy to wash, and preserve their original appearance over time.

Cost – 4.5/5

The sub-brand Armani Prive is one of the most expensive fashion lines from the Armani Fashion House. Armani Exchange, instead, has more affordable and less costly items.

Variety – 4.9/5

Armani creates, manufactures, distributes, and sells haute couture and ready-to-wear clothing, jewelry, watches, shoes, cosmetics, accessories, eyewear, and home furnishings. There are several sub-brands and diffusion lines within the Armani brand to reach a wide range of shoppers.

Summary

Armani is one of the finest Italian luxury brands and a paragon of elegance and superior craftsmanship. It has gained a long-standing position in the global fashion industry through great design, themes, and timely trends.

For example, Richard Gere’s wardrobe in American Gigolo revived interest in the Italian designer in America.

7. Stuart Weitzman – One of the Best High Fashion Brands for Shoes – Ranking 4.7/5

Pros

  • A global leader in designer footwear
  • Combines lines, style, and high quality with elegance
  • Perfect fit and comfort

Cons

  • Packed with rare gemstones that may enchant your eyes but empty your wallet

Why Pick Stuart Weitzman?

Known for his exquisite designs and sumptuous style, this iconic shoe designer uses dazzling aesthetics and unconventional materials. Many women would like to flaunt their legs in a pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes.

Experts say that one’s footwear is a source of first impressions [6]. The silk and satin shoes by Weitzman embellished with gemstones are exquisite, and the laconic designs exude sophistication and charm.

Who Shouldn’t Pick Stuart Weitzman?

Stuart Weitzman shoes are perfect for all picky men and women, regardless of style. The flawless craftsmanship and sleek design will satisfy everyone’s needs.

Stuart Weitzman Ranking: 4.7/5

Overall Quality – 4.8/5

Stuart Weitzman’s shoes are made with the utmost attention to every detail. As one of the best luxury shoe brands, they use only the highest quality materials and the best leathers available.

Cost – 4.6/5

Stuart Weitzman’s best designer shoes are pricey but worth the cost. Some consumers even purchase replicas if they cannot afford the original ones.

Variety – 4.8/5

Weitzman’s footwear is available in various styles, colors, and materials, including satin, silk, cork, vinyl, wallpaper, 24-karat gold, and diamonds.

Summary

Stuart Weitzman is one of the best shoe brands in the world. The brand’s luxury shoes stand out for their perfect, elegant artistry. In addition to suede and leather models, the valuable luxury brand produces footwear in rare and unique materials.

8. Nike – One of the Best High Fashion Sports Clothing Brands – Ranking 4.6/5

Pros

  • Stand-out leader in sales and popularity
  • High global market presence
  • It adapts its marketing strategies to consumer preferences

Cons

  • Choosing celebrity spokespersons has potential drawbacks if the athlete is involved in a scandal (e.g., Bryant, Armstrong, and Woods)

Why Pick Nike Sportswear?

The Greek goddess of victory inspired the name of Nike, one of the largest athletic clothing brands of the world, founded in 1968 by Phil Knight. This is the brand that everyone turns to for sportswear, from sweatshirts and running shoes to jackets, caps, and backpacks [7].

Thanks to decades of excellent advertising, effective planning, and innovation, this sports brand is now one of the most valuable fashion brands in the world.

Who Shouldn’t Pick Nike?

Nike’ shoes, clothing, gear, and accessories may not be suitable for non-athletic wear. Administrative employees and other office workers should choose Prada’s business formal attire.

Nike Ranking: 4.6/5

Overall Quality – 4.5/5

Nike makes high-quality products. The materials are carefully chosen with consideration for not only performance but also environmental sustainability.

Cost – 4.8/5

As a result of global supply chain issues and US inflation, the brand’s products are becoming less affordable [8]. However, the average consumer can get them without complaining.

Variety – 4.6/5

The brand is not limited to making sportswear for running but expanding to many other recreational and athletic activities such as football, tennis, and baseball.

