Designer brands are desirable and set trends. If you want to upgrade your wardrobe with luxury items, learn about the top designers.
Exquisite styles, social status, and high-quality materials are reasons to buy designer brands.
Whether you want a luxurious watch, clothes, or bags, a designer’s at the forefront of the industry.
While it comes with a high price tag, the brands are an excellent way to add a touch of luxury to your life.
Some of the most popular include Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, and Burberry.
But, there are many others, including some of the most prestigious in the world.
Before buying designer products, read the following guide on the brands you need to know.
It’s your A-Z guide to designer brands.
Founded: 1996 in Sweden
Acne Studios is a Swedish luxury fashion house. It was founded by Jonny Johansson in 1996.
At first, the brand’s specialty was jeans. Now, Acne Studios offers men’s and women’s ready-to-wear clothing, footwear, and accessories.
If you want a timeless style with Scandinavian touches, check out Acne Studios.
Founded: 1992 in United Kingdom
Alexander McQueen is a British luxury fashion house. Lee Alexander McQueen founded the company after an apprenticeship as a tailor on Savile Row.
The brand is famous for its bold, artistic, edgy, and tailored pieces.
Alexander McQueen’s catwalk shows became renown for unforgettable moments and designs.
In 2000, Sarah Burton became the Head of Design for womenswear and the Creative Director in 2010.
Under Burton’s leadership, the brand produced some of its best-known collections.
The brand is also a part of Kering, which owns Gucci, Balenciaga, and Bottega Veneta.
Alexander McQueen has a strong brand identity and offers pieces that stand out.
Founded: 2014 in California, USA
Amiri is Mike Amiri’s namesake label. The brand blends West Coast rock ‘n’ roll with streetwear.
Amiri started by creating custom clothing for musicians. Examples include Axl Rose and Steven Tyler.
In 2014, Amiri launched its first capsule with Los Angeles retailer Maxfield.
The brand offers men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, footwear, and accessories.
What makes Amiri unique is local manufacturing. It produces its ready-to-wear pieces in the LA Arts District.
The materials come from Italy, France, and Japan.
Founded: 1975 in Italy
Armani is a luxury fashion house by Giorgio Armani.
It’s one of the best-known and respected designer brands in the industry.
The company also has a few sub-brands. There’s the less expensive Armani Exchange and nightclubs under Armani Clubs.
Giorgio Armani is the signature line. It has a high-end, timeless, and elegant appeal.
Emporio Armani targets young professionals with contemporary designs.
Between the two sub-brands, you’ll find everyday clothes and pieces for dressing up.
Founded: 1919 in Spain
Balenciaga is a Spanish designer brand, now more than a century old.
Its founder Cristóbal Balenciaga revolutionized women’s fashion with innovative shapes and styles. The sack dress in 1957 is a prime example.
Now, Demna Gvasalia is the creative director. Gvasalia is behind the sock sneaker, one of the best-known items from the brand.
Balenciaga is a part of Kering, which owns Saint Laurent and Gucci.
If you want to shop from a high-end, inventive, and quality brand, Balenciaga is it.
Founded: 1851 in Switzerland
Bally isn’t as popular as Gucci or Louis Vuitton, but it’s an excellent brand.
The Swiss company is one of the oldest luxury brands in the world.
While Bally started with shoes, it now offers ready-to-wear items and accessories.
The brand is known for quality and timeless styles. It’s the ideal brand for durable leather goods and classic staples.
Founded: 1945 in France
Balmain is a French Haute fashion house. The brand focuses on excellent quality and unique style.
Founder Pierre Balmain started the company after working alongside Christian Dior and Hubert de Givenchy at Lucien Lelong.
Balmain pieces feature signature embellishments. You’ll find superb details like gold medallions and Balmain’s logo.
The quality and fit of Balmain items are some of the best in the industry.
Since 2011, Olivier Rousteing has been the creative director.
Rousteing created the Balmain Army of celebrities and models. It made the brand more famous and popular online.
