Since a very early age, Europe has been a center of art and culture. And this prestige has not been kept limited to just literature or technology but has spilt over into fashion too. European fashion giants have been shaping our wardrobe for a long time. Most of them have blossomed into luxury giants today. They cater to an exclusive list of clientele including the top tier celebrities and stars.
Luxury fashion has become a niche today, and European brands sit atop this mountain. Luxury brands are not called so merely because of the price tags that they carry but because of the element of prestige that they carry. They are not everyday fashion but a style statement. If you are interested in luxury retail, then you should appreciate the influence of European brands. In fact, I have talked about 10 such brands that have created a place for themselves as fashion powerhouses.
- Christian Dior
The company is on the name of its founder who, in the post World War II era, revolutionized fashion by reintroducing femininity to women’s fashion. In the present day, both celebrities and royalty wear the brand.
It continues to be at the forefront of luxury even today as a part of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury group. Traditionally, Dior is famous for its haute couture creation but it designs and sells jewelry, makeup, skincare, footwear, leather, and fashion accessories as well. You can buy its products on its online and offline stores.
- Yves Saint Laurent
With a history going back 60 years in the industry, one might think that Saint Laurent might no longer have any modern appeal. But, on the contrary, it has infused modern and iconic dresses into the industry.
The most important (or iconic) contribution would still be the introduction of tuxedo suits for women. Although the brand is known majorly for its work in women’s fashion, it also designs jewelry, shoes and other ready-to-wear products for men. In spite of being bought by Gucci in 1999, Saint Laurent still creates its own haute couture.
Founded by Coco Chanel as the House of Chanel nearly 110 years ago, it burst on to the international platform with the Chanel No. 5. It was a popular fragrance that put it on the list right next to a male-dominated haute couture fashion industry.
As a brand, its focus is on high fashion and luxury products for women. Along with fragrances, it also designs makeup, skincare, jewelry, watches, and fashion collections.
Coco Chanel is credited with bringing women’s fashion to the forefront of the industry and the subsequent empowering effect that it had on society.
- Victoria Beckham
After acting as an ambassador for Dolce & Gabbana and briefly being the face of Rocawear, Victoria Beckham designed her first limited edition designer label. After that, she launched her own label which, though started out small, quickly turned into one of the prominent main fashion lines.
By 2012, she was the most talked-about designer at the New York Fashion Week. She delved into luxury handbags and turned from a novelty into a respected designer.
Much of her acclaim (that she later channelled into her brand) came from her collaboration with other designer houses. Her own label includes denim, eyewear and fragrances among others.
Chloe is a French luxury fashion house that is adorned by many international celebrities today. From draping the best in French cinema to being the label of choice to stars, it boasts of an illustrious line of clientele. The fashion house has been the home of famous studio artists like Karl Lagerfeld and Martine Sitbon.
Chloe works in a significantly different direction than other luxury brands. Its pieces are centred on the feminine, impertinent yet romantic spirit. With Natacha Ramsay-Levi at its helm, the luxury brand is open to working with more ‘eventually famous’ kinds of artists for its products.
The brand uses the head of Medusa as its logo. The message is simple, yet strong: you are going to fall in love with it and have no way back. And the brand lives up to the image!
Clothes, shoes and leather accessories are its forte. With some of the most exquisite collections to have ever debuted on the fashion ramp, Versace is constantly upping the game with its mesmerizing work.
What makes Versace stand out from all the other brands is its innovative use of prints and bright colours in its works. But that, in no way, stood in way of awing the world with the black Versace dress that Elizabeth Hurley wore in 1994. Having gained international acclaim from a single event, Versace collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry and beyond to make signature products.
Established in 1856, it worked as a family-controlled business right until 1955. After its reincorporation, it expanded its operations over all of Europe.
It is an English fashion brand that is most famous for its iconic trench coats (no surprise there!). What propelled the brand into the very select list of high fashion was the development of Gabardine. It is a one-of-its-kind material that is waterproof yet completely breathable. The fabric is made exclusively for the company and this makes its scarves, coats and accessories a ‘one-of-its-kinds’ product. The focus of the company has always been on making the most iconic outdoor fashion wears.
Armani is one of those few premium brands that have their presence in every aspect of fashion. Be it watches, haute couture, leather goods, jewelry, accessories, ready to wear, shoes, cosmetics, eyewear or even home interior; Armani will be there for you.
It categorizes these multiple products under several lines, and each sub-brand comes with its own specialty. The use of different logos makes it easier to differentiate between different categories.
Reaching out to the public through its innovative and provocative ad campaigns, the brand is restructuring to become more easily accessible to people across all geographies.
- Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana started out in women’s fashion. They designed swimming costumes and underwear (which is still one of its trademark product lines) before becoming a fully-fledged fashion giant.
Their key to fame was the introduction of their signature perfume that gained them the award as the ‘Most Feminine Flavor of the year’ 1993. Ten years later they were one of the biggest names in the industry. Like Armani, they have divided their products into sub-brands for better management. Present-day Dolce & Gabbana designs and retails luxury watches, shoes, ready to wear, bridal collection, lingerie, travel cases and handbags.
The Italian fashion giant manufactures fashion and leather goods and is one of the most prominent fashion brands in the world. It is also the highest-selling Italian fashion brand in the world.
Almost 100 years old, Gucci has had a rich history. It started out as a maker of leather bags for luggage and travel but started indulging in fashion as it started making luxury handbags. The journey has not been a swansong for the company as it has survived some close shaves, but it currently sits pretty with secure management and an ever-diversifying product range.