Forget Gucci and Hermes. Explore modern luxury brands are delivering fresh takes on high-end clothing from Fear of God to The Row.
In Search of the Best Modern High-End Clothing Brands for Women and Men
When people think of the best luxury clothing brands, the first ones that come to mind are usually French and Italian fashion houses that have been around for at least several decades. Some, like Gucci and Hermes, are over a century old.
Even as these older brands remain popular, there is a new cohort of bold designer clothing labels adding fresh takes on luxury. These newer brands are a disruptive force, introducing novel designs and driving new creativity. They also reflect the vision of an increasingly diverse group of designers, including people from different racial and cultural backgrounds.
The worldwide market for luxury fashion is worth more than $111 billion, and its current annual growth rate is roughly 3.4%. The following modern high-end fashion brands are the most exciting ones to keep an eye on, as they help propel the industry’s growth.
The Best Modern Luxury Clothing Brands
Here are my favorte contemporary high-end clothing labels. While most have been founded in the 2000’s, I set 1990 as the rough cut-off date to distinguish these more recent luxury labels from traditional high-end clothing brands. (I squeezed Maison Margiela, founded in 1988, into the mix.)
Fear of God
At Fear of God, an independent Los Angeles fashion label, you can find everything from classy business attire to high-end streetwear to luxury loungewear, with prices generally ranging from $700 to $3,000. Browse through double-breasted suit jackets made with cavalry twill and exquisitely soft sweatpants and hoodies made of American cotton fleece.
Founded in 2013 by Jerry Lorenzo, the Fear of God is one of the most popular luxury labels on the internet and has attracted celebrity clientele, including Michael B. Jordan, Jared Leto, and Ellen DeGeneres. For women’s clothes, check out the Essentials collection, where you can find cotton jersey skirts and nylon running shorts.
Amiri is known best for its designer jeans, which range in price from several hundred dollars to over $2,000. Founded in 2014 by Mike Amiri, the Los Angeles brand specializes in streetwear inspired by rock music and Hollywood and is an excellent example of a stylish clothing brand for men and women. Along with jeans, men and women enjoy a selection of sleek leather tops and pants, crewnecks with colorful prints, and hoodies with striking motifs.
Among modern high-end fashion brands, Marine Serre is noteworthy for its commitment to the environment. Since launching her eponymous brand in 2017, the award-winning French designer has produced many garments from sustainable materials and upcycled products.
The women’s selection includes a moire motorcycle jacket, a stunning dress made out of repurposed silk scarves, and multiple tops patterned with the brand’s signature moon design. The men’s selection also includes items with the moon print, such as jacquard pants and boxy denim jackets. The cost of these garments generally falls between $200 and $1,000.
Founded by Demna and Guram Gvasalia in 2014, Vetements is a luxury streetwear brand that recently made the news for designing Madonna’s stage costumes. Baggy, oversized clothes are a hallmark of this subversive Swiss brand, and the examples include broad-shouldered jackets for women and voluminous embroidered jeans for men. Although some items are available for $500, most won’t cost less than $1,000.
Common Projects, which was founded in 2004 by Flavio Girolami and Prathan Poopat, is a luxury footwear brand best known for its minimalist white sneaker, the Achilles. The New York brand produces its shoes in Italy with top-quality leather, and prices typically fall between $400 and $500.
Along with its famous sneaker, Common Projects has branched out to other shoe styles, including derbies and Chelsea boots. It also offers a selection of women’s shoes ranging from retro low-top sneakers to combat boots.
One of the most highly respected contemporary designers, Virgil Abloh, passed away roughly eight years after founding Off-White. The youth-oriented brand continues to reflect his commitment to freedom and creative exploration.
For both the menswear and the womenswear, some of the items combine preppy and streetwear styles, like the knit cardigans sporting a moon stamp and scripted letters and the crewnecks displaying an enormous logo. Off-White is also a phenomenal option for luxury sneakers with a vintage vibe.
In 2001, Thom Browne opened a small shop in New York City with only five suits. He has since won multiple major fashion awards and achieved international reach as a top choice for men’s luxury designer suits and high-end clothing.
For menswear, your first stop should be Thom Browne’s blazers and coats, which are impeccably tailored and sometimes have visually arresting features, such as scenic applique. Women also have much to enjoy, from preppy tops to quirky animal-shaped purses made of Merino shearling, calfskin, and other fine materials. Items often fall between $500 and $4,000.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Visvim first made its mark with high-end footwear, and among its best-known items are distinctive moccasin-style shoes with a fringe. The Japanese brand, which was founded in 2000 by Hiroki Nakamura, has also expanded to other luxury apparel, with many items having an earthy or rugged feel. Prices range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
Men should check out the assortment of Social Structure jeans, Amplus knit shirts, and goose-down vests sporting unique patches. Visvim also offers women’s clothes through the WMV collection, with highlights including ruana and hippie dresses made of printed khadi fabric.
