20 Of The Top American Luxury Fashion Designers

In today's global economy it is easy to become consumed with the decadent designs of the European fashion houses. American luxury designers have been somewhat under-appreciated being left in the dust of Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Hermes thanks to these designers being a type of  status symbol attracting new money. While there is essentially no difference in quality between European or American luxury designers, American designers have a way of leaving the pretentiousness at the door. Younger consumers have shown a preference for American designers due to their willingness to experiment with bright colors and trendy designs set at a price point that won't break the bank as many European designers have outrageous price points that can seem untouchable at times. Many American luxury designers have taken their designs to the next level creating an entire empire on their vision alone. Here is a list of the top twenty American luxury designers that represent the finest clothing America has to offer.

20 Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang first appeared on the runway in 2007 with a goal of designing "clothes that girls want to wear." Wang presents a more laid-back style that is still downtown ready. The Parsons dropout gained his experience by interning for Marc Jacobs, Vogue and Derek Lam and then moved on to create his first line of unisex cashmere sweaters. Wang's fresh designs attract younger celebrities such as Nicky Hilton, Ellen Page and Blake Lively.

19 Zac Posen

18 Rick Owens

Rick Owens is a California native that started is brand back in 1994 after dropping out of Otis College of Art and Design in LA.  He started his own label selling exclusively to Charles Gallay, who owned an exclusive boutique in West Hollywood that is known to carry designer firsts. His designs have been described as "glamour meets grunge." In 1999 Owens landed his line in Barneys and has never looked back since, moving on to living in Paris designing for Revillon, the well established fur company.

17 Tom Ford

16 John Varvatos

15 Kate Spade

14 Tory Burch

13 Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier is widely known for her couture wedding dresses. Lhuillier started her design house with her husband in 1996 and has since exploded into one of the top leading fashion houses. Lhuillier's designs emulate luxury and femininity which is why so many adore her.  Celebrity brides who wore Lhuillier for their big day include Reese Witherspoon, Britney Spears and Pink.  It is not surprising with dressing such A-listers that Lhuillier's bridal business grosses over $20 million per year.

12 Anna Sui

Anna Sui's extraordinary fashions first walked the runway in 1991.  Sui is known for her almost theatrical designs and bright usage of colors that she says stems from her childhood days. While her designs can still be considered luxury due to her whimsical use of patterns, Sui has always believed in offering more fashion for the price.  Her celebrity clientele includes Nicole Richie, Fergie and Vanessa Hudgens.

11 Badgley Mischka

Mark Badgley and James Mischka have been designing together since 1988, creating stylish evening wear that is always embellished with luxurious details. Vogue coined their name to be synonymous with "delicately decorative dresses."  Their list of clients is anything but ordinary, from presidential daughters to celebrities such as Catherine Zeta Jones, Madonna, Julia Roberts and Sharon Stone. Every woman who's ever wanted to look glam for an evening has worn a Badgley Mischka.

10 Vera Wang

Famously known for her exquisite wedding dresses, Vera Wang made it the standard for Brides to have custom-made, over the top, wedding dresses for their big day. In 1990, Wang opened up her first bridal boutique, offering brides the ability to create what they had always envisioned. In 1993 Wang decided to take her designs to the red carpet and created her own label known as Vera Wang. Celebs have flocked to Wang for their wedding dresses and her celebrity clientele includes Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez.

9 Donna Karan

8 Marc Jacobs

7 Betsey Johnson

6 Michael Kors

5 Diane von Furstenberg

4 Carolina Herrera

3 Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta, also known as the "Guru of Glamour" has been designing since the sixties. His designs are loved by women since they are always romantic and feminine while remaining appropriate.  Not only does De la Renta have clothing lines, but he also introduced accessories in 2001 and a home line in 2002.  He dressed two first ladies on Inauguration Day, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush and has had a slew of celebrities in his dresses for the red carpet, Sarah Jessica Parker, Eva Longoria and Penelope Cruz to name a few.

2 Calvin Klein

1 Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren started his global empire back in 1968 with a handmade line of menswear. His brand has gone on to include women's fashions, fragrances, home furnishings and just about anything else one can image. Lauren's designs embody a fresh, tailored, all-American look that can only be achieved with the signature polo symbol that represents the Lauren empire.

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