In the first part of our profile on the international luxury retail sector, retail research showed that it was all about ‘la dolce vita’, with Italian labels dominating this sector. Read on to find out more about the fashion houses that are at the top of their game and leading the way for luxury around the world, suggesting that France is still an internationally recognised industry leaderwhen it comes to fine goods.

5. Prada Group

Prada was created in Milan in 1913 and in 1919 the house received official recognition from the Italian royal family and was able to bear the royal crest next to its logo. Since then, more than 500 stores in 70 countries are directly operated by the company and in 2011 it was valued at €9.2 billion on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, cementing its successful international retail strategy.

4. Chanel

Founded in 1909 by Coco Chanel, the designer and house have gone on to make their mark in the world of fashion. Developing trailblazing style, such as twinsets and pearls, that have now become synonymous with French chic and transplanted throughout the world in the company’s clothing, accessories, make-up and fragrance lines. The two interlocking Cs have become a status symbol of elegance and refined taste as well as a hugely profitable business, with a US$7 billion brand value according to Forbes in 2013.

3. Hermès International S.A

The distinctive orange horse and cart logo have helped to define Hermes as a global leader in luxury luggage, accessories and clothing. Another Parisian-based luxury goods heavyweight, Hermes was established in 1837 and as of August 2014, the company had a stock price of approximately €262.20 – showing just how successful the label has become since its atelier days.

2. Dior

On the corner of Avenue Montaigne in Paris, No. 30 has been the home of the Dior fashion house since 1947. Globally renowned for producing the finest clothing, accessories as well as perfume and make-up, the Dior brand has become aligned with offering customers a slice of French allure. Christian Dior was the first couturier to feature on Time’s front cover and more recently, the company’s Facebook page has more than 11 million likes, proving that this is a brand that knows how to stay ahead of the trend.


Louis Vuitton is part of the colossal French LVMH group, which has an outstanding portfolio featuring some of the most high-profile luxury brands in the market. The group’s impressive collection of brands is reportedly worth US$111 billion as of May 2014 according to Bloomberg, suggesting that this label is seemingly unstoppable. Monsieur Vuitton was a trunk maker whose designs and stores now span the world in the form of couture, beauty products and of course, luggage – all adorned with the legendary LV logo.

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Author Pippa Kulmar

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