While austerity may be the latest political buzzword, retail trends show consumers are still handing over their cash for high-end products and luxury labels. Often originating from family businesses throughout Europe, many of today’s luxury labels are now multi-national business behemoths, with equally impressive profits and powers to complement their hand-crafted and much sought-after products.

Which labels made the cut – and who didn’t? Find out here in the first of our two-part series examining the international luxury goods sector.

10. Coach Inc.

While there is much debate as to who just makes it into the top 10 list, we decided that US-based Coach Inc deserves this spot. The retailer’s products fall around the US$500 mark, although the company’s recent collaborations, such as with fellow American fashion designer Billy Reid and top model Freja Beha Erichsen, are the result of planned forays into the higher echelons of the luxury market.

9. Giorgio Armani S.p.A

Founded in the 70s buzz of Italian fashion, this house has been supplying the rich and famous with opulent clothing and accessories for nearly 40 years. With more than 2,000 stores spread across 60 countries around the world, this luxe label continues to evolve and maintain a stronghold in this notoriously competitive environment.

8. Gianni Versace S.p.A

Another Italian family business, the Versace label has had a turbulent but prosperous journey to its current place as one of the world’s leading luxury labels. Gianni Versace first started designing in the late 70s to much acclaim and from there was able to establish and maintain his own fashion house. Tragedy struck in 1997 when Gianni was killed and his sister Donatella has taken the helm ever since.

7. Gucci Group

Italy strikes again, with yet another internationally recognised fashion house. Established in Florence in 1921, Gucci now has 10 flagship stores spanning the globe, from Japan to the USA showing just how far-reaching this luxe label’s retail strategy is. Originally run by the Gucci family, the label also saw a prosperous partnership with designer Tom Ford.

6. Burberry Group Plc

Beginning life as a modest dressmaker’s outlet in London in 1856, Burberry became the quintessential go-to for a trench coat. Its distinctive check pattern then went out of fashion for a period of time, until the label was turned around by Christopher Bailey, who made it a seriously strong contender for the most powerful British brand in the luxury market on top of its international recognition.