10 Most Successful Haute Couture Brands

Which Brands Reign Supreme In The World Of Haute Couture Fashion

Sectors & Markets

30 May, 2023

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The true buzz of fashion is felt during a few pivotal days during the “Fashion Month”. Fashion Weeks have been the most intense industry events, occurring twice a year. The Fashion Weeks taking place in London, Paris, Milan and New York are considered the most important by industry insiders, but many other cities also have their own events with a similar agenda. However, Haute Couture fashion week only happens in Paris. It takes place twice a year, usually in January and July.

Haute Couture is the French term for “high fashion”. These collections exhibit ultra luxurious clothing, made with exquisite fabrics, showcasing the work of highly skilled artisans, and nowadays even technology wizards, who put together a collection that well-renowned international designers have envisioned. Like all other fashion weeks, the Haute Couture Week in Paris, organised by Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, is a congregation of all types of industry professionals - journalists, celebrities and business heads etc.

SS23 Haute Couture week

The SS23 couture week took place in January 2023. The first brand to present was Schiaparelli, for which Daniel Roseberry presented his collection for the house, showcased on 23rd January. The season was concluded by Robert Wun who presented on 26th January. A total of 30 designers participated in the SS23 iteration of the week.

After monitoring the most high-profile shows, who also livestreamed their runway show, we can observe that the results of the livestream are not directly proportional to the number of followers. Chanel’s show witnessed the highest number of live stream viewers on Instagram, almost 17K peak live viewers. This was followed by Dior’s Show, designed by Maria Grazia Curie, and then by Valentino. If we are to compare the ratio of the number of peak live viewers to the number of followers of the brand on Instagram, the highest result was seen for Schiaparelli.

Almost all these brands also chose to live-stream on Youtube. Valentino had the highest livestream viewers on Youtube, as over 26K users logged in to watch the show.

Dior was the only brand that live-streamed on Douyin, with over 61K users tuning in to watch it on the platform. Chanel also live-streamed on KakaoTalk, the only haute couture brand to do so, with fantastic results, as 324K viewers watched the show on the Korean app. Weibo remains the platform with the highest engagement, as Dior show was live-viewed by 10M users, and the Fendi Couture show was watched by 7.9M Weibo users.

Balenciaga Couture

French luxury brand Balenciaga, founded in 1919 by Cristóbal Balenciaga, showcased its first haute couture show in 53 in July 2021 at Paris Couture Week. The brand’s creative director Demna Gvasalia presented the Fall 2021 Couture collection, his first collection to be presented at the prestigious Couture week. The show received a grand reception as A-listers such as Kanye West sat in the front row. The next couture show from the label was presented in July 2022, the Fall 2022 Couture collection. Once again, the event received a lot of attention in the press thanks to the presence of Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman and Dua Lipa walking for the show.

As a part of its social media strategy, the brand wipes out its Instagram feed frequently, however, more than 14M users follow the brand on the channel.


After the passing of Karl Lagerfeld in 2019, the Chanel lines, including the couture collection, have been helmed by Virginie Viard. Chanel’s shows are known for their larger than life affair, with vast spaces secured for their shows. For the Fall 2022 show, Chanel hosted an outdoor event at the Étrier de Paris, an equestrian school in the 16th arrondissement in Paris. Chanel’s couture collection consistently includes the label’s classic suit, however, they feature extraordinary craftsmanship. It also showcased jewellery inspired from Chanel’s archival items from the 1932 Haute Joaillerie anniversary collection—the only jewellery Coco Chanel designed with genuine diamonds.

Christian Dior

The French house Dior was founded in 1946. Along with the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter collections, Dior’s Couture show is a sought after event in the seasonal calendar. The house also presents Resort and Pre-Fall collections. The current designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri, who has been leading the design direction of the house since 2016, has been showcasing splendid collections season after season. Her distinct concept is to always partner with artists from around the world for each collection. For the Fall 2022 show in July 2022, Dior partnered with Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko, who designed the centrepiece for the show. Dior has over 42M followers on Instagram.

Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda

In July 2022, Dolce & Gabbana celebrated 10 years of Alta Moda shows. The made-to-measure label started by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana was launched in 2012. The last show demonstrated the exuberance of the classic Dolce & Gabbana style but taking it up several notches. Alta Moda styles often come heavily embellished with crystals, extensive metres of fabrics and attention to tailoring. The July event took place over 4 days of festivities in Sicily and was honoured by the presence of celebrities such as Helen Mirren, Mariah Carey, Kris Jenner and Sharon Stone.

