Fashion weeks are a huge event that reaches all over the world. Luxury brands are seen on street style looks that broke the internet but their history should be known too. In addition, people love wearing the trends that the high fashion labels establish.
Get to know when and where the best fashion maisons were established. Moreover their founders started from the bottom and created empires that are ranking into the world’s most valuable label. It’s time to know more about luxury brands history now!
Hermès – 1837
Thierry Hermès found the French House of Hermes and established it in the Grands Boulevards quarter of Paris. The brand started creating fine wrought harnesses and bridles for the carriage trade. Furthermore Hermès produced leather bags to feed the horse and to carry other accessories for riders.
Now the high fashion brand offers a huge range of luxury products like ready-to-wear, shoes, bags, fragrances, watches, jewelry, and more. Its most iconic bag is the Hermès Birkin model. In adittion it is the most expensive one in the world ranging from $40,000 to $500,000 value.
Tiffany & Co – 1837
Charles Lewis Tiffany and his friend John B Young opened a small fancy goods store in New York City. Tiffany quickly established itself and the fashionable ladies wore it and took it as a new clean American style. The company was the first one in America to adopt the British silver standard using only metal that was 92% pure.
An iconic moment from the brand was when Audrey Hepburn wore a canary-colored gemstone necklace. It can be seen in the photographs of Breakfast at Tiffany’s movie in 1961.
The house is the world’s most iconic jewelry brand and will always remain like that.
Cartier – 1847
Louis-François Cartier established The House of Cartier in 1847. He bought the jewellery workshop of his master Adolphe Picardat in Rue Montorgueil, Paris at the age of 29.
Cartier has a vast history of achievements. One of them was in 1904 when the label became the official purveyor to King Alfonso XII of Spain and to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom.
The luxury fashion House is one of the most coveted brands in the world with an iconic history starting as a humble shop in Paris and converting into a global empire. In other words, through more than 170 years Cartier had conquered the world with its unique designs.
In 2019 ranked into the most valuable luxury brand list with a 5.99 billion dollars brand valuation.
Louis Vuitton – 1854
Louis Vuitton founded in 1854 the luxury fashion House in Paris. The LV logo appears on many of its products like luxury bags, ready-to-wear, shoes, jewelry, accessories, sunglasses, trunks, books and more.
It first started with designed boxes and trunks. And the iconic workshop The Asnières is still working and it is able to book a visit at La Galerie d’ Asnières. Besides it’s a fascinating experience because visitors discover more of Louis Vuitton’s universe in an exhibition curated in a playful and timeless space.
Louis Vuitton is the world’s most valuable luxury brand in its own boutiques with a 47 billion dollars brand valuation in 2019 and a 14 per cent year-over-year growth.
Burberry – 1856
Thomas Burberry established Burberry House in Basingstoke, UK, with only 21 years old in 1856. The designer had the principle that clothing should be designed to protect people from the british weather.
He invented the gabardine in 1879 – the weatherproof fabric revolutionising rainwear. With this material Burberry would design the antecedent to the trench coat, their iconic piece with their iconic print. In addition, the luxury brand sells bags, eyewear, ready-to-wear, travel accessories, belts, and much more.
Bulgari – 1884
The greek silversmith Sotirio Bulgari founded the brand in 1884 in Rome. With their exquisite craftsmanship and magnificent jewellery creations, Bulgari quickly established a reputation.
The label has a distinctive style made of vibrant colour combinations and exquisitely balanced volumes. Moreover the company introduced innovations that rewrote the rules of the jewellery universe and launched new trends and with the time became as icons of contemporary design.
Nowadays the Maison offers more than only their excellence jewelry like bags, fragrances, watches. And also hotels and resorts in Dubai, London, Milan, Shanghai, Paris and other cities.
Rolex – 1905
Hans Wilsdorf founded Rolex in 1905 at the age of 24 in London. The company was first specialized in the distribution of timepieces.
At the time people used the pocket watches because the wrist ones were not very precise. But Wilsdorf insisted that they could become not only elegant but also reliable. That’s why he equipped them with small and very precise movements made by a Swiss watchmaking company in Bienne.
