If money is no object, a person can definitely dress to impress. The world's most expensive designers offer show-stopping clothing and accessories for high-ticket prices. These clothes are for elite "one percenters" with money to burn. From custom-made haute couture to seriously pricey ready to wear, the world's most revered high fashion houses offer the ultimate in quality, construction and style.
Some of the clothes have a decidedly modern vibe. Others are classic and traditional. The common denominator is that only a select few can afford them. These clothes and accessories, such as luxurious handbags, are designed to send a powerful message of success. In our image-centric, Instagram culture, items from these designers are prized. They show the world that a person can afford them.
Of course, some celebs don't have to pay for them. No one gets more free stuff than a really rich and famous person. For example, most stars do not have to pay for the fabulous confections that they wear to red carpet events, such as the Oscars or Golden Globes. The designers give the dresses (and tuxes for the guys) away because the publicity that they receive in return is basically priceless.
Read on to find out which designers offer the most for...the most money.
25 Balmain's Head Designer is Olivier Rousteing
Olivier Rousteing is a French designer who is gorgeous and inclined to hang out with celebs, including Kim and Kanye. He's the head of the Balmain fashion brand. He was brought in to revitalize this venerable French fashion house and he's doing a great job.
His clothes have a certain look that is unmistakable. The clothes are sort of like modern armor for fashionistas. Heavy embellishments in metallic tones are very common.
I checked Net-a-Porter.com and a relatively simple Balmain dress with an embellished waistband is valued at over three grand. The really fancy designs from Balmain cost way more.
Kanye's music video for his song, Wolves, was basically a promo for Balmain. Everyone was decked out in the fashion house's trendy designs.
24 Rich Women Adore Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta is known for his formal gowns, which always have a traditionally feminine vibe. De la Renta is a favorite of "ladies who lunch". Picture Lily van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl and you'll get a general idea. Stars love wearing Oscar De la Renta on the red carpet.
Oscar was born in the Dominican Republic in 1932. He's preferred by VIP ladies. While a lot of us normal people wish we could afford and look as magical as A-Listers manage to do in his dresses, it seems that his clothes are only for the rich.
23 Burberry has been through a lot of changes
Blake Lively was expected a baby when she donned a pale pink Burberry ball gown with scarlet embellishments for the 2016 Met Ball. This dress was beautiful, but Burberry is better-known for day clothes, such as luxe trench coats and tailored separates. This Brit brand used to have a reserved image which may have even been a little dull.
Everything changed when a new designer, Christopher Bailey, was brought in to revamp the fashion house's image. He was amazingly successful. These days, almost everyone is familiar with "Burberry plaid" and the countless counterfeit versions that are out there.
There is a lot of money to be made from rejuvenating brands, as long as the transformation is successful. Bailey bowed out after years with Burberry and he's been replaced by designer, Ricardo Tischi, who was formerly Givenchy's creative director. Will Tischi, who is Italian, be able to keep this British label in the black?
22 Gucci Costs a Pretty Penny
Gucci is a label which is red-hot right now. This Italian fashion house had lost its cachet before a new designer was brought in. Alessandro Michele is the designer who has breathed new life into Gucci.
His clothes are wild. They are not for everyone. For those with a bohemian sensibility, they are perfection. He brings a lot of rock-n-roll edge to his "rich hippie" clothes and accessories. Inspired by medieval paintings. animals and Imperial Chinese silks, he's always expanding his mind, educating himself and then bringing his new and old passions into his work.
Men may expect to pay at least five grand for a wool mohair suit from this brand. A women's caftan with patchwork details also costs around five thousand dollars. If I had the cash, I wouldn't hesitate to stock my closet with this stuff. It's different enough to be really exciting.
21 Chanel is the Gold Standard
Most women who are into fashion dream of strolling into a Chanel boutique and buying one of the French fashion house's iconic tweed suits. Rich and famous ladies often treat themselves to Chanel, because there is really no substitute for this ladylike brand, which has a bit of feminist edge, thanks to its late founder, Gabrielle Coco Chanel.
Gabrielle believed that women should be able to move in their clothes, rather than being constrained. She focused on empowering women by offering them designs that were truly wearable. Of course, they were also very extra, in a good way, thanks to their fine fabrics and the chains that she put inside of the hems of her tweed jackets, so that they would hang, "just so".
These days, Karl Lagerfeld is at the helm at Chanel and he's just astoundingly talented. Karl Lagerfeld does have a cheaper brand, under his own name. It's not really the same as Chanel. There's a hint of Chanel.
