Haute Couture Brands- The Most Successful Brands

Haute Couture Brands- The Most Successful Brands

Introduction

High-end fashion will continue to be a phenomenon due to its uniqueness and style. Haute Couture brands are one of the most recognized brands in the world. Their recognition is due to their products’ exclusivity and partnerships with high-end celebrities and personnel. While new brands are joining the list, a couple of brands have trended and been successful for ages. This article aims to analyze the most successful Haute Couture brands.

  • A Brief History of Haute Couture
  • Registered and Accredited Haute Couture Brands
  • The Most Successful Brands

A Brief History Of Haute Couture

The term “Haute” refers to “High,” and “Couture” means “Dress Making.” According to history, an haute couture outfit is intended for one person alone. It is designed specifically for that customer. Also, it is termed to have no price tag, assessing the time, expertise, and resources spent in making each outfit. Local designers imitated many of the Haute Couture garments because they were unique. There was a need for every designer to own their products. As a result, Charles Frederick Worth created the first Haute Couture house in 1858. With time, a regulating body known as Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture was made to commission brands that would be called haute couture.

Haute Couture is a law-protected phrase in France only used by authorized brands. Some requirements qualify companies to be called Haute Couture. They are listed below:

  • Every brand must have exclusive designs for unique customers with at least one fitting.
  • Every firm must have an atelier in Paris with a minimum of 15 full-time design employees and 20 full-time technical personnel.
  • Every fashion house must publicly showcase a collection of 50 or more unique day and night designs in every fashion season.

Registered and Accredited Haute Couture Brands

Haute Couture brands are divided into different sections: the registered members, the guest members, and the foreign or correspondent members. The registered members are listed below.

  • Alexandre Vauthier
  • Schiaparelli
  • Christian Dior
  • Chanel
  • Bouchra Jarrar
  • Alexis Mabille
  • Julian Fournié
  • Franck Sorbier
  • Jean Paul Gaultier
  • Adeline André
  • Maurizio Galante
  • Stéphane Rolland
  • Givenchy
  • Atelier Gustavolins
  • Balenciaga

The Most Successful Brands

Christian Dior

Christian Dior is a luxury brand known for producing alcoholic drinks, perfumes, jewelry, and related fashion products. In 2014, the brand was recognized in the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture as one of the Haute Couture brands. Its origin stems from its founder, Christian Dior. Christian created his fashion company in the late 40s in a fashion exhibition during the summer. His work was showcased in salons at the head office in 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris, France. His work was named “New Look” after the chief editor of a famous brand exclaimed the words at the sight of his products.

The New Look series trended in the late 40s and influenced many other designers in the next decade. His popularity gained him affiliations with influential individuals in Hollywood, the US, and the European aristocracy. In the mid-40s, Dior expanded from France and opened a store in New York. Within the same period, his products contributed to about 77% of revenue gained from exports in the fashion sector in Paris and 6% in France.

Marc Bohan was appointed as the brand’s designer towards the end of the 60s. He was conservative in his operations and recognized by Rebecca Arnold for maintaining Dior at the top spot in the fashion industry. In the first year of the 90s, more Dior stores were established in New York, Tokyo, and LA. Its stake in its parent company, Louis Vuitton, heightened to about 47%. Also, in 1990, the firm released a Black Moon-inspired watch collection known as “Bagheera.” At the end of the year, its revenue was almost at $130 million, and its net income was pegged at nearly $22.5 million. 

At this stage, the company revamped into three sections, namely; 

  • Lingerie, Ready-to-Wear Children and Females’ outfits
  • Men’s clothing
  • Jewelry and Accessories 

The Late 90s and The 21st Century

In 1995, Dior’s revenue peaked at nearly $179 million with an income of almost $27 million. Between 2000 and 2001, the fashion house produced more perfume collections, and in the following year, it operated 130 boutiques. Being one of the sought-after Haute Couture brands, part of its success is owed to its collaborations with top-notch celebrities and personalities. In 2015, Rihanna was selected as the company’s spokeswoman, while Sofia Mechetner, a model from Isreal, was elected as the face of the fashion company. The luxury fashion firm has styled notable persons like Jennifer Lawrence. It employed a communication strategy through its social media handles that helped it stay in the limelight in the 21st century. It embarked on virtual campaigns on its social media profiles and its ambassadors’.

In 2021, it had over €64 billion in revenue with an operating margin of about 27%, compared to a 19% margin in 2020. Currently, the company has a value of over 7 billion dollars as it operates over 220 Dior stores worldwide.

Chanel

Gabrielle Coco Chanel created Chanel in 1909. She began the brand as a shop in Boulevard Malesherbes. The building where Chanel situated her shop had a salon for elites and wealthy people; therefore, she could affiliate her store with rich women who became her customers. Chanel is popularly known for producing luxury fashion products and cosmetics, including jewelry, perfumes, skincare products, ready-to-wear leather materials, wristwatches, etc. 