Founded: 1895 in France
Berluti began with bespoke footwear in 1895 in Paris. In 1993, LVMH acquired the brand.
Now, Berluti offers high-end ready-to-wear and accessories. It’s one of the few fashion houses that cater to men.
Berluti is an innovative brand, as it introduced the Berluti patina.
Instead of only having black and brown shoes, the supple and smooth leather comes in many colors. Examples include green or purple.
Make a unique style statement with Berluti. The name is synonymous with quality craftsmanship and elegance.
Also, the company only uses the most exclusive materials. It develops its fabrics and materials.
Founded: 1998 in Texas, USA
Billy Reid is an American designer not based in California or New York but Alabama.
The brand is all about American luxury. The clothes have a lived-in feel, and most are made in the USA.
You’ll find durable, timeless, and stylish clothing for men and women.
One of the most famous items from Billy Reid is the sleek Bond Peacoat.
Actor Daniel Craig bought it from Billy Reid’s store in London. He wore it in a scene of Skyfall and No Time to Die.
Founded: 1945 in Italy
Brioni is one of the most prestigious menswear brands. Its dedication to quality materials and craftsmanship ensures it lasts.
Celebrities, executives, and politicians turn to the brand for clothes.
It exudes elegance, sophistication, and style.
You won’t find flashy and trendy items. Instead, Brioni takes pride in its timeless yet contemporary pieces.
Brioni also uses a unique 220-step process to create its suits.
The process takes more than 24 hours and 7,000 hand-made hidden stitches.
The fine materials and detailed process make Brioni one of the best designer brands.
Founded: 1978 in Italy
Many call Brunello Cucinelli the King of Cashmere. The Italian designer is best-known for luxury knits.
Aside from cashmere, it offers men’s and women’s ready-to-wear items, eyewear, and home decor.
Also, the brand has a humanist and ethical approach to fashion.
So, Brunello Cucinelli is a designer brand with good values and superb craftsmanship.
Founded: 1966 in Italy
Bottega Veneta roughly translates to Venetian Workshop.
The Italian luxury fashion house offers ready-to-wear lines for men and women, accessories, footwear, and fragrances.
The Knot, Pouch, and Cabat bags are some of the most popular items from the brand.
Bottega Veneta doesn’t flaunt its logo. Instead, many of the products stand out due to the signature intertwined weave.
Flawless craftsmanship, elegance, and innovative style are reasons to love the brand.
Founded: 1856 in United Kingdom
Burberry is one of the most iconic and prestigious designer brands.
The British luxury fashion house offers clothes, accessories, footwear, cosmetics, and eyewear.
Thomas Burberry started the company to protect people from cold and harsh weather.
That’s when the famous Burberry trench coat came into the picture. It’s a durable, tailored, and fashionable trench coat.
It comes with a hefty price tag, but its timeless look and long-lasting build make it worth it.
Burberry is also known for the Haymarket Check pattern and knight logo.
You can find high-end bags and ready-to-wear pieces.
Founded: 1945 in France
Celine is a French luxury brand. It’s known for its contemporary, understated, and chic designs.
The brand offers high-end ready-to-wear pieces, accessories, leather goods, and shoes.
The craftsmanship is high-quality, and the products stand the test of time.
Phoebe Philo became the creative director in 2008. Philo had an elegant and minimalistic take on Céline Vipiana’s original aesthetic.
In 2018, Phoebe Philo stepped down after a successful decade.
Hedi Slimane from Saint Laurent took over. Slimane gets credit for expanding Celine’s menswear market.
Celine is a part of LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Christian Dior.
Founded: 1910 in France
Chanel is a premier French fashion house. The brand focuses on women’s fashion, jewelry, leather goods, and cosmetics.
Aside from Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld made one of the biggest impacts on the brand.
He designed Chanel’s haute couture and ready-to-wear.
Lagerfeld also created the double-C logo, making Chanel recognizable anywhere.
Some of the most influential people wear Chanel. Princess Diana and Jackie Kennedy are two out of the many.
