The Lap of Luxury

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The luxury brand market has been expanding over the past few years due to emerging markets such as China and the United Arab Emirates. Many consumers in these areas are increasing their spending on luxury brands, even more than in the U.S., Europe and Japan. The result is a global luxury market fueled by travel and tourism that has swelled the net worth of many luxury brands into the billions of dollars.

Statista, a marketing data company, has ranked the top ten luxury fashion brands in the world based on their 2017 net worth. Europe has a near-monopoly on top brands, with five founded in France, two in Italy, two in England and just one in the United States. Most of these brands have been in existence for more than a century, maintaining a standard of luxury established over a period of decades.

Louis Vuitton Malletier
With a net worth of $29.2 billion, the Louis Vuitton brand, or simply LV, is the leading luxury fashion brand in the world. This French fashion house and luxury retailer was founded in 1854 as a travel goods company. Today the distinctive LV monogram is in high demand on handbags, luggage, ready-to-wear clothing, shoes, jewelry, timepieces and fragrances that are sold at more than 450 Louis Vuitton retail stores worldwide.

Hermès International S.A.
Perhaps less universally known than other luxury brands on the list, the Hermès brand nevertheless is in second place with a net worth of $23.4 billion. Founded in France in 1837, the company logo of a horse-drawn carriage reflects its origin as a saddlery business. Besides its signature silk scarves, the brand specializes in leather goods, especially high-end handbags. In 2017, a Hermès Birkin handbag was sold at auction for $380,000. The company also markets clothing, jewelry, perfumes and home furnishings.

Gucci Group
Originally started in Florence, Italy, in 1921, the Gucci brand is now part of Kering S.A., an international group of companies that includes Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and several other luxury brands. Gucci’s $13.5 billion net worth comes from clothing for men, women and children, handbags, jewelry, watches, beauty products and home accessories—the full range of popular luxury items.

Founded by famous designer Coco Chanel in 1909, this French luxury brand is said to be worth $11 billion. The brand is known for its perfumes, especially its trademarked No. 5 fragrance, as well as its fashion house, a leader in sales of couture clothing and high-end ready-to-wear. Led by creative director Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel also puts its linked C logo on a wide range of fashion accessories.

Rolex SA
This company has made it to the ranking of top luxury brands on the strength of its wristwatch sales, which gave it a reported net worth of $8 billion. The Swiss company was founded in 1905 in London and relocated to Switzerland a few years later. Rolex watches are widely accepted as among the world’s finest, so its crown logo is fitting.

Société Cartier
Better known simply as Cartier, this French luxury brand was founded in Paris in 1847. World renowned for its jewelry and watches, the company’s net worth is estimated to be $5.9 billion. Cartier also sells leather goods, sunglasses and fragrances, but it’s most famous for its ultra-high-end watches that retail for tens of thousands of dollars.

Burberry Group PLC
This British luxury fashion house is reported to have a net worth of $4.3 billion. Established in London in 1856, the Burberry brand is best known for its signature trench coat and trademark plaid fabric. The brand also sells luxury clothing, accessories, fragrances and cosmetics. The Burberry logo, a knight in armor on a charging steed, reflects the company’s traditional British heritage.

Prada S.p.A
Since its founding in 1913, the Italian luxury fashion house has come to be synonymous with the highest-end clothing, shoes and accessories. Like many other luxury fashion brands, Prada also markets its own sunglasses and fragrances, helping to contribute to its reported $4 billion net worth.

Christian Dior SE
Known throughout the world as Dior, this French fashion house was founded in 1948 and quickly became an iconic luxury brand. Sales of men’s and women’s clothing, children’s wear, leather goods, shoes, accessories, jewelry, fragrance and cosmetics brought a net worth of $2.4 billion. Dior still maintains its Christian Dior Haute Couture division, producing high-end bespoke fashion for women.

Tiffany & Company
The only American company on the top ten luxury brands list, Tiffany’s $2.3 billion net worth comes from the sale of jewelry, silver, china, crystal and a variety of personal accessories. Established in Brooklyn in 1837, the luxury jeweler with the signature blue box is still headquartered in New York City ■

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