After the First World War and its adverse effect on fashion in the European continent, Chanel started a gigantic dress boutique close to the Hôtel Ritz. She sold blazers, skirts, jersey-material sweaters, blouses for sailors, etc. The fashion house used jersey materials because of its body-soothing properties and ease of use. In 1915, Chanel’s styles and products were all over France. They continued to be top-buys for many customers in France till 1917. According to Coco Chanel, simplicity is the keynote of every elegance.

Alain Weithmeir’s Significance

After Coco Chanel died in 1971, Alain Wertheimer headed the company in 1974. He strategizes the marketing system of the No.5 products. He also created scarcity on the products and allowed fewer stores to sell them. He also endorsed prominent people like Audrey Tautou to raise further hype on the market and drive its sales. This move was good for Chanel, being one of the Haute Couture brands, as the perfume’s sales increased significantly.

The 80s saw an increase in the brand’s retail outlets as it owned over 41 stores globally. Chanel sold products between 200 and 11,000 US dollars at the end of the decade. Although, it only sold its perfume and cosmetic goods through its stores. In the 90s, the luxury fashion brand had a market value of about 5.5 billion US dollars with a net sale of about 68 million Euros in 1994. It acquired more stores and created new perfume lines, a skincare collection, and a travel line. 

At the beginning of the 21st century, the Haute Couture brand had created about 26 stores in America. Chanel has over 315 outlets globally, with more than 20,000 workers from different continents. More so, the cost of its products is constantly on the rise, with its Grand Extrait costing about $31,000 for 30 ounces. In 2021, the company’s brand value was over $13 billion.

Givenchy 

Hubert de Givenchy created the Givenchy luxury brand in 1952. He released a collection, named “Les Séparables,” alongside cotton blown-up skirts and blouses that gained him some prominence and honor through Vogue magazine. As the brand flourished, prominent models like Dorian Leigh worked with the house, further raising his fame. Givenchy was well known for his collections made of natural cotton known as “shirting.” In 1954, he created the first-ever shirt dress, and later on, he made the world’s first ready-to-wear fashion line, which he named “Givenchy Université.” Further, into the late 60s, Hubert created a fashion collection for men. 

In the following decade, the fashion company created more fashion products like shoes, ties, table materials, kimono, and jewelry. This diversification earned Hubert high-end contracts like the interior decoration of every Hilton hotel worldwide and the Continental Mark V. It is one of the authorized Haute Couture brands that has styled notable persons on special events like Madonna on her Sticky and Sweet tour. A couple of other celebrities who have prominently styled Givenchy’s designs include Meghan Markle, who wore a Givenchy wedding dress at her wedding. She also wore Givenchy on Remembrance Sunday and the 2018 Fashion Awards. Kim Kardashian also styled a 500,000 dollar custom-tailored Givenchy gown at her wedding with Kanye. The Kardashians, as well as the Jenners, have been huge supporters of Haute Couture brands.

Givenchy has over 80 outlets in more than 68 countries, with about 4300 employees. In 2018, one of its high luxury bags sold for almost $5000. And in 2020, its net worth was pegged at about 2.1 billion dollars, and its yearly revenue was above 900 million dollars. That same year, over 962,000 people used the brand’s females’ perfume and Eau De toilette. Europe constitutes over 40% of Givenchy’s customers as China ranks next. 

Balenciaga

Balenciaga specializes in producing ready-to-wear outfits for males and females, shoes, female handbags, eye accessories, and female colognes. Balenciaga began operations in Spain in 1919 under its founder, Cristòbal Balenciaga. After a while, it operated in other regions in the country, including Barcelona. His designs gained prominence and patronage by the Royal home of Spain. He, however, relocated to Paris due to the Civil War. In 1937, the company’s fashion house began operations and featured designs promoting Spanish culture. 

By the end of the 30s, his design creations were everywhere, and his buyers endangered their lives during the Second World War to view his products in Europe. In the 50s and 60s, Cristobal showed off his artistic designs and high-quality creations. He created Belgium’s Queen Fabiola’s wedding gown in 1960 and designed it for many other top-level people. In the early 2000s, the fashion brand created outfits for Jennifer Conelly to the Academy Awards. As one of the well-recognized Haute Couture brands, it is widely known for its handbags that take after motorcycle designs. Currently, it has eight upscale stores in the United States and over 185 stores worldwide, with about more than 2100 staff. In 2021, it had approximately 2.4 billion dollars in revenue, although its net worth is unknown.

Conclusion

Haute Couture brands will remain highly sought after because of the standards and regulations they abide by. While these few registered houses have been highly successful, some old flourishing members might return to the organization. There is also the possibility of other members topping the fame chart in a short while because of their affiliations with highly recognized individuals and new unique styles.

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