Few luxury companies have the influence and impact as Chanel on fashion.
For over a century, Chanel made luxury comfortable.
Founded: 1991 in France
You can spot the red bottoms of Christian Louboutin shoes anywhere. They need no introduction.
While the brand focuses on shoes, it also offers accessories and bags.
Since launching in 1991, celebrities and royalty sported the red bottoms.
The premium materials and attention to detail make the shoes a work of art.
If you want a pair of new shoes or bags, look no further than Christian Louboutin.
Comme des Garçons
Founded: 1969 in Japan
Comme des Garçons (CDG) is a Japenese label based in Paris.
The name translates to “like boys” and is one of the most sought-after designer brands.
At Comme des Garçons, you’ll find clothing, accessories, and fragrances.
If you want something unconventional and artistic, CDG is an excellent brand for you.
Some of the pieces are also ideal for everyday wear.
Founded: 1946 in France
Christian Dior, better known as Dior, is a French luxury fashion house.
While the brand is now a part of LVMH, its formal and minimal style remains.
Dior is one of the most influential companies. After World War II, women wore unflattering skirts.
Christian Dior started a revolution by introducing unique silhouettes. The skirts were shorter, fuller, and had a tighter waist.
Dior focused the clothes around the curves of the female body.
Now, the brand continues to flourish. Dior also offers menswear, accessories, bags, fragrances, and cosmetics.
The company has a rich heritage and gives you status.
Dolce & Gabbana
Founded: 1985 in Italy
Dolce & Gabbana is an Italian luxury fashion house founded by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.
D&G sticks to its heritage with Sicilian styles.
The brand started with women’s knitwear, beachwear, and lingerie.
Now, Dolce & Gabanna offers high-end menswear, bags, accessories, fragrances, and cosmetics.
The brand does an excellent job of combining classic with modern. You’ll find understated and vivid pieces.
Founded: 1994 in Italy
Dean and Dan Caten founded DSquared2 to combine Canadian and Italian influences.
It’s a high street luxury brand mixing excellent tailoring with contemporary styles.
DSquared2 is popular in the music industry. Madonna, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears helped propel the brand forward.
The brand offers ready-to-wear pieces, bags, accessories, and footwear.
Denim and t-shirts are some of their best-selling items.
Fear of God
Founded: 2013 in California, USA
Fear of God is one of the youngest designer brands. Founder Jerry Lorenzo has a unique take on fashion.
The brand fuses high fashion with sportswear.
It began with casual pieces and moved into traditional menswear and footwear.
Fear of God has collaborated with other labels and celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Nike.
Jerry Lorenzo also created Essentials as a subsidiary of Fear of God. It’s less expensive and wildly popular.
Founded: 1925 in Italy
Fendi is an original designer brand, as it’s almost a century old.
What started as a fur and leather shop is now an Italian luxury fashion house.
Fendi produces ready-to-wear items, leather goods, accessories, and fragrances.
The brand offers distinctive designs and is synonymous with luxury.
One way it stands out is with the signature double “F” logo. The motif came while Karl Lagerfeld was the creative director.
Fendi has a unique and bold style.
In 2001, LVMH acquired the brand.
Founded: 1952 in France
Givenchy is a Parisian luxury fashion house. It’s known for its chic and sophisticated designs.
The brand focuses on casual yet modern and fresh pieces.
It offers men’s and women’s clothing, beauty products, and accessories.
The clothes are timeless and well-made, so they’ll last a long time.
Aside from quality and design, Givenchy is sported by celebrities and politicians.
Examples include Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Kim Kardashian, and Meghan Markle.
Givenchy is a prestigious brand with items that won’t go out of style.
Founded: 1921 in Italy
Gucci has a rich heritage and has been around for more than a century.
The Italian luxury fashion house offers clothes, bags, accessories, footwear, and beauty products.
It’s a renowned name, and its logo with two G’s is recognizable anywhere.
The double-G logo comes from its founder, Guccio Gucci’s initials.
Some popular products include the Gucci Bit Loafer and GG Marmont Leather Belt.
