Nike once again emerged as the world’s most valuable apparel brand, according to an annual ranking published by the consultancy Brand Finance.
The brand valuation firm’s yearly Apparel 50 ranking placed the Swoosh brand’s value at $31.3 billion—down 6 percent from the prior year, but ahead of Louis Vuitton ($26.3 billion), Chanel ($19.4 billion) and Gucci ($17.8 billion). Adidas, the only other athletic brand to land a spot in the top 10, came in fifth, with a valuation of $15.7 billion. Rounding out the top 10 were Hermès ($14.2 billion), Dior ($13.2 billion), Cartier ($12.5 billion), Zara ($11 billion) and Rolex ($10.7 billion).
“From its relentless commitment to innovation, ability to stay ahead of market trends, and extensive partnerships with athletes worldwide, Nike has firmly cemented its place at the top of the apparel industry,” Annie Brown, general manager of Brand Finance UK, said in a statement. “In 2023, the brand is continuing to leverage its enormous global influence and reputation to empower positive change in the sporting world and beyond.”
The Just Do It Company also achieved the highest Sustainability Perceptions Value at $2.3 billion, thanks in large part to its Move to Zero strategy and efforts linking executive compensation with ESG progress, according to the report.
In all, 14 American brands featured in the ranking, collectively contributing 25 percent of the total brand value in the ranking. This number included three of the top five brand value declines. Levi’s, which saw its brand value drop 18 percent to $3.2 billion, represented the most substantial decrease of the American brands. Brand Finance attributed the decline to a “confluence of challenges,” including supply chain disruptions, inflation and downturn concerns and its participation in the fashion boycott of Russia. The North Face and Michael Kors both experienced decreases of 17 percent in brand value.
“The United States boasts the world’s largest apparel market, yet this year, the sector and its brands have encountered persistent challenges, including elevated inflation rates and year-on-year comparisons, particularly in light of the prior year’s government stimulus-driven consumer spending surge following the pandemic,” Laurence Newell, managing director of Brand Finance North America, said in a statement.
The ranking also highlighted sneaker brand New Balance and French fashion house Celine. The former’s brand value grew 11 percent to $1.8 billion, with the success of recent tennis star Coco Gauff at the U.S. Open set to boost New Balance’s reputation and popularity, Brand Finance said. Celine, meanwhile, emerged as the fastest-growing apparel brand, with its value up 51 percent to $2.9 billion, followed by luxury names like Dior (up 46 percent) and Givenchy (up 41 percent).
Bosideng’s appearance on the list, up one spot at No. 47 with $1.9 billion in brand value, illustrates how Chinese companies are pivoting from simply manufacturing product to branding and marketing it as well, according to the report. The technical down apparel company, a 2022 ISPO award winner which has seven of China’s biggest and most advanced down production facilities, has overcome “the common challenges faced by Chinese brands in the global market by connecting with consumers and establishing itself as a distinctive player,” the report said.
The consultancy noted continued declines in value and strength among fast fashion-giants, including H&M, which underwent a 26 percent decline in value, and Zara, which dropped 15 percent. Brand Finance attributed this weakness to “vague communication” and a lack of transparency around sustainability. Shein, the ultra-fast-fashion Temu rival gobbling up market share from the incumbents, was noticeably absent from the Top 50 ranking. Sourcing Journal reached out to Brand Finance for comment.
Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.