To many of us fashion may appear a confusing mix of gimmicks and rapidly changing necklines. Unless you're Carrie Bradshaw or a member of Gossip Girl it feels almost impossible to keep up with the latest trends. For those who try to remain stylish the cost can be astronomical, a reputation for extravagance that the big brands are fully willing to exploit.
Even since the beginning of the new millennium we've already been through a plethora of style eras. There was Minimalist, Boho and Vintage, popularized by waif-like beauties such as Sienna Miller and 'it girl' Kate Moss. Repeatedly decades were revived and revamped, including the return of the 80s in 2006 (when skinny jeans truly returned and leather jackets were ‘hot’ again). More recently leggings and yoga pants have left the gym to become a staple of our day-to day wardrobe (unfortunately resulting in the emergence of the phrase ‘camel toe’).
Some may try to follow it, while others try desperately to stand out from the crowd, but whatever your stance fashion is an inescapable facet of modern life. We will always need clothes, and fashion retailers will always find new ways of manipulating fabric to cover us up and keep us warm. Some trends may appear confusing to the outside observer; however as ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ taught us, what these designers create is (for many people) ‘greater than art because you live your life in it’.
There is some serious money to be made from looking fabulous; magazine and billboards are filled with the next great outfit which you ‘simply must buy’. Even the simplest pair of jeans often represents hours upon hours of detailed design and the effort behind that LBD would make your head spin. From designing to production, marketing to sales this industry employs hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, making their companies incredibly rich in the process. And the richest of the rich? That'd be these 5 fashion brands, with the biggest annual revenue.
10 Levi Strauss & Co., $4.67 billion
9 Coach, Inc., $4.76 billion
8 Phillips-Van Heusen Corp, $6.04 billion
7 Estèe Lauder, $9.71 billion
6 Richemont, $11.83 billion
5 Christian Dior, $11.91 billion
4 The Gap, $15.65 billion
3 Kering, $15.65 billion
2 H&M, $18.82 billion
1 LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton S.A, $37.14 billion
Created by the merger of Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy in 1987, this fashion giant truly proves that there is some serious money to be made in style. Its products range from clothing and jewellery, to perfume and luggage - and even includes fancy wines. Its most famous subsidiary brand, Louis Vuitton, makes world-famous bags which are instantly recognisable for their prominent branding (often utilising the ‘LV’ monogram as a key aspect of the bag’s design). Louis Vuitton alone has an estimated worth of $19 billion, so it's hardly surprising that LVMH has taken the top-spot.
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