In this article we are going to list the 15 largest fashion companies in the world. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 largest fashion companies in the world.
Fashion has always been prevalent no matter what century you look at, or what geographical area you focus on. However, fashion was never as big an industry as it has become now and is not a global phenomenon, worth around $3 trillion on a global level, outranking many major industries in the world. Fashionable items are quite expensive, and often unaffordable for the general population, which allows for significantly high margins in the industry, which is why while costs may be low, revenues in the industry are extremely high.
However, despite the aforementioned statistics, the fashion industry is perhaps not in the best place right now. Even before the pandemic hit (which we will get to later on), predictions were that the fashion industry growth will continue to slow and by around 3% to 4%, which was even worse than the prediction for 2019. One of the primary pressures on the fashion industry pertain to adapting and leveraging new technologies, where it has been notoriously slow, while increased diversity and sustainability are other areas where the fashion industry needs to do much more than it has already been doing.
The fashion industry is one of the most unbalanced industries out there, with the big companies being absolutely huge and the rest not coming anywhere near these top companies. In fact, the top 20 companies make profits which surpass that of the rest of the industry combined, showcasing just how much of a disparity there is. In fact, many companies, especially listed companies, are making a loss annually and the biggest players are the ones who are in the best position to take advantage of the limited sources available, as well as being the innovation leaders in the industry, which is perhaps the single most important part of fashion. The innovators are the one who earn all the big bucks in the industry.
Trade wars between the US and China, Brexit and macroeconomic uncertainties have really hindered the fashion industry, which customers and consumers being more hesitant in their spending, especially for luxuries when life around them has been very uncertain. In fact, in a survey carried out by McKinsey, only 9% of the respondents thought that there would be an improvement in the fashion industry in 2020. Again, remember that this was back before the impact of the pandemic was considered, so things were already looking quite dour for the industry even before the worst economic crisis in history took place. Europe, which has some of the most fashion conscious cities in the world in Milan and Paris, have had their fashion industry be hit by the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, while Asia is perhaps the only continent where a growth in this industry is expected.
A positive part of the industry is its entry in the Gulf, which is one of the most well off areas in the world, consisting of countries which are extremely rich due to their oil reserves and hence, have some of the highest per capita income in the entire world. Many of these countries don’t even have an income tax on their citizens, allowing them to be able to spend on luxuries. In fact, shopping is actually a cultural past time in many of these countries which are home to giant shopping malls, featuring the most exclusive brands. After all, there’s a reason why fashion sales in the GCC are worth around $50 billion on an annual basis.
Like I said earlier, all of these morbid predictions were even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, which has resulted in well over 55 million cases and nearly 1.4 million deaths. Many countries, in fact most countries across the world went into lockdowns to prevent the spread, closing down any and all non essential businesses, with billions of people not being allowed to leave their homes unless there was an emergency. Fashion is basically a luxury at the end of the day and companies had to close their plants as well as stores and outlets. Since Europe was the initial epicenter of the the pandemic, the countries within had the strictest lockdowns, greatly affecting the fashion industry, which is also mostly based in Europe. Further, since people are staying home and get togethers are limited, while parties and social events are mostly cancelled, people have had little incentive to splurge on clothes which has greatly decreased demand. Instead, face masks have now become a necessity and for many, even a fashion statement with fashion brands latching onto this new development and manufacturing their own luxury face masks. One thing is for sure, the fashion industry has changed forever due to the pandemic and will need an overhaul to survive, even as many major and historic fashion stores have had to close their doors for good in the midst of a pandemic.
The biggest fashion companies in the world are worth over $100 billion brands while even the lowest ranked company in our list is worth over $23 billion. These companies own some of the most famous brands in the world, with these brands alone worth billions of dollars. So let’s take a look at the companies most likely to survive the decimation of their industry, starting with number 15:
15. Swatch Group
Market cap of the company (in billions of dollars): 10.3
Revenue of the company (in billions of dollars): 8.3
Net profit of the company (in billions of dollars): 0.73
Total Assets of the company (in billions of dollars): 14.1
While primarily famous for its watches, this Swiss company is a global fashion must have, and operates in over 50 countries.