Enduring brands that have withstood fleeting trends and loved from era to era don't come without their price tag, but is this why they are so expensive?

Louis Vuitton storePh. Melanie Pongratz (Unsplash)

We explore five of the most famous luxurious brands out there and how well they measure up on style, cost and quality over time. Curious? We cover Gucci, Hermes, Chanel, Burberry and Rolex.

Designer brands are costly, but are any of them really worth the hefty price tag? In some cases, we think that they are.

 
Designer items are an extra reach, a piece of the dream and if we’re honest, we’ve all paged through a glossy magazine and coveted the latest Jeffery Campbell boots; they’re gorgeous. The Chanel Milk Carton bag was calling your name or you found yourself staring at the iconic silk scarf worn by a supermodel on a Gucci campaign and wanted a piece of the silk pie.

Some luxury brands offer a casual class like women’s Timberland boots compared to the iconic fancy of a Cartier bracelet. Either way at some point in our lives we’ve deliberated over a designer piece.

Can a case be made for these items actually being worth the hefty price tag? In some instances, we think that it can. Let’s take a look at five designer brands worth the money and the item we think will give you the most value for money.

Image by Mike Cabugao via Pexels

Gucci

Black Gucci Bag Ph. James Ree (Unsplash)

The House of Gucci was infamous long before the movie starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver came out. Every designer in the world knows the story of Patrizia Reggiani and Mauricio Gucci; the whirlwind romance, the souring of the relationship, the eventual murder for hire. Despite this drama, Gucci has been one of the foremost luxury brands in the world almost since it was founded in 1921. Before all the drama that occurred in the film and after it, quality was and will always be Gucci’s primary concern. There is no doubt that their garments, especially the leather wares, are made to stand the test of time. Our particular favourite is the classic black and gold Gucci emblem belt. The simplicity of this item is one of the reasons it's worth the price tag; it's incredibly versatile and will go with most things in your wardrobe. The quality is the second reason; this belt will be an heirloom piece if you look after the leather.

Hermes

Woman with white bagPh. Tamara Bellis (Unsplash)

Hermes is most well known and loved for its leatherware and iconic scarves. The company began in 1837 as a harness and bridle workshop for horses of rich and fabulous Parisian, and Hermes would go on to make saddles and even catered to the Tsar of Russia for a time. In 1918, when they produced their first leather golfing jacket, their journey into fashion began. Hermes only adorned the bodies of the most fashionable people in Paris until 1924, when they first established a presence outside of France. The label is most famous for its exquisite silk scarves and leatherwork, particularly the Birkin Bag. The Birkin came to be in quite an unusual fashion; on a flight from Paris to London, Jane Birkin was seated next to the executive chairman of Hermes, Jean-Louis Duman. She bemoaned the lack of bags well suited to young mothers, and Dumas sketched the Birkin up on the spot. The quality of the stitching and materials means that this bag is definitely worth the price tag.

Chanel

White Chanel shopping bagsPh. Laura Chouette (unsplash)

Coco Chanel is undoubtedly one of the best-known women in fashion. It is her most iconic garment that we say is the one most worth its price tag; the Chanel Tweed Jacket. There have been more productions and iterations of this jacked than almost any in the world of designer brands. Some are cut to work as a suit and some are cut more along the lines of a modern, boxy blazer. Though there are a lot of color options, our personal favourite is the black tweed, as it is the most wearable. This jacket has been with us since the end of the Second World War; Chanel came up with it as a response to the return of corsetry. The shape was inspired by the jackets that Chanel would borrow from her aristocratic boyfriend.

Image by Jean Pierre via Pexels

Burberry

Burberry Ph. Pete Pedroza (Unsplash)

The epitome of smart, practical, and chic design lies in the Burberry trench. The style has been imitated year after year but never truly duplicated. The crux of the coat’s worth lies in the lightweight gabardine fabric, which Burberry founder Thomas Burberry invented in 1879. This trench has an illustrious history. It was worn by officers in the First World War when the epaulets were used to display rank, and the D rings held equipment. Aspects of this functionality are still reflected in the Heritage Trench. Burberry offers reproofing and repair services, which make their trench a very sustainable choice.