The brand offers quality craftsmanship and fashion-forward designs.
Founded: 1837 in France
Hermès is one of the oldest designer brands, as it’s over 180 years old.
It specializes in clothing for men and women, home decor, accessories, bags, and cosmetics.
The brand combines a rich heritage with superb craftsmanship and attention to detail.
Its products are unique, alluring, and ultra-luxurious.
The Birkin bag is one of its most iconic products. But, its jewelry and accessories are also popular.
Hermès is an exclusive and prestigious brand. You gain status wearing its products.
Founded: 1924 in Germany
Hugo Boss is a German luxury fashion house with a wide range of products.
The brand offers minimalistic, tailored, and elegant designs with a timeless appeal.
Hugo Boss is almost a century old and has a global presence.
It offers ready-to-wear clothes, footwear, and accessories.
The brand has a dedication to perfect fits, quality materials, and versatile products.
Whether you’re shopping for athleisure or businesswear, check out Hugo Boss.
Founded: 1970 in France
Kenzo is a French luxury fashion house by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada.
The brand is best known for the poppy and tiger logo.
Many of the items are bright and playful. You’ll find footwear, ready-to-wear pieces, and accessories from Kenzo.
It’s not the best brand for understated or professional clothes.
But, it’s ideal for streetwear, bold, and eye-catching styles.
Founded: 1889 in France
Lanvin is a long-standing luxury fashion house.
The brand focuses on accessories, footwear, fragrances, and ready-to-wear pieces for men and women.
While some designs are trendy, many of Lanvin’s items are timeless and chic.
Pastel colors, unique patterns, and quality fabrics were the reasons Lanvin became one of the top designer brands.
Founded: 1846 in Spain
Loewe is a Spanish luxury fashion house founded in 1846.
The brand is known for its timeless and elegant designs. Loewe also has high-quality craftsmanship.
It’s one of the few remaining luxury brands that produces its products in Spain.
The commitment to quality and craftsmanship made Loewe one of the most respected designer brands.
It has also become known for its modern and innovative designs. The new style attracts a new generation of fans.
With its combination of classic and contemporary styles, Loewe offers something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for a classic handbag or modern jewelry, it’ll have something to suit your taste.
Founded: 1924 in Italy
Loro Piana is one of the leading designer brands. It’s also a part of LVMH.
The brand is synonymous with exquisitely crafted clothes and accessories.
Loro Piana’s attention to detail and timeless style make it perfect for men and women.
The material and construction of Loro Piana products are better than most luxury brands. It’s the epitome of Italian elegance.
Founded: 1854 in France
Louis Vuitton needs no introduction. It’s one of the most valuable and popular designer brands.
You could recognize the LV monogram pattern anywhere.
It offers clothes, bags, accessories, fragrances, and home decor.
Louis Vuitton has the perfect balance of tradition and innovation.
Whether you love classic elegance or fashion-forward styles, the brand will have something for you.
Since there’s so much demand for LV, it’s not the ideal brand if you want something rarer.
Founded: 1988 in France
Maison Margiela is a French luxury fashion house that’s one of the most influential brands.
Its unique, creative, and avant-garde designs make it stand out.
The brand offers clothes, footwear, fragrances, and accessories.
It has a bold vision and a loyal following among the fashion community and celebrities.
Maison Margiela products are ideal if you want to turn heads.
While it has a lot of hype, the quality is excellent. Maison Margiela products are durable and feature top-notch craftsmanship.
Founded: 1994 in Italy
Marni is a high-end fashion brand known for its eclectic and individualistic style.
The brand uses high-quality fabrics and construction. But, its playful and unexpected designs make it stand out.
Marni focuses on bold colors, interesting prints, and unconventional thinking.
Founded: 1953 in Italy
Missoni is an Italian fashion house known for its bright and colorful designs.
It was founded by a couple, Ottavio and Rosita Missoni.
The bold style and patterns make it one of the most recognizable designer brands.
It offers clothing, accessories, and home decor.
