THE 10 OLDEST LUXURY BRANDS STILL IN OPERATION
10. YVES SAINT LAURENT
Founded in 1961 by Yves Saint Laurent, the French luxury fashion house is in tenth place on our list of the world’s oldest luxury brands. Only five years after launching his brand, Yves Saint Laurent introduced his famous ‘le Smoking’. Other iconic items include the sheer blouse and the jumpsuit.
YSL was recently renamed Saint Laurent and is now owned by Kering. Its creative director is Anthony Vaccarello. The brand markets women and men’s ready-to-wear products, leather goods, shoes, and jewelry.
For ninth place we are travelling to Rome, Italy, where fashion house Valentino was founded in 1960 by Valentino Garavani. The luxury brand quickly earned a reputation for its red dresses – in a shade that would become known as Valentino Red. Valentino made his international debut in 1962 and his clientele included many famous artists and members of the elite. Alongside his red dresses, Valentino’s Rockstud shoes and studded bags also achieved iconic status over the time.
Valentino is a part of the Valentino Fashion Group and is headquartered in Milan. Pier Paolo Piccioli has been its creative director since October 2008. The brand markets women’s haute couture and ready-to-wear products, leather goods, watches and jewelry.
The French luxury fashion and perfume house Givenchy occupies eighth place on our list of the world’s oldest luxury brands. Founded in 1952 by designer Hubert de Givenchy, the brand is a member of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret-a-Porter.
Givenchy focuses on cool fashion with a chic vibe. The Bettina blouse is iconic, as is the Nightingale bag, the Pandora bag, the Antigona bag and the Rottweiler print. Ricardo Tisci has been Givenchy’s creative director since 2005. The brand markets haute couture clothing, accessories, perfumes and cosmetics.
Dior made it to seventh place in our ranking. The French luxury goods company was founded in 1946 by Christian Dior. With his first collection, the iconic French designer introduced the world to the New Look: a very feminine line, with a narrow waist and knee-length skirts. The brand is famous for its iconic handbags like the Lady Dior.
The House of Dior is controlled and chaired by French businessman Bernard Arnault, who also heads the world’s largest luxury group LVMH. Its creative director is Maria Grazia Chiuri. The company designs and retails haute couture, ready-to-wear, leather goods, fashion accessories, footwear, jewelry, timepieces, fragrances, make-up and skincare products.
6. NINA RICCI
The haute couture house of Nina Ricci ranks sixth on our list and was founded in 1932 by Maria Nina Ricci and her son Robert in Paris. The brand’s designs are very simplistic, yet very feminine, refined and romantic. Nina Ricci’s name is most well-known for iconic perfumes like L’air du Temps.
Today, the brand’s fashion empire is owned by Spanish beauty and fashion group Puig. With its creative director Guillaume Henry, the luxury brand markets fashion, cosmetics and perfumes.
Prada is ranked fifth in our list of the world’s oldest luxury brands. Mario Prada founded the house of Prada in 1913 and started his business by only selling leather goods. He originally sold English leather goods, before the brand started to produce its own leather items made from the iconic Saffiano material.
The house of Prada is known today for iconic pieces like the Saffiano Lux tote and the Nylon backpack. Besides leather goods, the Italian luxury brand specializes in travel accessories, shoes, ready-to-wear, perfumes and accessories.
Chanel made it to fourth place in our ranking. The French luxury brand was founded by Gabrielle Coco Chanel in 1909. She started her business with hat making, but soon branched out into making comfortable clothing for women – a real revolution at the time. In fact, all of Chanel’s designs were revolutionary and timeless. The most iconic items are the Chanel Classic Flap bag and the Chanel tweed jacket.
Chanel is privately owned today by Alain and Gérard Wertheimer, the grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of Gabrielle Chanel. The high fashion house specializes in haute couture and ready-to-wear products, luxury goods and fashion accessories.
Lanvin is a French high fashion house that was founded by Jeanne Lanvin in 1889, meaning it places third in our ranking. In the beginning, Lanvin mainly produced dresses for mothers and daughters. After a while, menswear, lingerie and fur were added to the collection. Lanvin was the first fashion house where the entire family could shop.
Since 2001, Shaw-Lan Wang, a Taiwanese media magnate, owns the high fashion brand. Its creative director is Bouchra Jarrar. The brand markets women and men’s apparel, accessories, perfumes and jewelry.
2. LOUIS VUITTON
Louis Vuitton ranks second place in our list of the world’s oldest luxury brands. The French fashion house was founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The French designer started his business with trunks made from canvas bearing the brand’s iconic monogram print. After a while, he introduced the first Louis Vuitton bag, a big weekend bag called the Keepall. Soon after, he released a smaller version of the Keepall: the iconic Speedy. Many famous bags followed, such as the Alma and the Neverfull.
Louis Vuitton is owned by the world’s largest luxury group LVMH. Its creative director is Nicolas Ghesquiere. The label’s LV monogram appears on most of its products, ranging from luxury trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes, watches, jewelry and accessories.
And the winner is... Hermès! The French fashion house is the world’s oldest luxury brand still in operation today. It was established in 1837 by Thierry Hermès. The designer originally produced saddles and other equestrian supplies. The first unofficial Hermès bag, which was purely designed as an addition to their riding supplies, was advertised for carrying saddles. Many bags followed, with the exclusive Kelly and Birkin bags being their most successful and iconic products.
Hermès is famous for its logo featuring a Duc carriage and horse. Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski is the brand’s creative director. The luxury fashion brand specializes in leather, lifestyle accessories, home furnishings, perfumery, jewelry, watches and ready-to-wear.
Behind the scenes: 50 years in fashion logistics
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