While clothes are a necessity, they can also be a luxury. The most expensive clothing brands in the world stand out from mass-produced lines thanks to handmade designs, costly fabrics and celebrity connections.
The Most Expensive Clothing Brands
The fashion industry is going through difficult times at the moment. There are many international store closures and an increasing move to online sales in recent years.
Despite these trends, there is still a market for haute couture. However, these luxury goods must distinguish themselves from the competition with technical innovations, unique design and customer loyalty schemes.
15. Tom Ford
Having successfully reinvented Italian fashion house Gucci for the modern age, Tom Ford set up his own fashion and beauty label. Known for its stylish fashion accessories, beauty palettes and made-to-measure suits, the brand is an American success story.
Most Expensive Tom Ford Items
- Tom Ford diamond loafers customized by Jason Arasheben and worn by Nick Cannon: $2 million
- Tom Ford tuxedo: from $5,540
- Soleil Brulant Eau de Parfum 250 ml: $895
14. Salvatore Ferragamo
The Italian shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo set up shop in Hollywood in 1923 and gained a large following. His handmade shoes were worn by Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo and Judy Garland.
These days, the luxury Italian brand also makes clothing, accessories and fragrances for men and women. New CEO Marco Gobbetti had reenergized Burberry and will no doubt have a big impact.
Most Expensive Salvatore Ferragamo Items
- Scarlet satin stiletto heel shoes adorned with rhinestones and owned by Marilyn Monroe, auctioned by Christie’s in 1999: $48,300
- Salvatore Ferragamo customizable Tramezza men’s shoes: up to $13,500
13. Oscar de la Renta
Popular with Hollywood stars like Anne Hathaway, Oscar de la Renta was a fashion designer from the Dominican Republic. Born in 1932, he dressed Jacqueline Kennedy for many of her key events.
Stars loved Oscar’s vibrant use of pattern and elegant silhouettes.
Most Expensive Oscar de la Renta Items
- Oscar de la Renta off-the-shoulder wedding dress worn by Amal Clooney, adorned with hand-embroidered pearls and French lace: $380,000
12. Marc Jacobs
The American fashion designer of the same name launched his label in 1984. With headquarters in New York, the casual luxury brand has global reach and a successful e-commerce site.
The most nominated director for awards in the history of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), Marc Jacobs is known for its popular Daisy fragrance and relaxed styling.
Most Expensive Marc Jacobs Items
- Carolyn Crocodile Handbag: $38,000
- Puffy Clouds Embroidery Dress – hand-embroidered in Switzerland: $28,000
This British brand is famous for its stylish trench coats and tartan check pattern. Founded by Thomas Burberry in1856, the label holds a Royal Warrant by Prince Charles as an Outfitter and a Royal Warrant by Queen Elizabeth as a Weatherproofer.
Although the company is of British origin, they have a presence in many countries around the world and are particularly popular in Asia.
Most Expensive Burberry Items
- Three-quarter length double-breasted trench coat owned by Audrey Hepburn, sold by Christie’s London in 2017: $94,906
- A limited edition Burberry women’s trench coat made from peacock feathers, worn by Anna Wintour of American Vogue: $30,310
10. Dolce & Gabbana
The brainchild of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, this Italian brand was established in 1985. Since then, they’ve branched out from women’s clothing to jewelry, perfumes, handbags, footwear, watches and sunglasses.
In some articles online you may read about the world’s most expensive sunglasses which are reportedly by Dolce & Gabbana and cost $383,609. That is a typing error and the actual cost of the discontinued DG2027B model was $383, so don’t believe everything that you read online!
Most Expensive Dolce & Gabbana Items
- A blood red dress studded with beads in a limited edition of 12, which was the most expensive item on Net-a-Porter at the time of sale: $32,000
- Men’s double-breasted shearling coat: $13,000
This famous Italian brand was founded by Guccio Gucci in 1920. The first store opened in 1921 in Florence.
Now owned by Kering, Gucci was reinvented for modern times by Creative Director Alessandro Michele. As well as handbags and shoes, Gucci now design clothing and suitcases.
Most Expensive Gucci Items
- Gucci Stuart Hughes Belt: $250,000
- Rock crystal and 18K gold ear pendants auctioned by Christie’s in 2011: $74,500
- Gucci gold sequin dress worn by Beyonce: $12,900
- Gucci Men’s I-Digital Grammy Special Edition Watch, worn by Kanye West: $7,900
8. Ralph Lauren
Established in 1967 by American designer Ralph Lauren, the fashion label has several luxury lines. Ralph Lauren Purple Label is the brand’s most expensive men’s range, while the Collection line is the most exclusive of their women’s ranges.
