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Fashion stocks: The biggest winners and losers

The most fashionable fashion stocks

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It's been a wild ride for the markets over the past few weeks, shaking up the performance of retail and fashion stocks alike.

But while the fluctuations will likely cause some investors to hesitate—particularly when it comes to luxury brands, whose customers' attitudes often move in unison with the ebbs and flows of the market—not all fashion houses are created equal.

Whereas some of the worst performers' shares have shed nearly half their value over the past year, others' have more than doubled.

Ahead of Thursday's kickoff to the spring fashion shows, here's a peek at the best- and worst-performing stocks with ties to the New York, London, Milan or Paris runways.

As always, it's worth noting that a single collection typically won't make or break a brand's sales, particularly when it's one of several labels in a company's portfolio.

By CNBC's Krystina Gustafson, with contributions from Christopher Hayes
Posted 09 Sept. 2015

Rankings are based on the performance of 25 fashion-related stocks over the 12 months that ended Aug. 31. Companies with a market cap lower than $500 million were excluded. Shown here are the top eight stocks and the bottom eight stocks.

1. G-III Apparel Group

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Stock price change over the past year: up 68 percent

Operating licenses for major brands including Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, G-III is consistently a top performer among fashion stocks. In fact, this is the third-straight season the company has ranked first on CNBC's list.

Earlier this year, G-III announced a two-for-one stock split, taking the number of outstanding shares of common stock from 22.5 million to 45 million.

"This stock split reflects the belief in our long-term company initiatives and underlines our ongoing commitment to enhancing shareholder value," CEO Morris Goldfarb said at the time of the announcement.

2. Ted Baker

Jim Spellman | WireImage | Getty Images

Stock price change over the past year: up 58 percent

Originally founded as a menswear label, London-based luxury brand Ted Baker has since expanded into women's clothing, accessories, eyewear and footwear.

The brand is also growing its presence geographically—particularly in North America, where it operates roughly 20 namesake stores and has a presence in Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's.

Ted Baker's North America retail revenues increased 25 percent in the past fiscal year, to 63.3 million pounds, and grew 39 percent to 15.3 million pounds, at wholesale.

3. Fast Retailing

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Stock price change over the past year: up 51 percent

Best known for its role as the parent company of Uniqlo, Japan-based Fast Retailing also owns contemporary clothing brand Theory.

Though the retailer grew its overall revenues and profit by more than 20 percent in the nine months ended May 31, thanks to ongoing strength at Uniqlo, Theory fell short of expectations. During that time frame, the brand's profits declined because of a "continued slump in the U.S. luxury market," the company said.

Uniqlo, however, accounts for roughly 80 percent of Fast Retailing's sales.

4. Christian Dior

Dario Pignatelli | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Stock price change over the past year: up 37 percent

Though Dior remains one of the top performers over the past year, it hasn't been immune to the luxury slowdown. The fashion brand's shares have sold off over the past month, falling from their 2015 high near 200 euros a share, to around 160.

That drop came despite the company's posting revenue growth across every category, with the exception of wines and spirits, during the fiscal year ended June 30.

5. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton

David Mareuil | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Stock price change over the past year: up 25 percent

Despite the fact that Louis Vuitton's parent company generates roughly a third of its sales in Asia—a particularly worrisome region for luxury brands—LVMH beat consensus estimates for the first half of the year.

Thanks to strong growth in both Europe and the United States, the company in the second quarter increased sales by 9 percent—topping estimates of 4.7 percent growth—and marking an acceleration compared to the first quarter.

6. Hermès

Timur Emek | Getty Images

Stock price change over the past year: up 21 percent

Known for its high-brow crocodile bag, which can easily set shoppers back five or six figures, strength in its leather goods and saddlery division helped Hermès grow sales at a constant currency rate by 9 percent during the first half of 2015.

The label recently made headlines after actress Jane Birkin, after whom its renowned Birkin bag was named, requested to have her moniker taken off the handbags, citing concerns about cruel practices in crocodile farming.

7. Mulberry

Models walk the runway during the Mulberry show at London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012 in London.
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Stock price change over the past year: up 20 percent

Change just keeps coming at Mulberry. The London-based brand known for its leather handbags has seen its fair share of management shakeups over the past two years, including the exit of CEO Bruno Guillon, who made a failed attempt to take the brand more upstream.

