The fashion industry has witnessed the success and downfall of various fashion brands. In a market where competition is tough, only a few remains on stage bearing their history and legacy. These premium brands have elevated themselves as winners in their iconic milestones and fabulous designs. We rounded up the 5 oldest fashion houses that are still in service, standing strong and fashionable than ever.
This French high-fashion brand is the oldest in the business. Its founder Thierry Hermès had top of the line wrought harnesses and bridles for carriage as their first products. His son Charles-Émile introduced the very first Hermès bag in 1900, designed for carrying saddles. In 1922, Émile-Maurice, Thierry’s grandson, designed the first collection of leather handbags. The rest is history as the powerful brand remains to be one of the most expensive bags at all time. The Kelly and Birkin, two of its signature bags, despite being very costly, is highly popular all over the world thanks to its exotic leather, classic design, versatility, and power.
Louis Vuitton (1854)
Hailed as the world’s most valuable luxury brand for six consecutive years, Louis Vuitton proves that its finest fashion pieces are timeless. LV started out as a trunk maker and founded his own workshop in 1854 for the French elite. He offered rounded-top trunks to promote water runoff. Following his death, his son Georges started a campaign in 1893 to help their company become a worldwide corporation. Success then became historical as the Louis Vuitton Building opened on the Avenue Avenue des Champs-Elysees in 1913 making it the world’s biggest travel-goods store at the time. This huge milestone for LV was followed by more store openings in New York, Washington, and London. In 1930, the Keepall bag was introduced then came the Speedy bag which is still famous to date.
Jeanne Lanvin is the founder of the high fashion house, Lanvin. She started in the industry as a hatmaker and owned an atelier in Paris. Being the skilled dressmaker that she was, her beautiful creations for her daughter Marie-Blanche de Poligna caught the attention of wealthy people. The French elite soon thereafter requested copies of the lovely dresses for their own children. As such, Lanvin made dresses for mothers and daughters that included some of the most popular names in Europe. Aside from nice dresses, she also introduced menswear, fur, lingerie, and fragrance. Her complex trimmings and beaded decorations became a Lanvin signature.
Another French fashion brand that made it on this list is Chanel. When her mother passed away, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel lived in an orphanage where she learned sewing, a valuable skill that brought her a success worth a hundred years and counting. Her first store was launched in 1910 with hats (she designed and made herself) as her first offering. Her revolutionary ideas in women’s clothing came to life and were most sought until today. Then came her collection of dresses, perfumes and her signature bags.
The Italian luxury fashion brand was founded by Mario Prada and his brother Martino. Originally, they sold English leather goods like trunks and handbags and decided later on to creating their own line of leather goods. Mario’s granddaughter, Miuccia up the standards of Prada in 1978. She released her first set of backpacks and totes in 1979 and were big hits in upscale department stores worldwide. The Nylon tote and the classic Prada handbag were two of the many phenomenal products of the influential fashion house.