Luxury fashion brands that have grown from modest companies to become large fashion empires are some of the most resilient.
We are drawn to anything old and vintage. We love all things old and vintage, from archaic architectures and ancient cultures to family heirlooms or classic films. There are also people who follow some of the most prestigious luxury fashion brands. It’s not surprising that some of these brands date back more than 100 years.
It is fascinating to see that many traditional luxury fashion brands have grown and expanded by creating innovative products that have changed the way we view these commodities. These brands have made desired changes over the years, thanks to their evolving definition of luxury.
Many of the brands that have become icons of luxury, fashion and craftsmanship started small. They went on to create flourishing empires. Their products are admired by royalty around the globe because of their fame. Add to that celebrities and those who want to own timeless, expensive pieces.
These are the oldest luxury fashion brands still around.
For many decades, Gabrielle Coco Chanel, a French fashion designer, ruled Parisian haute couture. She created stylishly casual designs for fashionable women. Her innovations include the Chanel suit, the Chanel quilted purse and the No.5 perfume.
Coco Chanel opened a boutique for hats in 1910. This helped her to build a reputation with French actresses. Her tweed suit was worn by many famous people, including Romy Schneider and Jackie Kennedy. The suit was reimagined during Karl Lagerfeld’s reign as a dress, playsuit, blazer, trousers, and mini skirt. Chanel No.5 was a favorite of Marilyn Monroe and she wore it to bed.
Notable products such as the Chanel Classic Flap Bag 2.55, which was reissued with a rectangular twist lock, the chain, and dual-toned slingback and ballerina shoes, as well the iconic pearl necklace, and double-C diamond-studded ears, were not far behind.
The collaborations that the French fashion brand had with other brands during Lagerfeld’s time as creative director were numerous. Chanel collaborated with H&M, the Swedish high-street giant, Vans and Faber-Castell, as well as Shu Uemura and Shu Uemura.
The French fashion house’s story begins in 1837 when Thierry Hermes opened his first harness-making shop in Paris. The brand was a favorite store of European royalty and served Napoleon Bonaparte. With time, it added more names to its collection. Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy are two examples. It has more than 300 stores across 45 countries today.
The luxury brand has been in existence for six generations and is known for its innovative and sophisticated designs. It has made a lot of progress since its initial Haut a Courroies bag in 1900. The brand then launched accessories, jewellery, and clothing. Constance, Kelly, Bolide, and Kelly are some of the most iconic pieces.
A 2016 study by Baghunter, an online handbag marketplace, further explains the ultra-rich nature of Hermes bags. This research looked at three types of investments and compared them over 35 years. It found that the Birkin bag as a collectible had outpaced both the stock market index S&P 500 and the price of gold, making it a better investment.
The bag is priced between USD 60,000 to USD 200,000 and can be subject to a six-year wait list. A Hermes bag is proudly owned by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, and Victoria Beckham.
Louis Cartier, the founder of luxury brand Luxor, has inscribed his motto on every luxury item he created since 1847. He once stated, “Never copy, always invent.”
Louis created a wearable that was hands-free, at a time when pocket watches were becoming a common accessory for gentlemen. The Tank watch was then created with jewels. It was worn by Michelle Obama and other celebrities such as Jacqueline Onassis, Andy Warhol, and others. Other timeless pieces from the luxury brand include the Ballon Bleu watch worn by Kate Middleton and the gold Panthere de Cartier watches, which were spotted on Anne Hathaway and Sienna Miller.
The heritage label is known for its beautiful jewellery. It has created a remarkable range of signature pieces including bracelets inspired from Indian royalty, and Tutti Frutti bracelets. Wallis Simpson, the wife of King Edward VII, adorned the Panther brooch with the Trinity rings and Princess Diana wore them.
Cartier jewellery has graced the wrists of many high-ranking heads around the globe, including Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco. Grace wore a diamond and ruby platinum tiara to her wedding. Her engagement rings were also made by the brand.
It is the jeweller of choice of royalty, celebrities, and tycoons. Cartier’s Elizabeth Taylor Richard Burton diamond necklace features the 69.42 carat, pear-shaped gemstone.
The luxury multinational brand now has more than 200 boutiques around the world.
Louis Brandt, a Swiss horologist, founded Omega in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1848. Since then, Omega has delivered luxury watches to collectors and horologists for over a century. It is the brand’s reputation for innovative design and exceptional craftsmanship that makes each timepiece so popular. The iconic Omega watches are highly regarded for their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions, operate in space, and dive to the bottom of the ocean.
Its fame is so great that it has been worn by Elvis Presley, the rock ‘n roll king, and former US President John F. Kennedy. An Omega watch is also a favorite of celebrities like Nicole Kidman and George Clooney.
