Wednesday, September 16, 2009

World's Most Powerful Luxury Brands

No. 10: Prada

Brand Value: $2.7 billion

2008 Ranking: No. 12

While this once-public company was planning another initial public offering for 2008, the recession--and investments in new stores and product lines--has kept these plans at bay. However, the value of Muccia Prada's designs, which continue to please industry insiders and luxury consumers alike, has pushed this brand into the ranks of luxury's 10 most powerful. Sales were flat from 2007 to 2008 at $1.7 billion.

No. 9: Fendi

Brand Value: $3.47 billion

2008 Ranking: No. 10

Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld also designs the Fendi ready-to-wear collection, but the brand is better known for accessories. The "baguette" clutch, which hit its stride in the late '90s after being featuring on the HBO television series Sex and the City, made a comeback in 2009 with a "paint your own" coated canvas style that includes 10 Pantone markers for embellishment.

Note: Fendi is a client of advertising firm MediaCom, which is owned by WPP.

No. 8: Moët & Chandon

Brand Value: $4.85 billion

2008 Ranking: No. 9

While demand for Champagne has decreased overall--LVMH says retailers in Europe and the U.S. are reducing their stock levels--Moët & Chandon is still seen as the most illustrious brand of the bunch. Recent reports suggest that LVMH might shed its wine and spirits division altogether, however, selling it to British drinks maker Diageo for 12 billion euros ($15.5 billion).

No. 7: Cartier

Brand Value: $4.91 billion

2008 Ranking: No. 4

While Cartier is still the most valued jewelry brand in the world, its luster has dulled a bit over the last year, dropping three spots in the ranking. The jeweler's parent company, Richemont, said year-over-year jewelry sales decreased by 12% to 800 million euros ($1.1 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2008. Other high-end jewelers have suffered more, though: Fortunoff, Doris Panos Designs and Fred Leighton have all filed for bankruptcy protection in recent months.

No. 6. Hennessy

Brand Value: $5.40 billion

2008 Ranking: No. 7

One of the most popular spirits in emerging markets such as China and Korea, LVHM says its Hennessy brand stayed strong in those regions during the first quarter of 2009. However, its wine and spirits category overall decreased by 16% to 540 million euros ($716 million) during that same period.

No. 5: Rolex*

Brand Value: $5.53 billion

2008 Ranking: No. 6

One of the most counterfeited brands on the planet, Rolex generates an estimated $3 billion each year in sales, according to one study. Although the jewelry and watch category has suffered during the recession, fashion insiders' penchant for vintage Rolexes has brought the brand to the forefront yet again.

No. 4: Chanel*

Brand Value: $6.22 billion

2008 Ranking: No. 5

Lauded as much for its in-demand apparel--currently designed by legend Karl Lagerfeld--as it is for its quilted handbags and ballet flats, Chanel continues to shine, moving up one spot on this year's list. However, the recession forced the private company to shed 200 employees at the end of 2008.

*Private company; financial values were estimated.

Note: Chanel is a client of advertising firm Ogilvy and Mather, which is owned by WPP.

No. 3. Gucci

Brand Value: $7.47 billion

2008 Ranking: No. 3

While it may embody an era of excess to some--with its focus on monogrammed accessories and flashy runway looks--Gucci remains desirable. Its parent company, PPR, saw a 2.6% decrease in year-over-year sales for the first quarter of 2009 to 4.8 billion euros ($6.4 billion), but the Gucci Group subsidiary jumped 5% to 855 million euros ($1.1 billion) during the same period, with a 21% increase in emerging-market sales.

No. 2. Hermès

Brand Value: $7.86 billion

2008 Ranking: No. 2

This French luxury goods brand--best known for its leather handbags priced at $5,000 and up--saw 2008 sales increase by 9% to 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion), when compared with 2007. However, the company's executives predict that sales will stay flat for the 2009 fiscal year.

No. 1: Louis Vuitton

Brand Value: $19.4 billion

2008 Ranking: No. 1

While LVMH jewelry and watch sales decreased by 27% to 154 million euros ($204 million) in the first quarter of 2009 when compared with the first quarter of 2008, sales in this luxury conglomerate's fashion and leather goods sector, of which Louis Vuitton is a part, increased by 11% to 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion). LVMH said that both Louis Vuitton's new Damier Graphite and Stephen Sprouse collections sold particularly well.

Note: Louis Vuitton is a client of advertising firm Ogilvy and Mather, which is owned by WPP.

Source: Forbes

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