Maison Margiela, which was founded by Martin Margiela in 1988, is a Parisian brand famous for its wild creativity and avant-garde and genderless designs.
The modern luxury brand shines with edgy and very expensive shoes for men. Check out the striking, split-toe Tabi shoe, which you can buy in elegant calf leather or in satin decked with rhinestones. Browse through the wide selection of unisex items, including oversized cotton-jacquard coats, knit tank tops with an argyle pattern, and shirts made either of Pendleton wool or a unique combination of wool and tulle. A plain cotton T-shirt may cost only a few hundred dollars, but a silk coat may be priced at $7,000.
Exquisite craftsmanship and a commitment to sustainability are key values for Nanushka, a Budapest-based brand founded in 2005 by Sandra Sandor.
The women’s clothes are markedly flowing, sleek, and feminine, like the tops made of alternative leather, the various slip-satin dresses, and the coats produced with a blend of wool and silk. The menswear also tends to be soft and flowing, as seen in the embroidered poplin shirts and loose crotcheted pants. Prices usually fall between $200 and $2,000.
Edvin Thompson, an award-winning designer born in Jamaica, launched Theophilio as a reflection of his values, namely sustainability and inclusivity. His work also showcases the vibrant colors and textures of his Jamaican heritage.
Women’s clothes from this Brooklyn-based luxury fashion label range from draped asymmetrical dresses to eye-popping jumpsuits with graffiti print. Among the menswear are snake-embossed lambskin pants, long wool shirts with French cuffs, and tank tops with a metallic sheen. Items generally cost less than $400, making Theophilio one of the more affordable contemporary luxury clothing brands on this list.
Luar is the first name of the brand’s founder, Raul Lopez, written in reverse, and an important inspiration for him are the women in his life, particularly his Dominican relatives.
The most popular item from the brand, which Lopez founded in 2017, is the award-winning Ana bag, which has a distinctive large handle. The women’s and unisex clothes worth checking out include tech trousers, tank tops with a rhinestone logo, and buttoned tops sporting Luar’s signature leather belt around the chest. If you’re on a budget, you’ll be pleased to know that prices sometimes fall below $100 and rarely exceed a few hundred dollars.
Popular on social media and favored by Dua Lipa and other celebrities, Mirror Palais offers feminine and alluring womenswear with a vintage vibe. The selection includes crinoline skirts, denim bustiers, ruffled silk gowns with off-the-shoulder straps, and long-sleeve tops with floral lace.
Founded by Marcelo Gaia in 2019, this pre-order brand designs and produces each item in New York, demonstrating a commitment to ethical labor practices. The garments typically cost between $500 and $1,500.
Soon after her 2017 graduation from the Royal College of Art, Bianca Saunders became one of the most influential new British designers for menswear.
Saunders plays around with traditional silhouettes and patterns, often making them more visually interesting. Examples include warped check shirts, silk shirts with concealed fastenings, relaxed-fit jumpers with an asymmetrical neckline, and dark jeans that have a slim-fit waist and exaggeratedly baggy legs. Prices typically run between $300 and $700.
Marni, which was founded in 1994 by Consuelo Castiglioni, has built a reputation as a modern luxury brand with richly colored, whimsical designs.
Along with some monochromatic options, women can enjoy dresses, knitwear, and skirts with vibrant prints and patterns, from patchwork stripes to jacquard roses. The Milan-based brand also doesn’t skimp on color for men, with options that include silk twill shirts and mohair jumpers with polka dots. Prices generally range from $400 for a basic shirt to over $2,000 for some of the dresses.
From Acne Studios, a Swedish brand founded in 1996, you can expect offbeat designs and bold surprises. One example is a pair of jeans constructed with tartan patchwork. At $900, it’s one of the brand’s more expensive items, as prices typically fall between $300 and $700.
Jeans have been central to Acne Studios from its start, but you also have many other options. Women may love the tailored-wrap trousers, the flared trousers with a shiny finish, and the distressed sweaters and cardigans. Highlights from the menswear include wool-mohair suit jackets, sweaters with a glow-in-the-dark logo, and tailored pleated shorts.
The Elder Statesman
In 2007, Greg Chait launched The Elder Statesman with a cashmere blanket, and the lifestyle brand has since grown to provide a variety of skillfully crafted clothes with a laid-back, playful style.
