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Iconic fashions: From hi-tops to tuxedos

14th May 1974: Left to right: Artist Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987), fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, and actor Monique Van Vooren. Von Furstenberg is wearing one of her own designs, a leopard print wrap-dress.
Tim Boxer I Hulton Archive I Getty Images

From the polo shirt to the little black dress, once a designer invents that global trend-setting item, it's safe to say they've made it in the fashion world.

Designer Diane von Furstenberg is one of those fashion frontrunners. After launching in the 1970s, her brand's success was assured following her creation of the "wrap dress".

As von Furstenberg tells CNBC about her fashion career, we look at other fashion brands famed for their iconic styles. For more, check out "CNBC Meets: Diane von Furstenberg."

—By Alexandra Gibbs, special to CNBC.com, on Thursday May 27, 2015.


Christian Louboutin: Red-soled shoes
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The red sole on a pair of Christian Louboutin high-heeled shoes signifies wealth, allure and power. Louboutins sell for $650 to $1000 or more on the brand's U.S. website.

Since 2011, Christian Louboutin has trademarked the colored sole in several countries and Yves Saint Laurent was sued by the brand over using this trademark.

Levi Strauss & Co.: Jeans
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Skinny, boot cut, wide leg, boyfriend, straight… denim jeans come in all shapes and sizes. Levi Strauss & Co., or "Levi's", remain the leading brand for what was once just workwear.

In 1873, Levi Strauss and partner Jacob Davis obtained a U.S. patent to start creating the first set of "blue jeans."

Nowadays, Levi's is one of the world's largest apparel businesses, despite plenty of competition, with its popular denim product purchased in 110 countries across the world.

Burberry: Tartan and trench coat
Credit: Burberry

Founded by dressmaker, Thomas Burberry, in 1856, "Burberry " has made a name for itself in luxury British fashion. The trench coat and the "Burberry check" are both icons for the brand.

The founder developed gabardine – a tightly woven, water-resistant material – in 1879, which is used in trench coats. However many still debate who created the trench coat design: Burberry, or its English competitor, Aquascutum.

Along with trench coats – which sell for between $1,500 and $4,000 in U.S. stores – the brand is known for its "Burberry Check": A beige tartan that is used as a popular pattern on Burberry products such as scarves and bags.

Nike/Converse: Hi-tops
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Hi-tops, which are sneakers that extend to cover the ankle, are mostly associated with two brands: Converse All-stars and its (now) parent company, Nike.

The original All Star basketball shoe was produced in 1917 and the white high top model was produced in the 1930s, ahead of the 1936 Olympics.

Nike introduced its "Air Force 1" shoe brand in 1982, which they produced in both low- and high-top styles.

Nike bought Converse in 2003, two years after it filed for bankruptcy.

In its most recent quarter, Nike's net income increased by 16 percent to $791 million, with sales for its Nike and Converse brands rising 11 percent and 33 percent respectively.

Lacoste: Polo shirt
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In 1926, French tennis legend, Rene Lacoste, played in a short-sleeved "polo shirt" that broke from the traditional buttoned-up, long-sleeved shirts worn for the sport.

By 1933, Lacoste and partner, Andre Giller, had started producing the tennis shirt with the famous crocodile logo.

Ralph Lauren has also become a popular brand for polo shirts, launching "Polo Ralph Lauren" in 1972.

Yves Saint Laurent: Women’s tuxedo suit
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Androgynous fashion is nothing new. As a fashion concept, the style has been manipulated and experimented with since the early 1900s.

However, in 1966, Yves Saint Laurent broke the mold with "Le Smoking," an iconic outfit dubbed the "first tuxedo for women."

The design was seen as revolutionary, and since then, many famous women have channeled the look, including Diane Keaton and Angelina Jolie.

Ray-Ban: Wayfarer and Aviator sunglasses
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Founded in 1937, Ray-Ban is one of the world's leading manufacturers of sunglasses.

Ray-Ban designed its first Aviator Classics in 1937 and the original Wayfarer in 1952, after creating the styles with its former owner, Bausch and Lomb.

The trendsetting styles are still seen across many eyewear labels, imitated by designers such as Fossil and Victoria Beckham.

Longchamp: Le pliage bag
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Retailers and designers have made the tote bag an essential accessory for carrying everyday valuables. However, the "Le Pliage" range for Longchamp has fast become a favorite with the public.

Equipped with leatherflaps and available in a diverse range of colors, Le Pliage bags sell for between $130 and $810.

Chanel/Givenchy: Little black dress
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Karl Lagerfeld once said: "One is never overdressed or underdressed with a little black dress." But it was Coco Chanel, who introduced the design, and Audrey Hepburn, who wore a Givenchy version in the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's," that helped establish the item as the most essential in a women's wardrobe.