Just last week, the company's group finance director announced that he, too, would be leaving the brand, effective June 2016.

Since April, Mulberry has been under the leadership of LVMH alumnus Thierry Andretta.

8. VF Corp

Astrid Stawiarz | Getty Images

Stock price change over the past year: up 13 percent

VF Corp. owns the licenses for brands ranging from outdoor maker The North Face to runway label Nautica.

Despite sales rising 5 percent in the most recent quarter—and the company upping its full-year earnings forecast—revenues at Nautica dropped at a low single-digit percentage rate.

18. Coach

People walk past the illuminated facade of a Coach store in Hong Kong.
Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Stock price change over the past year: down 18 percent

Despite turnaround efforts that analysts say are starting to take hold, Coach remains one of the worst-performing fashion stocks on CNBC's list.

While its domestic same-store sales once again posted a double-digit drop in the most recent quarter—falling 19 percent—that marked an improvement over the prior three quarters, when they dropped more than 20 percent.

19. Global Brands Group

Katie Falkenberg | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

Stock price change over the past year: down 18 percent

Global Brands Group manages the licenses for a slew of firms, from Nintendo to fashion designer Rachel Zoe.

The firm was spun off from global supply chain firm Li & Fung, and started trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last July. It's targeting what management refers to as "affordable luxury brands," for which it says consumers continue to have a "strong" appetite.

20. Ralph Lauren

A model walks the runway at the Ralph Lauren Fall 14 in New York.
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Stock price change over the past year: down 34 percent

Ralph Lauren is in the midst of restructuring to its business—an effort to save $100 million annually. The attempted savings come as sales at the American sportswear company have been on the decline, with revenues falling 5 percent, to $1.6 billion, in the most recent quarter.

Like other luxury firms, management attributed some of the slide to a stronger dollar, which it said dented the company's sales by 5 percent.

21. Kate Spade

Models pose during the Kate Spade presentation during Fashion Week in New York.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Stock price change over the past year: down 41 percent

Kate Spade is in growth mode, with the accessories firm plotting expansion both geographically and through new product categories. The company is seeking to increase sales via these avenues to avoid the oversaturation that has plagued several other brands in its competitive space.

Still, despite raising the lower end of its full-year earnings forecast last month, the company's results for the second quarter fell short of consensus expectations.

22. Prada

A Prada store in Beijing.
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Stock price change over the past year: down 43 percent

Last season's worst performer, Prada only moved up in CNBC's rankings as others have posted more dramatic declines. Ahead of the spring collections, Prada's shares are now down 43 percent, compared with a 26 percent decline ahead of the fall runways.

In March, the company reported its first decline in annual profits since it listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2011.

23. Michael Kors

Models walk the runway at the Michael Kors Fall 2015 fashion show during New York Fashion Week, Feb. 18, 2015.
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Stock price change over the past year: down 46 percent

Though analysts breathed a sigh of relief over Michael Kors' better-than-feared results last quarter, investors don't yet seem convinced that the affordable luxury label has worked through the various headwinds facing it. These include a slowdown in the overall handbag industry, tourism and mall traffic.

What's more, several analysts worry that, similar to Coach, the brand has started to lose its "cool" factor—the result, they argue, of growing too much too fast.

24. Trinity Limited

Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho | WireImage | Getty Images

Stock price change over the past year: down 65 percent

Blame it on geography. Although it's become more acceptable for men to dress in designer duds, Trinity Limited—the parent company of high-end men's brands including Cerruti 1881—hasn't been able to capitalize on this trend.

With roughly 400 stores in China, representing almost its entire fleet, the company's revenues and gross profit both fell more than 20 percent in the first half of 2015.

25. Iconix Brand Group

Models walk the runway at the Badgley Mischka fashion show in New York City.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Stock price change over the past year: down 67 percent

Just this year, Iconix—whose portfolio includes runway staple Badgley Mischka—has bid adieu to its chief operating officer, its chief financial officer and, most recently, its CEO.

Peter Cuneo, the former head of Marvel Entertainment, has been appointed chairman of the board and interim CEO; outgoing CEO Neil Cole will serve as an advisor through the end of the month.

Licensing revenue for the six months ended June 30 came in at about $194 million, an 8 percent decrease from the prior year period.