The luxury sector is growing faster than many others and Gucci is in the lead

Gucci and Louis Vuitton are among the fastest-growing brands in the world, with the luxury fashion and accessories sector overall growing by 42 percent since 2017, according to a ranking by consultancy Interbrand.

Luxury apparel is the top-performing sector in a list of 100 companies that also includes the technology, consumer-goods, automotive and financial industries.

Gucci's brand value grew the most of any luxury fashion label on the list, up 30 percent to $12.9 billion, while Louis Vuitton grew 23 percent to $28.2 billion. The nine luxury brands featured had a combined brand value of $105.8 billion and also included Hermes, Tiffany & Co, Dior and Burberry.

Interbrand credits Gucci's Chief Executive Marco Bizzarri and its flamboyant Creative Director Alessandro Michele as the reason behind the firm's growth, with a "shadow committee" of young advisors who have helped the label appeal to a new generation. Meanwhile, Louis Vuitton appointed designer Virgil Abloh as its artistic director for menswear in March, a hire that will bring youth culture to the label.

Models on the runway at Louis Vuitton's menswear fashion show at Paris Fashion week, June 2018
Bertrand Guay | Getty Images
Models on the runway at Louis Vuitton's menswear fashion show at Paris Fashion week, June 2018

Chanel, a new entrant to the list at number 23, has a brand value of $20 billion, after it reported full-year earnings for the first time. It made $9.62 billion in revenue for 2017, an 11 percent year-on-year rise, with profit up 18.5 percent to $1.79 billion.

Luxury apparel companies have been successful because of an ability to respond to cultural trends. "They have managed to immerse themselves in street culture and provide levels of access that, while retaining their authenticity and a level of exclusivity, have made their brands more desirable to more customers," Interbrand's report states.

In terms of sales, the Kering-owned Gucci wants to overtake Louis Vuitton as the world's biggest luxury label, aiming for 10 billion euros ($11.5 billion) in revenue, according to Bizzarri, who did not provide a timeline. Louis Vuitton, owned by LVMH, had more than 8 billion euros in sales in 2017, according to analyst estimates, while Gucci made 6.2 billion euros.

Interbrand's annual ranking of the world's 100 biggest brands measures how much a brand name contributes to a consumer's decision to buy a product, and therefore the premium a company can charge for brand-name goods, over factors such as price or convenience. It also looks at financial performance as well as how likely a company is to have future success.

Apple tops the list overall, with a value of $214.5 billion, up 16 percent on last year, followed by Google, up 10 percent to $155.5 billion and Amazon, up 56 percent to $100.8 billion.

Amazon is also the fastest-growing brand on the list, followed by Netflix, up 45 percent to $8.1 billion. Other fast-growing brands include Salesforce, PayPal and Mastercard. Coca-Cola and Facebook are the only brands in the top 10 to have lost brand value, down 5 and 6 percent respectively.

The world's most valuable luxury fashion and accessories brands

Source: Interbrand

  1. Louis Vuitton - $28.6 billion
  2. Chanel - $20 billion
  3. Hermes - $16.4 billion
  4. Gucci - $12.9 billion
  5. Cartier - $7.7 billion
  6. Tiffany - $5.6 billion
  7. Dior - $5.2 billion
  8. Burberry - $5 billion
  9. Prada - $4.8 billion