The famous Polo Ralph Lauren line features preppy, Ivy League style outfits and also popular fragrances and homeware.
Most Expensive Ralph Lauren Items
- Purple Label Crocodile Duffel Bag: $25,000
- Purple Label Gregory Handmade Tailcoat Tuxedo: $9,995
7. Giorgio Armani
Founded by Giorgio Armani in 1975, the Italian fashion house has since expanded to include Emporio Armani, Armani Collezioni, Armani Jeans, Armani Exchange and Armani Prive.
Although many of the Armani lines are aimed at the middle market, labels such as Armani Prive sit firmly within the luxury segment.
Most Expensive Giorgio Armani Items
- Armani Prive gown decorated with Swarovski crystals that was worn by Cate Blanchett at the 2007 Oscars – $250,000
- Diamond necklace by Armani Prive, auctioned by Christie’s in 2013: $15,000
6. Yves Saint Laurent
This famous French fashion house is known for its beauty products as well as its chic tuxedo suits and androgynous style. The iconic brand was created by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé in 1961.
Yves Saint Laurent also popularized the safari look as well as camouflage and the trapeze dress.
Most Expensive Yves Saint Laurent Items
- Yves Saint Laurent Sunflower jacket – a limited edition of 4, hand embroidered as a tribute to Van Gogh: $382,000.
- Yves Saint Laurent Opium perfume: $175 per ounce
The Italian fashion house was established by Mario Prada in Milan in 1913. Now run by his youngest granddaughter, Miuccia Prada, the brand is known for its quirky aesthetic.
Referenced in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, this forward-thinking company is particularly known for its leather handbags.
Most Expensive Prada Items
- The Brandy Top Handle V2 ostrich leather handbag – $10,200
- Prada Papaya Hobo Bag: $8,600
The French brand created by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1909 is famous for its boucle wool suits, elegant perfumes and quilted leather handbags. Her designs have a timeless quality that is still in fashion today.
The Chanel little black dress is a staple in many affluent women’s wardrobes. Perhaps Chanel’s most expensive item is the Diamond Forever classic bag, which costs well over £200,000.
Most Expensive Chanel Items
- Limited edition Chanel Diamond bag decorated with 334 diamonds and with an18 karat gold carrying chain: $261,000 estimated value.
- Two rare Coco Chanel and Fulco di Verdura gem-set and gold brooches sold at Christie’s New York in 2004: $192,300
- Chanel fishing kit: $18,000
One of the most expensive brands in the world, Versace was set up in 1978. The brainchild of Gianni Versace, this Italian designer brand created clothing from innovative fabrics such as metal mesh.
Gianni Versace has been worn by Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Lopez and Princess Diana. After the tragic murder of the founder, Gianni’s sister Donatella Versace became the Creative Director of the brand.
Most Expensive Versace Items
- Versace beaded “The Face” evening jacket owned by Elizabeth Taylor, embroidered with rhinestone portraits of the star in her most iconic roles, sold at Christie’s in 2011: $128,500
- Greca One-Shoulder Mini Dress: $4,495
2. Christian Dior
One of the most famous French luxury brands, Christian Dior has been going strong since 1946. Often worn by Jacqueline Kennedy, the fashion house is popular with celebrities such as Charlize Theron and Natalie Portman.
As well as women’s clothing and accessories, there’s Dior Homme for men and Baby Dior for children. The brand’s cosmetics line, Dior Beauty is also very successful.
Most Expensive Christian Dior Items
- Christian Dior Haute Couture chartreuse gown worn by Nicole Kidman to the 1997 Oscars, designed by John Galliano: $2 million
- 1968 Silver encrusted brocade evening gown with matching bag owned by Elizabeth Taylor, sold at Christie’s in 2011: $362,500
- White peplum dress worn by Charlize Theron at the 2013 Oscars ceremony: $100,000
1. Louis Vuitton
Initially known for their luxury luggage trunks and other leather goods, this famous French brand was established by Louis Vuitton in 1854. The company is now owned by Bernard Arnault, the richest person in the world.
Having branched out to clothing, accessories and jewelry, Louis Vuittonis popular with celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker. Creative Director Nicolas Ghesquière has managed to revitalize the historic brand without compromising on elegance.
Most Expensive Louis Vuitton Items
- Steiff Louis Vuitton Teddy Bear: $2.1 million
- Louis Vuitton Urban Satchel – decorated with recycled water bottles and chewing gum packets: $150,000.
- The Kusama Pumpkin Minaudiere Jewel Bag – a collaboration between the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and Louis Vuitton: $133,430
- Louis Vuitton Pur Oud 100 ml – a limited edition perfume of 2000 bottles containing natural oud essence: $1470