Omega watches are also closely associated with James Bond, with the original timepiece appearing in GoldenEye (1995). The brand has been the official watch of the fictional spy since then. Bond also wore the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M, and the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Edition.
Porsche, a German luxury brand and premium brand, is well-known for its exceptional quality and world-class manufacturing of sports cars. It introduced the Taycan, its first electric car in 2019, to meet the challenges of an eco-conscious world. Porsche was able to establish itself as a leader in sustainability and the first luxury car manufacturer to offer an electric vehicle.
Ferdinand Porsche founded a company in 1948 with 200 employees. Porsche 356, Porsche Carrera GT and Porsche 959 are some of the most recognizable launches of the luxury brand.
Famous Porsche owners include Adriana Lima and Gwen Stefani, Wiz Khalifa and Miley Cyrus.
Rimowa and Porsche recently collaborated to create a limited-edition collector’s case, Hand-Carry Case Pepita. This case was inspired by the first-generation Porsche 911.
Louis Vuitton opened his first store in Paris in 1854. Vuitton spent 17 years studying the market and honing his skills before opening his first shop. The luxury French house offers a wide range of luxury bags, leather goods, ready to wear, shoes, watches and jewellery as well as accessories and books.
Louis Vuitton’s first product was the Louis Vuitton Steamer Trunk. It featured the iconic Trianon canvas in a grey-patterned pattern. The modern traveler’s bag, the Louis Vuitton Keepall, followed suit. It featured the iconic LV monogram, floral designs, and leather accents at first. Later, it was available in many colours, prints, including Murakami’s Cerise, Multicolour, and Virgil Abloh’s PVC version.
Other iconic creations of the brand include the first handbag Alma, the bucket-bag Noe that holds champagne bottles, Speedy, which was ordered by Audrey Hepburn to go on her daily travels. The Capucines and City Steamer were also created.
Louis Vuitton is the most famous celebrity when it comes high-end luggage and glamorous travel.
The brand’s love for fashion and creativity has allowed it to expand its reach. The most well-known collaborations include those with Takashi Murakami, a Japanese contemporary artist from 2003 to 2015. Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese artist in 2012 and the Louis Vuitton x Supreme line in 2017.
The luxury fashion house appealed to Gen Z by launching Louis the Game, an adventure-based video game that celebrates the 200th anniversary of Louis the Game’s birth.
Bulgari icons are timeless: vibrant floral designs that exude creativity, the watch, Bulgari Monete pieces with antique Roman coins, and the mythical serpentine talisman are all examples of Bulgari treasures.
The luxury brand was founded in 1884 by Sotirios Voulgaris (a Greek silversmith). It became known for its distinctive jewellery made in gold and silver, striking color combinations, and unique motifs that were inspired by the company’s Roman heritage.
The ‘Dolce Vita” years of the Eternal City, which saw the creations of Bugalri flourished, was what added to their fame. Famous films such as Roman Holidays were shot there. Bulgari was featured in more than 40 films thanks to the label’s shop in Rome. Taylor stated that Bvlgari’s shop was “undeniably” one of the greatest advantages to filming Cleopatra at Rome.
Its signature pieces were also worn by stars as they walked the red carpet at film festivals such as Venice, Cannes, and Golden Globes. Charlize Theron wore the Serpenti Necklace to the 91st Annual Academy Awards. Lady Gaga wore the BVLGARI heritage and High Jewellery necklace and earrings to the LA premiere in A Star is Born (2018).
Mario Prada and Martino, his brother, opened their first Milan store in 1913. They sold a variety of products, most of them imported from England, such as handbags, leather goods and steamer trunks. Mario retired and passed the brand’s ownership on to Luisa, his daughter. Luisa’s daughter Miuccia succeeded her as Prada’s successor. She also launched Miu Miu, her own brand that was a subsidiary to Prada.
Prada is well-known for its innovative and pioneering designs, which are often displayed on runways. Miuccia’s first Fall/Winter 1988 collection featured designs that were modern and understated luxury, at a time when excessive amounts of any kind was considered glamourous excess.
In the years that followed Prada introduced something new or brought back tones that were lost, like the muted avocado greens, earthy browns, and archival Bowling Bag. In 2018, Prada relaunched the Linea Rossa collection, which is sport-inspired to reflect the 21st century’s evolving ideas.
According to 2021 Vogue, Miuccia Prada doesn’t like collaborations either. According to the publication, she said that she had been asked for a collaboration “since ages!” They seemed to care only about making more sales, about banality and cliches, rather than about creating new ideas. Prada teamed up with Adidas to create an all-white version of the Adidas Superstar sneaker and a line of accessories and bags in 2022.