If you want a quality product with a unique design, check out Missoni.
Founded: 1993 in Italy
Miu Miu is known as Prada’s little sister. That’s due to the high fashion brand being a part of Prada.
Also, Miuccia Prada is the grandchild of Prada’s founder.
Despite Miu Miu’s connection to Prada, it has proven itself as one of the best designer brands.
Miu Miu focuses on women’s clothing and accessories.
The brands aesthetic is sophisticated, unique, and youthful.
If you want to freshen your wardrobe with eye-catching clothes, consider Miu Miu.
Founded: 1952 in France
Moncler is one of the most well-known fashion brands. The brand started in France and moved to Italy, where it began to blossom.
When you hear the name, your mind goes to high-quality outerwear.
Aside from outerwear, Moncler also offers other clothes, footwear, and accessories.
While the jackets are pricey, they’re functional and stylish. Moncler makes some of the most beautiful jackets.
Founded: 2013 in Italy
Off-White is a popular fashion brand founded in 2013 by Virgil Abloh.
The brand is known for its streetwear and accessories. Many of the items often feature bold graphics and oversized silhouettes.
Off-White has also become a coveted label among celebrities and fashion enthusiasts.
It combines elements of high fashion with a more casual streetwear look.
Off-White also offers inclusive sizing, with many pieces available in sizes up to 4XL.
Whether you’re looking for a statement piece or a wardrobe staple, you can find it at Off-White.
Founded: 1970 in United Kingdom
Paul Smith stands out for its splash of color on its pieces.
The British brand offers ready-to-wear items, accessories, bags, footwear, and home decor.
You’ll find a lot of timeless items with a fun twist.
A lot of the clothes feature bright colors and stripes. It makes you instantly cheerful.
Paul Smith is also known for the pink wall of its store in Los Angeles.
Founded: 1913 in Italy
Prada is one of the most notable Italian fashion houses. Since 1913, the brand has combined classic styling with modern touches.
Prada offers clothes, bags, and accessories.
Its high-end products feature innovative designs, quality materials, and elegance.
Whether you’re looking for a bag or trendy clothes, Prada will have something that suits your needs.
The brand doesn’t disappoint with its exclusive and stunning products.
Founded: 1967 in New York, USA
Ralph Lauren is a popular clothing brand known for its classic style.
The brand offers a wide range of items, including everything from casual wear to formal attire.
Ralph Lauren is also a popular choice for travel clothes and sportswear.
The Purple Label is the luxury sector of the brand. The quality and design are impeccable.
You’ll find clothes you can wear for decades. They won’t go out of style or wear out easily.
Founded: 1972 in Italy
Roberto Cavalli is a high-end fashion brand known for its glamorous and sexy designs.
The brand uses animal prints and other bold designs to stand out.
They’re often very feminine, vibrant, and colorful.
If you want to make a statement, give Roberto Cavalli a try.
While the brand isn’t for everyone, it’s unique and eye-catching.
Founded: 1961 in France
Saint Laurent is a French luxury fashion house owned by Kering. It was founded by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé.
The brand is known for its modern and glamourous designs.
Many of the styles are inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s native country of France.
Saint Laurent is also one of the few high-end fashion brands that offer a wide range of sizes.
It’s a great option for people of all shapes and sizes.
Splurge-worthy investment pieces, trendy items, or elegant bags, Saint Laurent has it all.
Founded: 1927 in Italy
Salvatore Ferragamo is a luxury Italian brand known for quality, excellence, and innovation.
The brand is almost a century old and continues to be a leading designer.
Salvatore Ferragamo offers accessories, fragrances, and ready-to-wear clothes for men and women.
It doesn’t flaunt its flashy logo everywhere but gives you a timeless and regal feel.
The top-notch quality ensures it’s long-lasting.
Founded: 2001 in France
Stella McCartney is a French luxury fashion brand. It’s known for being fur and leather-free.
The sustainability and ethical aspect of the brand make it stand out.