Image by Antony Trivet via Pexels

Rolex

Rolex watchPh. Antony Trivet (Unsplash)

The longevity of a Rolex timepiece is what makes it worth your while, no doubt about it. A watch from Rolex isn't just a beautiful accessory but can actually be an investment if you look after it well and have it serviced when necessary. Because a lot of the brand’s appeal lies in its exclusivity, watch costs continue to rise. When you consider how many generations can own and wear one Rolex, the cost per wear goes down radically, and the price tag suddenly starts to make a lot more sense. The use of incredibly durable materials such as crystal and Oyster steel means that you have to to seriously mistreat a Rolex for it to become unusable. Since all Rolex timepieces are made with the same philosophy in mind and using the highest quality materials, any of them would be a good choice.

Final Word

If you select a piece from any of these five brands and you look after it well, you’ll have chosen a product that can last your lifetime and the lifetimes of your children and grandchildren. Doesn’t that sound like value for money?

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Over the last few months, CEO of Fashions Finest, Deborah St Louis, has been working closely with the ladies at The Branding Initiative. It was a pleasure to finally get to meet her in person when we were both invited to #BeInspired at Bentley Birmingham for an evening of luxury cars and fashion for Female Entrepreneurs.


Bentley Birmingham are leading the way amongst the luxury car industry in realising that the female empowerment movement represents women, globally, not only fighting for places on corporate boards but also in carving their own nichés as entrepreneurial superstars! And let me tell you, at the Bentley Birmingham ladies event, organised by Chameli Chowdhury, we met a fair few female entrepreneurs that are, for want of a better phrase, kicking ass!

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Upon arrival, we were greeted with a chilled glass of Ruinart champagne. The scene was set with pop up areas dedicated to fashion, jewels, art and a showcase of NSPCC Childline, Bentley’s choice of sponsored charity. Bentley aim with this event was to “combine inspirational names from the worlds of luxury style and fashion” and they didn’t disappoint!

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With only 20 Bentley dealerships across the UK and 4 of them managed by Sytner, Bentley Birmingham is switched on to what it means to use affiliate, attraction and digital marketing to increase exposure to the brand and broaden their client base. Marketing towards women is a smart move. Connecting luxury cars to other luxury items like fashion and jewels is an even smarter move! I mean, what other luxury car brand is so in tune with women in business that they showcase luxury shoes and handbags to match the car?!

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Meet “Purple Rain”, the stunning Bentley that comes with bespoke hand made shoes designed and crafted by Kate Spence. Kate designed for and managed the Jimmy Choo brand for seven years before establishing her own luxury couture footwear brand for women in 2012.

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Deborah St. Louis was especially keen to listen to the keynote from catwalk designer Alice Temperley of Temperley London, Deborah’s connections to London Fashion Week with Fashions Finest being the second largest off schedule event organiser for LFW.

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Throughout the summer Bentley Birmingham are exploring what inspires people and how that inspiration becomes a luxury item and creating something exquisite that perfectly balances form and function. Female entrepreneurs are the perfect target market to add huge value to that. What inspires us? What drives us? We’ll be interested to see what Bentley Birmingham come up with. What we would love to see is a catwalk show, showcasing up and coming designers, mixing new innovation traditional luxury. With more events lined up like that of #BeInspired, we have no doubt that this is going to be an interesting summer for Bentley!

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Deborah St Louis and Melanie Jones were delighted to meet Jenny Lee Holt at the event, a huge supporter of The Branding Initiative and fellow female entrepreneur and Director of Spectrum Telecoms. Together we browsed the cars, fashion and diamonds. Luxury bespoke jeweller S.P Green of Birmingham showcased some stunning pieces at the event and we had our beady eyes on a beautiful diamond and sapphire piece – blue and white to match our logo of course! What better way to spend a Friday evening?!

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Deborah St Louis and the ladies at The Branding Initiative would like to express huge thanks to Bentley Birmingham for the invitation. We look forward to working with you more over the coming months.

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For more information about Bentley cars, please contact Chris Gretton.

For more information on The Branding Initiative, our services or our programs, please contact us here.

Written by KellyAnn Schiavo - Co-founder of The Branding Initiative, Women in Business Ambassador & Blogger

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