World's most valuable apparel brands: Nike, Gucci top again, ASOS and Boohoo are buoyant
Nike has once again claimed the title of the world’s most valuable apparel brand. It’s the seventh year in a row that it has taken top spot in the annual Brand Finance ranking.
But the new report said the brand’s value has fallen by 13% to $30.4 billion, underlining how different the last year has been to every other year and how the pandemic means brands can still top the ranking even with double-digit value declines. Nike’s sales took a hit last year due to enforced store closures but it “saw an impressive untick in online sales”.
Brand Finance uses various metrics to come up with its figures, which include actual sales and profits, but also gauges such as the harder-to-define overall strength of a particular brand.
The total value of the world’s top 50 most valuable apparel brands declined by 8% last year, down from $ 301.9 billion in the 2020 report to $276.4 billion as of January 2021. Meanwhile, the report added that brands to watch are Fila and Bosideng, but Tapestry’s Coach was the sector’s fastest falling brand, with its brand value down 31%. And while Nike topped the overall list, it said Rolex was the world’s “strongest apparel brand”, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 89.6 out of 100.
Behind Nike on the overall list was Gucci in second place with a brand value of $15.6 billion, down 12% from 2020. The rest of the top 20 were Louis Vuitton, Adidas, Chanel, Zara, Uniqlo, H&M, Cartier, Hermès, Rolex, Dior, Tiffany, Chow Tai Fook, Coach, The North Face, Anta, Victoria’s Secret, Omega and Puma.
It's interesting as well, in a year in which footwear struggled, that the strongest brands in that sector did really well. Brand Finance said footwear brands stamped their authority on the list and made footwear the only apparel sub-sector to record brand value growth this year, up 9% on average .
The apparel ranking is divided into sub sectors: luxury; sportswear; fast fashion; watches, accessories & jewellery; high street designer; underwear; and footwear. The latter was helped by new entrants Timberland and Converse performing particularly well, recording a 47% and 8% brand value increase, respectively.
But underwear brands suffered the most with the two brands featured in the ranking losing an average of 19% of brand value. Victoria’s Secret (brand value down 22% to $4.2 billion) was the third-fastest-falling brand. It has been facing a continued backlash for the lack of diversity in its marketing and in model line-up.
And further to those ones to watch mentioned earlier, Fila became the fastest-growing brand in this year’s Brand Finance Apparel 50 ranking following an impressive 68% brand value increase to $2.7 billion. That came on the back of higher sales and a stronger buzz around the label.
Timberland and Bosideng were the second and third fastest-growing brands, up 47% and 39% respectively. China’s Bosideng entered the ranking in 50th position having launched a new clothing line with Jean Paul Gaultier, which is being sold in stores and online on Chinese e-commerce giant Tmall’s platform.
And that Coach downturn, which saw its brand value falling to $4.7 billion, came as its sales and profits have taken a hit over the year. But Tapestry has said e-tail growth means an upturn is expected so the picture may be very different this time next year.
Meanwhile, Rolex held on to its specific Brand Strength leadership due to its “timeless class and luxury, its world-leading quality and exclusivity, with the brand’s new releases known for setting the standard across the watch sector”. And the resilience of the high-end watches sector helped too.
Brand Finance also said that in the UK, its top luxury brand lost value due to Covid-19, although online brands prospered. Burberry was 21st in the global ranking but lost 26% of its brand value. Yet ASOS and Boohoo saw their values rising 38% and 22% respectively. Beauty brands with strong personal hygiene product sales also did well, The Body Shop rising 20% and Boots being up 18%.
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