In the luxury world, the top dogs are exactly who you might expect them to be. According to a new ranking from the research group Millward Brown and the advertising conglomerate WPP, Louis Vuitton — the crown jewel in the luxury conglomerate LVMH's portfolio — is worth an estimate $24.7 billion, making it the most valuable brand in the sector.
To calculate a brand's value, the study looks at corporate earnings, its potential for future earnings and qualitative factors like meaningfulness, distinctiveness and salience that speak to consumers' attitude toward purchasing its products. For brands like Vuitton that are part of a larger company, figuring out that financial value is a matter of figuring out its percentage contribution to overall sales.
Trailing behind Vuitton, there's Hermès ($19 billion), Gucci ($13 billion), Chanel ($9 billion), Rolex ($8.5 billion), Cartier ($7.6 billion), Prada ($6.5 billion), Burberry ($5.7 billion), Michael Kors ($3.8 billion) and Tiffany ($3.2 billion). Perhaps more telling than the brands' valuation, however, is their movement within that list in the last year. Vuitton and Chanel were the only labels whose brand value increased, growing 6 and 15 percent respectively. The others all sunk.
Prada's valuation dropped the most — 35 percent, which dragged it down from fourth place in 2014 to seventh this year. Chanel, seventh last year, leapfrogged up to fourth in its stead. While slowed luxury spending in China and Russia took a toll on most brands, Chanel has made moves to curb gray market selling by cutting its prices in China, a smart move according to Millward Brown.
Of course, luxury fashion is not the most valuable sector in the world. That would be technology, which also happens to be the fastest growing area. And the top brand? Apple, of course.