You know the logos and you know the signature styles, as designer labels have the name and visual recognition that most brands dream of. It’s hard to say what makes a classic label from just an on-trend one, but we are going to spotlight some of the household names we lust over and see what it is that has us saving up our hard-earned money for a new or second-hand Givenchy handbag.
French designer labels
It’s only fitting that we start with France, as that seems to be where our minds wander when discussing high fashion. The most premium labels would have to be Chanel, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Jean-Paul Gaultier. This list is not exhaustive, but it does capture the heavyweights that are easily recognisable in most countries of the world with boutique stores in the best parts of any city. France has always been synonymous with fashion, and it has been one of the key industries and exports since the 15th century. ‘Made in France’ research has shown that 92% of shoppers are concerned with labels, and 86% of that population is motivated to purchase goods from France.
Italian designer labels
France doesn’t have all the fun, as Italy is responsible for a number of classic designer labels that have made their way onto many wishlists. Don’t lie and say they aren’t yours! Equal in their drama but a very different flavour from the aforementioned French labels, is Prada, Versace, Valentino, Giorgio Armani and Moschino. Like France, there is also a large network of designer labels that sit below this top tier, including Miu Miu and Bottega Veneta. These Italian designer labels are absolutely more bold in their patterns, the chunky details, and even the colours chosen through each season. Next time you are at the shops, see if you can identify a common theme in these labels.
American designer labels
If you hadn’t thought of America as a hub for designer labels, then there may be a few that you have forgotten. Our favourites have to be Tom Ford, Coach, Ralph Lauren, Oscar De La Renta and more. These American labels are literally hundreds of years more recent than their French and Italian counterparts, and that is largely due to the history of the country and where they allocated their industry and cultural efforts. In saying that, New York Fashion Week has become the most coveted destination for fashion week, and the Met Gala and events of this grandeur are adding credence to these American designer labels.
Reputation and time in the market
There have been some stunning new designer labels rising in the ranks over the last decade, but they are still far off the reputation of these classic names as they have not been relevant to many generations before. Take Louis Vuitton, it was founded in 1854 and began bewitching generations before our grandparents were even born, and penetrated the social psyche as a label worth having. Michael Kors, on the other hand, was founded in 1981. These more reputable labels also have the advantage of so many seasons that they can actually have vintage styles, with Chanel’s iconic tweed suits and cushion bags able to withstand the ages and be adored respectively from the newer, more relevant collections.
If we think about the reputation of a designer label from a commercial point of view, customers are going to be more willing to pay top dollar if they know where the label originated from and what their story is. There is always going to be global attention on these fine designers but always do your own research to see if you align with the values, style and destination of your designer goods.