Summary

Nike is one of the largest fashion brands — a giant in the global sportswear market. With its innovative designs, engineering, and unique style, there’s a reason why it is the most sought-after sportswear fashion label. From Nike LeBron Soldier XII and Jordan sneakers to Nike Air Max sneakers, these products offer maximum support and comfort.

9. Balenciaga – One of the Most Iconic Women’s High Fashion Brands – Ranking 4.7/5

Pros

  • Most iconic designs
  • Revolutionized the feminine silhouette
  • Made black a mainstay of elegance and style

Cons

  • Some later designs, such as the garbage pouch and fully-destroyed footwear, sparked controversy

Why Pick Balenciaga?

Cristobal Balenciaga, the designer who built a real fashion empire, was a favorite of celebrities like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. Half a century after the designer’s death, the luxury brand still manages to transcend the conventional and fascinate.

Balenciaga was, in the true sense of the word, a visionary: the ball gown, the tunic dress, and the baby-doll dress. All of them started in his workshop seven decades ago and are still to be found in women’s wardrobes today.

Who Shouldn’t Pick Balenciaga?

Classic conservative fashion shoppers may consider some of Balenciaga’s releases to be the border between eccentric and quirky.

Balenciaga Ranking: 4.7/5

Overall Quality – 4.7/5

Balenciaga creates its goods with the highest quality raw materials and craftsmanship, ensuring longevity.

Cost – 4.6/5

Not everyone can afford Balenciaga products. We’re talking about a luxury brand whose prices run from $90 for a pair of socks to $2,950 for a crocodile purse.

Variety – 4.7/5

The fashion house creates iconic ready-to-wear items for men and women and offers multiple other products like shoes, bags, small leather accessories, and fragrances.

Summary

Cristobal Balenciaga was the creator of haute couture and inspired many great designers. Balenciaga shoes, dresses, and bags are some of the luxury industry’s most unique and desirable items.

What Are High Fashion Brands?

High fashion clothing brands are clothing made by leading high fashion brand houses from quality fabrics and sewn with finesse by experts who pay great attention to detail. Many prefer high fashion brands because wearing stylish accessories like designer watches and clothing makes them feel prestigious.

The secret to these luxury items’ success is their quality, uniqueness, and ability to generate new trends.

Why Should You Choose High Fashion Brands?

There are numerous reasons why you should choose luxury fashion brands.

  • Superior quality – Undoubtedly, the goods produced by high fashion brands are of much better quality than those offered by mass-market brands.
  • Durability – Not only do quality materials feel good against the skin, but high fashion brands will last much longer without visible degradation, such as stretching and color fading.
  • Boost social status – Many favor designer brands because wearing them enhances status, just like wearing the most expensive perfume. High fashion clothing brands also produce benefits in social interactions [9].
  • Wise investment – Collectible clothing brands, jewelry, luxury watch brands, and designer purse brands could be a good investment because they retain or even increase in value over time.
  • Makes you look and feel good – Luxury clothing brands, like the best skincare brands, make a person feel special, not just because of the brand. It’s also because luxury brands designers are so talented, they can turn ideas into creative and desirable items. For example, check out Kenzo’s dresses, or buy a silky scarf from Dior. To many, they are works of art.

How to Choose the Best Luxury Fashion Labels

The designer clothing brands a person buys and wears depends on the financial situation, fashion taste, sense of beauty, and size and shape.

  • Keep your fashion consistent by sticking with your favorite high fashion brands, so you can become identified with its particular style or design.
  • Purchasing fashion apparel online is the simplest and most convenient way to buy, unless you own a private jet and an unlimited credit card to travel to the world’s fashion capitals.

Best Designer Brands Ranking Methodology

We ranked our chosen designer brands using the following criteria:

High Fashion Brands: Overall Quality

The designer brands on our list do not cut corners on their goods, so you can expect longevity and exceptional quality in each luxury item.

High Fashion Brands: Cost

Cheap and quality don’t often go together. Even though these brands are more expensive, they offer perks that the clothing brands in the lower price bracket do not.