20 Yves St. Laurent is a Decadent Brand
If you want to look like a Parisian, Yves St. Laurent is the way to go. This brand is positively dripping with a French attitude. YSL has a pleasing simplicity which is missing from other classic "Paris" fashion brands, such as Chanel or Dior. Plus, this brand offers menswear.
A typical Yves St. Laurent fashion collection for men or women features tons of black, beautiful cuts for the sleek and sophisticated high fashion look and really good fabrics. When prints are used, they are small and subtle compared to, say, Gucci.
While you may love the look of Yves St. Laurent, you may not be able to afford it. I checked the official Yves St. Laurent website and there is a men's overcoat for sale which costs twenty-two grand.
19 Celine Is For Artsy and Sophisticated Women
Women who want to slay, without looking like they're trying too hard, are devoted to the expensive fashion brand, Celine. Recently, the fashion world was rocked by news that Celine's head designer, Phoebe Philo, would be leaving the brand. Ladies with plenty of cash to spend on clothes collect the pieces designed by Philo and then treasure them. In the viewpoint of many, Philo is irreplaceable.
Celine is a brand which offers artsy elegance. It's perfect for women who like to cover up sometimes, as it's not as overtly body-conscious as other brands. There are form-fitting designs available, but the usual Celine look is classier i.e. less snug on the body. A woman can wear Celine to work and feel totally appropriate, as well as cool. However, lots of women who wear Celine never need to work another day in their lives, unless they want to.
18 Tom Ford Dresses Harvey Specter on Suits
Now, we've come to a person who is basically THE men's fashion designer. Tom Ford is an icon and men absolutely love his tailored suits. Many people also appreciate Tom's good looks and sharp style.
If you've ever admired the suits worn by Harvey Specter, on the TV show, Suits, you should know that Tom Ford designed many of them. He made them "custom" for the actor who plays Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht). The suits look fabulous.
Suits made by Tom Ford nip in at the waist in a way that makes them recognizable. They just fit amazingly well overall...and make men look their best. Tom Ford, who used to run Gucci (he did so successfully) now designs under his namesake Tom Ford label. He makes clothing and accessories for men and women and also has a makeup and fragrance collection.
Ready-to-wear suits from Tom Ford usually retail for around five thousand bucks. The custom ones cost more.
17 Balenciaga has top models
Balenciaga is another French fashion house which has become an integral part of the fashion heritage of Paris, France. The fashion house has been around for ninety-nine years now. Its founder was designer, Cristobal Balenciaga. Alexander Wang headed the fashion house until 2015. There are no hard facts on whether he pulled away from Balenciaga or was pushed out.
Kristen Stewart has modeled for the brand. You probably noticed her in ads for their Florabotanica perfume. Kristen models for Chanel now. If you don't mind dropping upwards of eighteen hundred bucks on a shopping bag made from leather, Balenciaga is your kind of brand. It's not really a fashion house for the masses.
In 2014, the French fashion house did collaborate with H & M on a cheaper collection, but it was a limited-time thing. This isn't a brand that most people have in their closets, and the difference in quality between "collaboration" lines and the real thing is generally vast.
16 Versace is Bold and So Italian
This brand specializes in flashy fashion for the wild at heart. It's about "full glam" with Italian panache. After the tragic passing of brand founder, Gianni Versace, the Versace torch was passed to Gianni's sister, Donatella Versace. She has kept the brand relevant through the years and Gianni would be very proud of her.
If you want to get dolled up, you'll need serious cash or credit. Even a basic pair of skinny jeans from this brand will set you back roughly one thousand bucks. The most glam and embellished gowns and suits from Versace are custom, couture designs and they have huge price tags.
A quick (and entertaining) glance at the official Versace website shows a "wild baroque tribute" shirt dress, which would suit Bey to perfection, for a whopping $2950.00.
15 Azzedine Alaia Dresses Flatter the Female Form
Ladies who want to do their curves justice, who barely need to glance at price tags, love to wear the alluring "bandage dresses" created by the late designer, Azzedine Alaia. These dresses are made from a material with the same stretch, heft and feel as medical fabric bandages. The material sculpts the body, without being uncomfortable.
Azzedine was 77 when he passed away and a lot of famous women, including supermodels, Stephanie Seymour and Natalia Vodianova, were very sad when the Algerian fashion designer died. They loved him as a designer and a friend. He was very popular with the first wave of supermodels i.e. Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington.
According to Net-a-porter, a pretty and feminine dress from this brand (which still lives on after Alaia's passing) will set you back over three thousand dollars. If you have the cash, it may be worth it. Women have reported feeling fabulous in the bandage dresses. They seem to give women a ton of body confidence.
