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Fashion investors' do's and don'ts

Although summer is just drawing to a close, the fashion set is already headed to New York to introduce the trends that will hit the streets months from now, when the winter's snow gives way to spring.

At first glance, the scene at New York Fashion Week may seem to only influence its Chanel-toting attendees, but several labels shown on the runways have Wall Street ties—meaning the season's hits and misses can have an impact on investors.

Although a brand's runway presence and the buzz that comes along with it doesn't define a stock's performance, particularly when it's among several brands in a company's portfolio, industry experts have long noted the correlation between trend-right product and sales.

"The fashion runway can become a crucial platform for any company looking to grow, go global or reach new audiences," said Tom Julian, branding expert at the Doneger Group trend forecasting firm.

This is particularly true in the Internet age, when collections can be live-streamed over the Web or uploaded to Instagram or Facebook in a matter of seconds.

"It became sort of a brand-building tool in the media age," said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing consulting firm.

Ahead of the spring collections, which officially kick off Thursday, here's a look at some of the best- and worst-performing stocks that have a connection to the New York, London, Milan and Paris runways.

By CNBC's Krystina Gustafson, with contributions from Giovanny Moreano
Posted 3 Sept. 2014

Rankings are based the performance of 26 fashion-related stocks over the 12 months that ended Aug. 31. Companies with a market cap lower than $500 million were excluded.

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