In 1910, a Rolex watch was the first wristwatch in the world to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision. And that’s only the beginning of the luxury brand that ranked in 2019 on the Top 10 most valuable luxury brand in the world with a $8.39 billion brand valuation.
Chanel – 1910
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel founded Chanel when she opened a millinery shop at 160 Boulevard Malesherbes, Paris. The fashion Maison is most famous for its little black dress, the Chanel No.5 perfume and the Chanel Suit.
The luxury house is one of the most iconic brands into the fashion world because of its history. Coco Chanel finished with the corset and hairpin imposition. And every parisian women could breath freely and were comfortable for the first time in French history.
Chanel ranked in the second place of the world’s most valuable luxury label in 2019 with a 37 billion dollars brand valuation.
Prada – 1913
Mario Prada, Miuccia Prada´s grandfather, found the luxury brand in 1913 and opened the first store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan. They started selling precious bags, trunks and travel accessories.
Now the luxury fashion brand offers ready-to-wear, shoes, sunglasses, fragrances, bags, and more! Besides Prada is ranking at 10th place in the world’s most valuable luxury brand ranking of 2019 with a 3.5 billion dollars brand valuation.
Balenciaga – 1919
Cristóbal Balenciaga founded the high brand in 1919 opening his first boutique in nearby San Sebastián, Spain. Through the years Balenciaga gain respect and admiration because of his designs. Even the spanish royal family and the aristocracy wore his clothes.
Balenciaga had to move to Paris when the Spanish Civil War started and had to close his shops. Nowadays the brand’s strong street presence combined with its impressive social media following. Besides when the brand launches a new product is a boom on every street style and the internet!
Gucci – 1921
The luxury fashion brand was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci in Florence, Italy. The House started out as a luggage manufacturer, producing luxury travel goods for the italian high society.
The label is well-known because of it eclectic and contemporary creations. Besides their designs represents the pinnacle of Italian craftsmanship and have a high quality and attention to detail.
In 1953 Guccio died and his sons took care of opening boutiques all over the world. The Gucci logo was created in the 1960s and is regarded as one of the most recognizable in the luxury branding. Moreover the House is ranking in the world’s most valuable luxury brand with a 25 billion dollars label valuation in 2019.
Fendi – 1925
Adele and Edoardo Fendi founded the fashion House on Via del Plebiscito, in the heart of Rome. All started with a small and medium leather goods shop. After that the couple set up what was a secret fur workshop.
In 1965 the Fendi family invited the young designer Karl Lagerfeld to join the House. Subsequently he became the creative director and remained for 54 years until his death in 2019.
In 2015 Fendi moved in to the Palazzo della Civilta Italiana, an emblematic building in Rome. It is also a place where the label offers to visitors a full experience into the magic of Fendi.
Nowadays the luxury brand is part of the LVMH Group and sells ready-to-wear, sunglasses, watches, fragrances, and more.
Celine – 1945
The french fashion house started out as a made to measure children’s shoe shop in 1945 by Céline Vipiana and her husband Richard. In early 1960s the couple decided to produce women’s footwear and soon women’s ready-to-wear sports collection and accessories.
Michael Kors was the one that had to renovate the french Maison after the founder’s death. Now Celine is part of the LVMH Group and offers small leather goods, handbags, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, shoes and much more.
The french legendary designer Christian Dior founded his label in 1947. And he had one focus: to redefine the way that woman dressed. The luxury fashion House is one of the most revolutionary brands because it changed the fashion history.
After the Second World War besides the sartorial restrictions and shortages, Dior offered the New Look for women. His first collection will forever change the fashion industry because of those unique silhouettes, those volumes, the tiny waists and sexy busts.
After the designer’s sudden death in 1957, Ives Saint Laurent was his successor with only 21 years old.
Nowadays the Maison is ranking in the world’s most valuable luxury house with a 4.66 billion dollars brand valuation in 2019.
Givenchy – 1952
Hubert de Givenchy opened his own design House in 1952 in Paris. His debut collection had success featuring separates such as long skirts and tailored tops.