14 Dolce & Gabbana Dresses Lady Kitty Spencer
Dolce and Gabbana is a pricey high fashion house that was recently getting plenty of positive press due to its association with Lady Kitty Spencer, who is the late Princess Diana's niece. Unfortunately, one of the brand's founders, Stefano Gabbana, is known for occasionally getting a little mouthy.
Dresses and other high fashion picks from "D & G" often feature lush floral prints or other bold patterns. The brand is Italian and it's about living the "La Dolce Vita"...that means, "the sweet life". If I was loaded with cash, I'd go with another brand because Stefano's arrogance is annoying, but that's just me.
13 Dries van Noten Dresses a-listers
OK, this is one of my faves on the list. Dries van Noten is an incredible designer. However, his clothes cost a lot. They are like wearable art and van Noten's ability to choose colors and mix colors is really impressive. He evens prints his own fabrics.
He's the one who created the gorgeous suits that Beyoncé and Jay-Z wore in their latest music video, which was filmed at The Louvre. I watched the video and thought that the Carters never looked better, in large part because of those luxurious pastel suits.
Dries van Noten is Belgian and he's now sixty years old. I saw his house in a Vogue magazine layout and it became my "dream house", mostly because he uses his talent to decorate his home in a truly stunning way. Dries creates clothes that aren't cheap, but they are exquisite and some of them are more wearable than typical high fashion gear.
12 the legacy of dior
Some of the most popular actresses in the world model for this brand. Dior has a long history. It's a Paris brand that was created by master designer, Christian Dior, way back in 1946.
Christian Dior got famous because he created an hourglass silhouette that made female waists look tiny. He fitted the bodices tightly, nipped in the waists and then did full "flower skirts" which were super-feminine.
Today, the legacy of Dior lives on, including the high prices. If you want cheap Dior, you're out of luck, unless you're content with a tube of Dior lip gloss or a bottle of perfume. Bear in mind that makeup and fragrance from this brand are still going to cost a lot, versus drugstore cosmetics and colognes.
11 Prada Is Hip and Offbeat
Prada is a brand that Vogue's editor, Anna Wintour, is proud to wear. Remember that book, The Devil Wears Prada? That was about Anna! In the film version, Meryl Streep played "the devil" who was dressed in clothes by Italian designer, Miuccia Prada.
Miuccia Prada is a living fashion legend. Her designs are a little kooky and offbeat. They are vintage-inspired, yet ultra-modern. Miuccia Prada is very talented and clever and this is why people like Anna Wintour and Rhianna wear her fashion and accessories.
To put the high prices in perspective, the cost of a Prada "belt bag" made from Nylon is an astonishing 1850 dollars. If a simple nylon fanny pack costs this much, imagine how much the fashion costs.
10 Marni is a Brand That Fashionistas Appreciate
Marni is cool. The painterly prints are really appealing. I can see why so many models and actresses love to wear Marni during their downtime. It has an arty vibe and it's fun. What it isn't is inexpensive. However, if it was cheap, people might not want it. That's the crazy thing about fashion. It's not just about quality. It's about the psychology of the buyer. If it's priced high, it becomes more "aspirational" for the customer.
This brand is Italian, but it's much newer than a lot of big fashion houses. It was founded in 1994, by Consuelo Castiglioni. Today, it has a different head designer, Francesco Risso, who used to work for Prada.
Prada and Marni are somewhat similar, in terms of vibe and price, so it's no surprise that the fashion house has hired a head designer who cut his teeth at Prada.
9 Hermes Handbags Are a Status Symbol
Hermes is a luxury purveyor of handmade leather goods, such as the coveted Birkin handbag. To get a Birkin, you may need to go on a waiting list. The waiting list can be long. You'll also need to pay big bucks, because these bags can cost up to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. It is possible to find them online for about five grand, although they are likely to be secondhand.
J.Lo carries a Birkin. She's not the only celeb who is enamored of this unbelievably costly and artisanal brand. The company does tours, so people can come and see their craftspeople while they work on bags, scarves and other luxury goods. This brand is a status symbol brand with a long and impressive heritage. It's French, of course.
8 Louis Vuitton is always a good choice
Nicki Bella has been in the press a lot lately because of her breakup (and possible makeup) with WWE superstar, John Cena. She's also known for her love of the Louis Vuitton brand. If you've ever watched Total Divas or Total Bellas, you've probably seen Nicki's big and pricey collection of Louis Vuitton handbags.