High Fashion Brands: Variety

We listed designer brands that offer a broad range of garments for men and women. These also include multiple other products like shoes, handbags, cosmetics, fragrances, and luxury gifts including the best sunglasses and designer gifts for her. Some of them may even offer pajama sets for women and the best designer handbags.

High Fashion Brands FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the best luxury high fashion brands and their answers.

What Are the Most Popular Designer Brands of the World?

Gucci is regarded as one of the most popular designer brands of the world. Celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Lil Pump have helped boost the clothing brand’s profile through social media posts and songs. Prada is another stand-out clothing brands leader in popularity due to its rich history and continued influence in the fashion industry.

What Are the Most Expensive Designer Brands?

Dior is one of the most expensive designer brands of the world and one of the most coveted high fashion brands. The most expensive Dior item is a chartreuse Haute Couture gown that costs $2 million and was worn by Nicole Kidman to the 1997 Academy Awards.

Which High Fashion Brands Suit You Best?

The high fashion brands that suit you best are the ones that accentuate your inner traits and bring out the best in you. For example, the personality traits that Saint Laurent reflects on its customers are confidence, self-assurance, and strong-mindedness.

High Fashion Brands: Final Thoughts

Do you want to look and feel good about yourself? Yves Saint Laurent believed that to look beautiful, a woman needs a black sweater, a straight black skirt, and a man to love her.

As one of the best luxury brands of the world, Saint Laurent has all the necessary elements, from clothing and accessories to fragrances and jewelry, to make any person feel more attractive and confident. In addition, it upholds the standards of luxury in every aspect, from unrivaled quality of materials to artisan-level production, to upscale marketing and price point.

There are high fashion designer brands on our list for everyone, whether you like distinct aesthetics, bold patterns, and unusual cuts or prefer the classic style.

>> Check the latest prices for Saint Laurent

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References

  1. Tugba Sabanoglu. “Saint Laurent Stores by Region Worldwide 2021.” Statista, 18 February 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/442821/number-of-saint-laurent-stores-worldwide-by-region/
  2. Global Data. “Number of Prada Stores Globally (2016 – 2021).” GlobalData, https://www.globaldata.com/data-insights/fashion-amp-accessories/number-of-prada-stores/
  3. Doroteja Mandaric et al. “The Impact of Fashion Brand Sustainability on Consumer Purchasing Decisions.” MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 11 April. 2022, https://www.mdpi.com/1911-8074/15/4/176
  4. John Armitage and Joanne Roberts. “The Globalization of Luxury Fashion: The Case of Gucci.” 19 March 2021, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20511817.2021.1897268
  5. P. Smith. “Dior: Brand Value Worldwide 2016-2021.” Statista, 10 Nov. 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/985305/dior-brand-value-worldwide/
  6. Omri Gillath et al. “Shoes as a Source of First Impressions.” Journal of Research in Personality, Academic Press, 13 April 2012, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0092656612000608
  7. Muskaan Nagori. “Nike-A Case Study Just Do It” Researchgate, February 2022. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Muskaan-Nagori/publication/358734060_Nike-A_Case_Study_Just_Do_It/links/6211d2b5f02286737cae8e9d/Nike-A-Case-Study-Just-Do-It?origin=publication_detail
  8. Mehr Bedi. “Nike Sales Likely to Suffer as Inflation Hits Sneakerheads.” Reuters, 28 September 2022, https://www.reuters.com/business/retail-consumer/nike-sales-likely-suffer-inflation-hits-sneakerheads-2022-09-28/
  9. Rob M. A. Nelissen and Marijn H. C. Meijers. “Social Benefits of Luxury Brands as Costly Signals of Wealth and Status.” Evolution and Human Behavior, Elsevier, 17 March. 2011, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1090513810001455

Cecilie Storgaard is a passionate writer and editor with over five years of experience. She specializes in fashion and beauty, helping the average consumer make the best fashionable decisions. When Cecilie is not researching the latest trends, she’s a busy mom of two and a home baker.

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Polly Hyson is a talented writer and editor with over six years of experience. She is competent in a number of niches but specializes in consumer health topics. When not writing, she’s probably working out, swimming, or doing Yoga.