Stella McCartney is innovative and makes timeless clothes. You can find ready-to-wear pieces, bags, and footwear.
If you want to support a luxury brand that’s not green-washing, Stella McCartney is the one.
Founded: 1982 in Italy
Stone Island is an Italian menswear brand.
It’s a leader in outerwear and workwear because of technology and innovative materials.
Stone Island is all about functional yet stylish clothes. The brand is brilliant and has a massive following in Europe.
It also started producing reflective and heat-reactive items early in the 1980s.
If you love streetwear and want aesthetics with function, check out Stone Island.
Founded: 1900 in Italy
Tod’s is all about an elegant and refined style. Since 1900, the Italian luxury brand has produced high-quality items.
It offers footwear, bags, and ready-to-wear pieces.
All products are handmade and follow a meticulous process.
While Tod’s isn’t a flashy brand, it portrays understated prestige.
It’s the ideal brand if modern luxury aligns with your style.
Founded: 2001 in New York, USA
Thom Browne is a luxury fashion company owned by Zegna. The brand has clothes, accessories, and fragrances.
It’s also recognizable by its four horizontal stripes seen on many items.
Whether you want high-end casual wear or an elegant suit, Thom Browne is an excellent choice.
The brand makes its products in the USA, Japan, and Italy with quality materials.
It’s a designer brand you can trust for superb quality and construction.
Founded: 2005 in New York, USA
Tom Ford was the creative director of Gucci and Saint Laurent before starting his eponymous brand in 2004.
Since then, the Tom Ford brand quickly rose.
The brand offers ready-to-wear pieces, accessories, cosmetics, and fragrances.
Tom Ford isn’t trendy or attention-seeking. Instead, the brand has timeless, luxurious, and elegant clothes.
Quality materials, excellent tailoring, and impeccable style are what you get with Tom Ford.
Founded: 1960 in Italy
Valentino is a powerhouse in Italian fashion and was founded by Valentino Garavani.
The brand is known for haute couture, ready-to-wear clothing, accessories, fragrances, and cosmetics.
There’s also another brand, Valentino by Mario Valentino. It’s not the same company, as Valentino Garavani’s brand dominates high-end fashion.
Garavani also has an iconic shade of red, which people call Valentino red. His style is chic and sophisticated.
Founded: 1978 in Italy
Versace is an Italian luxury fashion company founded by Gianni Versace.
The brand is known for being glamorous, bold, and vibrant.
It offers ready-to-wear pieces for men and women and home decor products.
Its logo is the head of the Greek mythological figure, Medusa.
Versace wants people to fall in love with the brand without any way back, like Medusa.
It’s one of the most popular labels, so the Versace mission is complete.
The brand is a desired label among celebrities, royalty, and the wealthy.
Founded: 1910 in Italy
Zegna specializes in menswear and accessories. It’s an Italian luxury fashion house that uses high-quality and sustainable materials.
Aside from sustainability, Zegna offers timeless silhouettes and clothes that age well.
It’s more than a century old, and since its start, Zegna has made men look exquisite.
When you buy pieces from the brand, you’ll experience clean Italian tailoring. It makes you look impeccable.
Frequently asked questions about designer brands
What are the top 10 luxury designer brands?
The 10 best and coolest luxury designer brands are Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermès, Chanel, Dior, Prada, Versace, Balenciaga, Valentino, and Saint Laurent.
What are the best mid-priced designer brands?
If you’re looking for affordable designer brands, the best options are Ted Baker London, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Tommy Hilfiger.
What’s the hottest designer brand right now?
The hottest designer brands right now are Bottega Veneta, Bvlgari, Saint Laurent, and Balmain.
Luxury designers stand out because of their exclusive and desirable brands.
If you want to buy from a designer brand, understand your options.
The most popular brands include Louis Vuitton, Balmain, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Chanel, Prada, and Versace.
Check out the different brands to see which resonates with you.
Featured image courtesy of Canva.
About David Em
David Em is the founder of Next Level Gents, the ultimate destination for tips and advice about style, grooming, fitness, and success.