The classic choices for men include hand-loomed crew sweaters and relaxed turtlenecks made of Italian cashmere. The brand’s mastery of cashmere is also evident in the women’s selection, which includes eye-popping striped cardigans and zip hoodies. Prices tend to be steep, as even a buttoned shirt may cost between $1,000 and $2,500.
In 2006, years after they rose to fame in “Full House,” Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen founded The Row, a luxury clothing brand that has been praised for its understated elegance and the timeless feel of its designs.
Menswear highlights include exquisite cashmere and wool coats, nylon and silk jackets, and cable-knit sweaters made of mixed alpaca and yak fleece. Among the beautifully constructed garments for women, you’ll find monochromatic dresses in virgin wool, silk, and other high-quality materials. Most items cost over $1,000, and some top $10,000.
Impeccable craftsmanship, durable materials, and cutting-edge designs characterize Rick Owens, who launched his brand in 1994.
Some of the most distinctive men’s items have a bold, dark flair, like the jackets with exaggerated shoulders and the capes made of cady crepe. Among the avant-garde items in the women’s collection are thigh-high leather boots with a cantilever heel and duvet-like outerwear produced with silk charmeuse, wool flannel, and a padding of goose and mallard feathers. Although some items are available for roughly $400, many of them cost between $1,000 and $8,000.
Although Officine Generale is a new designer clothing label, its garments have a classic feel, as if it was founded much earlier than 2012. The founder, Pierre Maheo, brings impeccable construction and fine materials to all the menswear, giving even the casual items an elevated look.
Some of the standouts from this French brand are turtlenecks made from Italian wool cashmere, slub-twill chinos, and single-breasted suit jackets made of Italian worsted wool. Officine Generale is also an excellent alternative to Burberry for trench coats. Prices generally run between $200 and $850.
Sunnei, which started as a menswear brand in 2015 and expanded to women’s clothes a few years later, focuses on casual attire and favors fun, comfortable designs. Founded by Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina, the brand produces most of its items in Italy using fine, durable materials, and the prices are often between $150 and $600. Highlights include studded Chiodi shoes, ankle boots in black leather, loose-fit pants, and four-pocket overshirts made of Japanese wool.
Since introducing his first collection in 2002, Haider Ackermann has garnered prestigious awards, including the Fashion Group International Award for Design. Born in Colombia and based in Paris, the designer is known best for rich colors and gorgeous draping and silhouettes. Examples include flowing camisole dresses for women and striking jackets for men, including bomber jackets made with velvet.
Launched by Catherine Holstein in 2016, Khaite has become a favorite among female celebrities for its elegant womenswear. You’ll find the staples of a stylish wardrobe here, such as beautiful monochromatic dresses, exquisitely soft cashmere polos, ribbed cotton tops that would work well for a business outfit, and jeans in different flattering silhouettes. Even the more casual pieces have an air of refinement, and the prices often fall between $800 and $2,000.
Viktor & Rolf
Glamorous, unconventional, and environmentally conscious, Viktor & Rolf is an avant-garde luxury brand founded in 1993 by Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren. Specializing in women’s haute couture, the Parisian brand offers many bold and playful garments, like dresses, blouses, and sweatshirts with lovely V-backs and bows. The Mariage collection is also worth checking out for stunning bridal gowns and jumpsuits.
Founded by Christophe Lemaire in 1990, Lemaire is one of the oldest contemporary luxury clothing brands on this list. One of the defining qualities of this French fashion label is its versatility, as its pieces can be easily restyled and used in various outfits. The price range is also fairly broad, extending from under $200 to over $3,000.
Many of the garments are unisex. These include the double-sided wool wrap coat, the twisted, belted pants, and the dispatch jacket, which is made of Lemaire’s special garment-dyed denim.
A Bathing Ape
Founded by Tomoaki Nagao in 1993, A Bathing Ape got its quirky name from a Japanese idiom about overindulged people who spend too much time in the bath. The edgy Japanese brand is lightheartedly poking fun at its customers, primarily young people who crave indulgence and may spend anywhere from $70 to $700 on jackets and tops.
When browsing the collections, you’ll see that military camouflage is A Bathing Ape’s most popular and distinctive print. It pops up on different garments, including mini skirts, hoodies, and sweatpants.
Which New Luxury Clothing Labels Appeal to You?
Share your go-to brands for different kinds of luxury clothes, and describe the styles you love in the comments.
About JakeJake is an expert on men’s style and fashion based in Washington, DC. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs and innovative clothing and lifestyle brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. He has published hundreds of articles on style and apparel, and regularly interviews small business CEOs and startup founders about industry trends. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine.
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