Top 10 Best Apparel (Clothing) Brands in the World 2018

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: May 18, 2020

Apparel/Clothing industries require continuous innovation in terms of its design and also in lines with the current fashion. The top Apparel companies compete on providing new and fashionable collection of apparels to survive in the industry. Many brands have ventured into the online markets aside from its retail stores to increase its customer base. The best clothing companies produce various garments and items which are sold and worn worldwide. Top Apparel Brands list consists of Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Nike, Zara, H&M which among the most popular and valuable brands across the continents. Here is the list of top 10 apparel brands in the world 2018.


Top Apparel Brands in World 2018 by Profit & Sales:


10. Hermes

Hermes is French based international company which sells leather, perfumes, lifestyle accessories, jewelry, ready to wear, watches and home furnishings.


Image: Wikimedia

The company was founded by Thierry Hermès in the year 1837, and it believes in providing high quality and unique products to its customers, hence all the products are handmade and manufactured with utmost care and supervision. The company uses traditional business model wherein each product is manufactured by a single person and does not use assembly lines for mass production.

The company has its own designers and craftsman who provide unique and valuable collections. Hermes is one of the rare companies in the world who adopts traditional ways of production and is the most recognized brands in the world. Hermes has a large customer base due to its high quality premium products. All the products of Hermes exhibit exquisite workmanship. Ready to wear segment of Hermes is the second largest sector of Hermes which provides huge sales for the company. In 2015 the company unveiled its first autumn-winter collection. The spring-summer collection has a complete range of clothing with vivid and bright colors. The shoes designed by Pierre Hardy for men and women were a huge success for the company. In 2015 Hermes made partnership with Apple to launch its first Apple Watch Hermes. The current CEO of the company is Axel Dumas.


Profit (in million $): 1171.81

Sales (in million $): 5520.75

9. Ralph Lauren

Designer Ralph Lauren founded this brand in the year 1967 which has gone to become global brand.


Image: flickr.com/photos/ferlinka/

Headquartered in New York city, Ralph Lauren is among the top leading apparel brands in the world, which offers a variety of apparels and accessories across the world for men, women and children. Ralph Lauren Home and Paint supplies a complete range of home furniture and accessories. The company also manufactures fragrances for men and women under the brand Ralph Lauren fragrances.  Ralph Lauren has some of the most recognized brands in the world such as Purple Label, Ralph Lauren Collection, Double RL, Polo Ralph Lauren, RLX, American Living, Chaps and Club Monaco. The most notable brand is Polo Ralph Lauren which caters to full range of clothing for men. Women’s Polo was launched in 2014 to provide apparels for women.  The company own 493 stores across the world. Ralph Lauren has been the official sponsor of Wimbledon, US Open, US Olympic and Golf Championships. Ralph Lauren is famous for its luxury and fashionable apparels in the fashion industry worldwide.  It provides exclusive range of apparels with classy designs each year. In 2017 the company's revenue totaled at 6.65 billion US dollars. Patrice Louvet is the current CEO and president of the Ralph Lauren Corporation.


Profit (in million $): -99.3

Sales (in million $): 6652.8

8) UNIQLO

UNIQLO is the largest retail store famous for its casual wear for men, women and children across the continents.


Image: pxhere

Based in Tokyo, Japan, this company was founded by Yamaguchi in 1949, and as its name suggests, the company was started with the aim to provide unique clothing to its customers. Uniqlo is a subsidiary of Fast Retailing Co Ltd, and the company has outsourced its manufacturing to China due to the cheap labour available there. Uniqlo has expanded its operations across China, US, Europe, Asia to become the most valuable brands in the fashion retail industry. Uniqlo has collaborated with famous designers such as JW Anderson to provide captivating collection of apparel with utmost comfort for everday clothing. Uniqlo has been able to make its mark in the apparel industry owing to its continuous research and development of new materials and improving existing texture of clothes. Uniqlo owns 831 stores in Japan and has a total of 1089 international stores worldwide. Uniqlo takes feedback from its customers and incorporates them into their product development. Uniqlo has adopted sustainable methods in its manufacturing process and entire supply chain. Under the initiative All-Product Recycling the company had donated 25.58 million secondhand clothing collected in Uniqlo stores worldwide to support refugees and displaced persons in 2017. The current CEO of the company is Tadashi Yanai.


Profit (in million $): 645

Sales (in million $): 7537

7) GAP

GAP is US based multinational company which was founded by Donald Fisher in 1969.