Since the begginings of his career, Givenchy had some muses. The ultimate one and most enthusiastic supporter was the iconic actress Audrey Hepburn. They made fashion history throughout their decades-long partnership. While Hepburn wore his designs in her films, Givenchy was looking to her for inspiration to impact his atelier collections. Besides he styled other well-known women of fashion. Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis, during her days at First Lady, was helped by the designer to define her style.
Now Givenchy is a member of the LVMH Group. And not only a fashion House because also sells makeup, fragrances and creams.
Saint Laurent – 1961
Yves Saint Laurent founded his fashion House in 1961. He changed everything in the luxury fashion brands history. He introduced a revolutionary take on women’s clothing inspired by the structure of menswear.
His approach was a celebration of gender fluidity and that shook the fashion stage. The designer was the first one to present the suit as a form of women’s evening wear in the 1960s.
Now the luxury brand offers many types of products as ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, cosmetics, jewelry and more. Besides is ranking into the world’s most valuable luxury brand of 2019 with a 3.57 billion dollars brand valuation.
Bottega Veneta – 1966
Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro founded Bottega Veneta – “Venetian shop” in italian – in 1966 in Vicenza, the north of Italy. The fashion House is recognized because of the quality of craftsmanship of its products.
The iconic item is the Cabat bag because it’s made with its own braiding technique called intessiato. The leather-weaving method where two masters skillfully weave the layers of leather thus making one wreathing without knots and extra details.
Nowadays the bags made with this technique are still the signature of the brand and can be recognized immediately. Even the footwear produced by the luxury House is iconic. Furthermore it is impossible to reproduce its sophisticated unique technique. The value of the cabat tote bag can vary from $4.700 to $78.000.
Emporio Armani – 1975
Giorgio Armani founded Emporio Armani in 1975 in Milan and was the most influential and celebrated fashion designer from Italy. The brand is well known because of its quality, sophisticated and timeless style clothing ranging from luxury garments, apparel, jewellery, beauty products, and more.
“I was the first to soften the image of men, and harden the image of women. I dressed men in women’s fabrics, and stole from men what women wanted and needed—the power suit.”Giorgio Armani
Through the decades Armani became more than a surname: an adjective, a sense of being, a lifestyle. And people started to say “I’m wearing Armani”; “That’s so Armani”.
With a brand valuation of $2.4 billion in 2019 Armani has become one of the strongest fashion and luxury brands in the world with a legendary history.
Versace – 1978
Gianni Versace established the first Versace boutique in Via della Spiga in Milan in 1978. At that time Gianni was one of the only designers in the industry to control everythig of his brand. And that’s why he could conducted the label by his percise vision.
The Italian fashion brand is one of the leading international fashion design Houses and a symbol of Italian luxury world-wide. It designs fashion and lifestyle products like haute couture, prèt-à-porter, jewellery, eyewear. Besides they got home furnishings and all bearing the iconic Medusa logo.
In January 2019, the company joined Capri Holdings Limited, forming a new global fashion luxury group with Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo.
Dolce & Gabbana – 1985
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana established Dolce & Gabbana in 1985 in Milan. The italian designers have a strong passion for infusing Italian culture in every design it goes with their unique style that resonates with fashion lovers all over the globe.
Their iconic piece is the sicilian dress, inspired by classical Italian lady’s underwear. And depicts a basic silhouette that appears every season redesigned.
At their fourth collection the fashion world started to take notice at them. The duo inspiration were images from 1940s Italian cinema and the muse has stayed with them through all these years.
The luxury items of the House that remain timeless includes ready-to-wear, watches, footwear, purses, eyewear. And more over they have a makeup line.
Jimmy Choo – 1996
When the world of designer footwear was commanded by men, Jimmy Choo appeared with a female touch and perspective. He initially started in collaboration with Tamara Mellon. The first Jimmy Choo store was opened in 1996 in Motcomb Street, London.
Jimmy Choo was the first to bring shoes and handbags to Hollywood. At the time was the city where the red carpet proved to be the ideal runway for the brand.
Jimmy Choo could captive a sophisticated clientele because of its fashionable design and exceptional Italian craftsmanship. In adittion the house offers an empowered sense of glamour and a playfully daring spirit.
If you liked this post and want to know more about luxury brands you should read Who is Louis Vuitton?