John Cena bought her a studded leather handbag, which was a collaboration between Louis Vuitton and her fave shoe designer, Christian Louboutin, which was valued at fifteen thousand bucks.
When you carry a Louis Vuitton, you're letting the world know that you have the very best, or what a lot of people consider to be the very best.
7 Fendi in the 90s
Gigi Hadid wears Fendi and so do plenty of other one percenters. This brand does take some flak because it's one of the "real fur" brands. While Gigi wore a Fendi logo jacket, rather than a genuine fur, it's not the brand to choose if you're a member of PETA. Another big-ticket brand that is known for producing actual fur designs is J. Mendel.
Fendi was a big 90s brand. The Italian company's famous "Baguette" bags were featured on S*x and the City. The bags were narrow and compact, like little loavesof French bread, and they all had Fendi logo.
A fur coat from Fendi may cost up to a million dollars. That's a crazy amount of money.
6 Valentino Is Just Right For The Red Carpet
Valentino is an Italian high fashion house. It's known for its sweeping and stunning red formal gowns, as well as other feminine red carpet looks.
A "day dress" from this brand which is bought "off the rack" will set you back about five grand. The custom designs, like Aniston's Oscar gowns, are ridiculously expensive. Valentino gowns are very flattering to the female form and they are timeless. This brand is more traditional than trendy.
5 Giambattista Valli often travels The Golden Globes
Have you heard of the fashion designer, Giambattista Valli? If you're rolling in cash, it may be familiar. Kendall Jenner looked amazing in a white creation from this designer when she attended the 2018 Golden Globes. One side of the formal gown was sleeveless and the other side features a puffy sleeve. The gown had a dramatic train and a subtle floral motif.
It's possible to get a more basic dress for daytime from this brand for about 2k, but most designs cost a lot more. Valli shows his designs four times per year, during Paris fashion weeks. Giambattista was born in Italy, like so many designers on this list.
4 La Perla Is Sensual and Pricey
Rich women can indulge by choosing underthings and frocks from La Perla. This is one of the most coveted lingerie brands. La Perla is very expensive. The company is Italian, but it's owned by an entrepreneur, Lars Windhorst, who comes from Germany.
The designs produced by La Perla feature exceptional craftsmanship. Fabrics and fit are world-class. If you're ok with spending hundreds of dollars on a brassiere or bodysuit, and thousands of bucks for a slip dress, then La Perla may be right up your alley. This brand is all about sensuality and luxury. Kendall Jenner has been photographed in a La Perla dress.
3 Agent Provocateur Is Edgy and Alluring
Another high-end lingerie brand is Agent Provocateur. Like La Perla, it also offers other forms of women's clothing, such as skirts, tops and dresses. Rosie Huntington-White has been photographed in this brand.
Truthfully, this UK-based brand may just be a little too expensive. The company has been having financial problems. In Vancouver, Canada, a big store full of cut-rate Agent Provocateur underthings, swimsuits, dressing gowns and slippers trimmed in faux-fur has just opened up. It's a temporary liquidation outlet.
Even with many, many percent off full retail, I can confirm that this brand is not affordable in any way. It is definitely fabulous, though.
2 Hipsters Worship Marc Jacobs
Frances Bean Cobain, who is Kurt and Courtney's daughter, has modeled for hipster high fashion designer, Marc Jacobs. His stuff is totally appropriate for celeb offspring and this is why he often uses celeb offspring as models. If you're a trustafarian, this may be the right brand for you. Edgy, with a "city cool" vibe that is so New York, designs from Marc Jacobs have plenty of vintage-inspired appeal.
Marc had a wild, "party boy" image for a long time, although he seemed to have calmed down a lot. He charges big bucks for what he designs. While the clothing and accessories are often whimsical and childlike, the prices are astronomical.
1 Giorgio Armani Is About Timeless Elegance
Giorgio Armani is classic. The tailoring of his suits is impeccable. If you slip on an Armani suit, you'll probably feel like a million bucks. Armani is a favorite of Cate Blanchett, who is the face of the brand's Si perfume, as well as Richard Gere and Alicia Keys. It's true that Armani offers cheaper designs via Armani Exchange, but they don't have the same "power dressing" feel as the high-end Armani stuff. Armani Exchange is for a younger clientele.
Giorgio is Italian. He creates clothing with very clean lines. He's not into a lot of fussy details. It's about gorgeous fabric and exquisite tailoring.
Sources - Wikipedia.com, Vogue.com, GQ.com, WWD.com, Net-a-porter.com