Image: flickr.com/photos/fufuwolf/

Headquartered at San Francisco, California, this brand is the largest retailer of clothing and accessories in the world. At the initial phase of the company, GAP targeted mainly teenagers through its Levi’s brand but later it incorporated clothing for each generation at all stages of life. GAP has several brands such as Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Intermix brands, that offers a wide range of apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children. GAP offers apparel and accessories for kids under the GapKids, babyGap and for pregnant women under GapMaternity, GapBody. GAP designs and sells clothes for specific occasion like weddings through its brand Weddington Way. GAP acquired Athleta in 2008, which provides sports apparel for women. GAP owns 3200 stores and 459 franchise stores across the globe. GAP designs apparels according to the varied needs of different demographics of customers. It has also set different price tags for its apparel across different countries.  Customers can purchase GAP apparel and accessories through its stores or globally through its website online.As of 2017, the company had a total of 135,000 employees and the current CEO is Art Peck.  The revenue amounted to 15.8 $ billion as of Dec, 2017.


Profit (in million $): 848

Sales (in million $): 15855

6) H&M

H&M (Hennes & Mauritz AB) is a Swedish based international company headquartered at Stockholm that offers its apparel and accessories to a worldwide market.


Image: Wikimedia

Established in 1947 by Erling Persson, H&M is the largest retailer that provides fast-fashion clothing and accessories for men, women, children as well as teenagers. H&M has collaborated with famous designers and celebrities to promote its apparel. H&M also takes design collections from renowned designers that have helped H&M to provide trend-setting and new range of clothing collection and accessories to its customers. H&M has also been able to create a significant presence in the online market.  H&M has eight brands such as COS, Weekday, Monki and Cheap Monday etc. H&M is set to launch its ninth brand, Afound in 2018. Afound will give customers exclusive range of famous fashion and lifestyle brands for both men and women at discounted price. In 2017 H&M launched online services for eight new markets including Turkey, Singapore, Malaysia, Cyprus etc. The H&M has online presence in 44 markets as of December 2017. In 2018 H&M is anticipated to open 390 new retail stores. The company has more than 4500 retail stores worldwide The current CEO of H&M is Karl-Johan Persson and the company has total 161,000 employees as of 2017.


Profit (in million $): 1746.86

Sales (in million $): 21587.98

5) Adidas

Adidas is German based multinational company that manufactures and sells a variety of apparels and accessories for men and women.


Image: Wikimedia

Adidas was founded in August 1949 by Adolf Dassler and his brother Rudolf, and has gone on to become a leading global brand. Later they had a conflict and the company was split into Adidas by Adolf and Puma by Rudolf which is a big rival of Adidas today. Adidas is the largest manufacturer of sportswear and apparel in the world. Some of the apparels of Adidas consist of men’s and women’s t-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants, leggings and jackets. Adidas has focused mainly on football and brought a lot of innovative products for this game. It is a major supplier in the football industry across the world.  Adidas has also designed footballs for WorldCup tournaments. Adidas provides sports equipment such as boots and kits for all major sports like baseball, cricket, football, basketball, golf etc. Adidas also offers its products in deodorants, watches, bags, sandals, eyewear etc. Adidas has Reebok as its subsidiary which is a major player in the athletic and footwear industry. Adidas sponsors various sports teams and sportspersons across the world. Some sports team sponsored by Adidas are Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester United and some sportsperson sponsored by Adidas are Andy Murray, Lionel Messi, Virat Kohli. Kasper Rorsted is the current CEO of Adidas. Adidas has recently launched Adidas app in Google playstore and Apple App store in US and U.K to give its customers enhanced shopping experience.


Profit (in million $): 1167.36

Sales (in million $): 22517.25

4) Zara

Based in Spain, ZARA is the flagship brand of Inditex Group which owns other brands like Pull & Bear, Oysho, Zara Home, and Stradivarius.


Image: flickr.com/photos/southbeachcars/

Zara was founded by Amancio Ortega and Rosalía Mera in 1975, and is known for its fashionable, stylish and classy range of apparels and accessories. Zara provides its apparels, shoes and accessories across 90+ countries and owns more than 2,000+ stores worldwide. One prominent aspect of Zara is that it produces a new product within six days, on the contrary other retailers take at least six months. And if that design is not generating sales, it is removed from the retail shops and further orders are also cancelled. Zara has also collaborated with Detox Campaign to remove hazardous chemicals from its clothing during the manufacturing process. Also Zara does not invest in any kind of advertising. It has the most efficient supply chain. These are some of the unique manufacturing and distribution practices of ZARA that sets it apart from its competitors. Zara offers a variety of fashionable apparel, shoes and accessories for women, men and kids. Zara designs its apparel based on the trending consumer preferences. Zara unveiled new range of sustainable fashion collections like Join Life collections and introduced in-store used-garment recycling containers. Zara has recently started its online services in 12 new markets across Europe. It has presence in 39 online markets currently. As of May, 2017 its revenue totaled at 11.3 $ Billion.


Profit (in million $): 3578.48

Sales (in million $): 26887.4

3) Nike

Nike is US based international company headquartered at Oregon which sells apparel and accessories in athletic footwear, sports, athletic and other recreational and products.


Image: pxhere

Nike is the largest supplier of apparel and sports shoes in the world. Some of their apparels include jerseys, shorts, hoodies, trousers, tights, sneakers, sweatpants track suits for a wide range of sports like football, cricket, tennis, golf, baseball, basketball etc. Nike has a large customer base owing to its offerings of products which has high quality, price, variety, and a wide range of products. Nike’s swoosh logo signifies its brand value and is considered as a status symbol.  Nike has made its mark not only in the sports field but it has established itself as a market leader in the apparel industry as well. Nike is noted for its continuous innovation in the apparel and footwear segments specially the shoes for athletes which enables them to deliver high performance. Nike also allows its customers to do customization of its products like customers can choose color of sports shoes like Air Max, Air force, Metcon etc. Nike has done a series of acquisitions like Cole Haan, Hurley International, Umbro, Bauer Hockey, and Starter over the years.  Nike has associated itself with high profile athletes, sports team through sponsorships and it promotes it products through them. Few sports club sponsored by Nike are Indian Cricket team, Barcelona, Chelsea and sportsman such as Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Neymar, Wayne Rooney, Andrés Iniesta. As of 2017, the revenue of Nike amounted to $29.6 billion.


Profit (in million $): 4240

Sales (in million $): 34350

2) Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton is one of the most iconic brands in the apparel industry have a strong global footprint.


Image: Wikimedia

It is a French based retail company famous for its luxury items such as trunks, leather goods, shoes, apparel, watches, sunglasses, books, perfumes and other accessories. It is the most valuable brand in the world and considered a status symbol to carry its products. Louis Vuitton promotes its products through famous and popular celebrities, artists, and musicians like Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, and Madonna etc. It has also collaborated with famous designers and artists like Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami who provide special collections for Louis Vuitton’s apparels.  The company sells its products through stores and online website. In 2018 it has rolled out its digitally-enriched store concepts in Paris.  Louis Vuitton is the market leader in the fashion retail industry because it continuously strives to reinvent itself through constant innovation.  In 2017, Louis Vuitton acquired Christian Dior Couture which is proving beneficial and profitable for the company.  Louis Vuitton unveiled its first smart watch, the Supreme brand in 2017. Some of the flagship bags of Louis Vuitton are Speedy bags and Neverfull bags. Louis Vuitton also produces special limited edition bags for which prior booking is required. The company has the most efficient manufacturing process like it can produce a trunk in 60 hrs and a suitcase in less than 15 hrs. The current CEO of the company is Michael Burke. The company has presence in around 50 countries and owns 460 stores worldwide.


Profit (in million $): 5443.06

Sales (in million $): 45246.74

1) Christian Dior

Famous designer Christian Dior founded the brand in 1946, which is a global fashion brand now.


Image: Wikimedia

Headquartered at Paris, France Christian Dior commonly known as Dior is a global leader in the apparel industry. His first collection with the Huit and Corolle lines created a huge demand for this brand, and today the company has expanded its products line from clothing to include leather goods, accessories, footwear, jewelry, watch, perfumes and skincare products. Dior was criticized for designing corsets that were restrictive and regressive. The company has also been criticized for designing unrealistically small clothes for women. Dior introduced its first perfumes with the Diorama brand in the late 1940s. Christian Dior label is mainly famous for offering apparels for women, but Dior introduced the Dior Homme line for men in 1970s captured the attention of male customers. The company has introduced the brand the baby Dior to cater to the clothing for children. This brand has presence in 210 locations across the world. Some of the famous celebrities endorsed by the company are Sharon Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, CharlizeTheron.  Dior has also collaborated with famous designers like Yves Saint Laurent and John Galliano.  The company sells its products through retail stores as well as through its online store. Christian Dior is the most successful and valuable brands as it focus on the quality, authenticity and originality of their designs that is renewed with each season and each collection.


Profit (in million $): 6105.27

Sales (in million $): 46339.81


Ranking Methodology:

1. The top apparel brands in the world are considered for the ranking.

2. Parameters like sales and profit are taken and given weightages of 60% & 40% respectively.

3. A final score is calculated and the rankings are evaluated.

This article has been researched & authored by the Content & Research Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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