Giambattista Valli

Giambattista Valli is an Italian fashion designer who was born in Rome in 1966. Valli's designs are known for their romanticism and femininity, and he has been praised for his use of colour and his ability to create wearable haute couture. Giambattista Valli has been presenting two couture collections annually at the Paris Couture Week, one for Fall and the other for Spring. His first couture show was the Fall 2011 collection. He celebrated a decade of haute couture at his July 2022 show while presenting the Fall 2022 collection. The Fall 2022 couture collection was inspired by the work of the Italian artist, painter, and sculptor Giorgio de Chirico.

Giorgio Armani Privé

Giorgio Armani’s design house has many different brands under its umbrella, from which the Privé line represents the designer’s haute couture collection. Giorgio Armani first showcased his haute couture line for Spring Summer 2005 with 31 looks. In January 2021, the brand celebrated 15 years of its haute couture line.

Armani Privé is popular among celebrities. Cate Blanchett is the biggest muse of the brand, and she is often seen wearing it for special events. The SS23 show saw actress Michelle Yeoh in the front row. The line exemplifies Giorgio Armani elegant designs, with intricate work supported by his team of over 50 artisans in his Milan atelier.

Fendi Couture

Kim Jones made his haute couture debut for Fendi on January 27, 2021 at the Palais Brongniart in Paris. He became the artistic director of women’s collections at Fendi in 2020. For his first haute couture show, there were numerous notable faces walking the runway, including Demi Moore, Kate Moss and her daughter Lila, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Cara Delevingne. They took to the runway alongside androgynous models.

His SS23 show had the theme “lightness” in which he used materials which weren’t what they seemed to be. For instance, lace that was actually made from leather, or use of embroidered beads which made the fabric appear laminated.

Jean Paul Gaultier

The couture collection of this house is now being designed by new notable designers every season. The Fall 2022 couture collection for Jean Paul Gaultier was designed by Olivier Rousteing, the current creative director of Balmain. The couture collections have also been designed by Glenn Martens (of Diesel) for Spring 2022 Couture and Chitose Abe (of Sacai) for Fall 2021 Couture, and the newest collection for the January 2023 show will be designed by Hair Ackermann.


Elsa Schiaparelli started her haute couture label way back in 1927. However, the house has not had a smooth growth. In fact, in 1954 the company declared bankruptcy. Years later, Tod’s Group’s Diego Della Valle bought the company in 2007. As a part of the brand’s revival, Christian Lacroix was made the designer of the house. Since 1954’s bankruptcy there had been no haute couture shows by the house. In 2013, he designed a haute couture collection dedicated to Elsa Schiaparelli. Soon after, Marco Zanini was named the creative director, and he presented his first haute couture line for the house. Currently, the designer for the brand is Daniel Roseberry, who started working in 2019. In 2017, Schiaparelli was awarded the official Haute Couture label by the French Ministry of Industry and the French Couture Federation.

The label is known to have a distinct style, easily identifiable. Wore by big stars such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Julia Roberts and the Karshdian-Jenner clan, the brand is once again in the spotlight. Play on texture, shapes and exaggerated silhouettes are commonplace at a Schiaparelli show.


The house of Valentino was started by Valentino Garavani in 1960. However, the designer retired in 2008 after presenting his last haute couture show in Paris in January of that year. Since 2008, the creative direction has been in the hands of Pierpaolo Piccioli (jointly with Maria Grazia Chiuri from 2008 to 2016). The house presented its latest haute couture collection in January 2023, showcasing the Spring 2023 range. The biggest names are often seen wearing the haute couture label, and even present in the front row of the shows. These names include Kylie Minogue, BTS’s Suga, Sam Smith, Anne Hathaway, Doja Cat and Charli XCX among others.

Voluminous drapes, giant ruffles, elegant suits are all realised to present looks for modern femininity in Valentino’s haute couture collections. The haute couture range is designed in the Rome atelier, despite the brand’s main office being in Milan, Italy. The Haute Couture Atelier, based in the renowned Palazzo Mignanelli in Rome, is the soul of the Maison which, under the creative vision of Pierpaolo Piccioli, creates collections that convey the values and the codes of Valentino.

Comparing the financial performance of haute couture brands

On comparing the revenues of the last few years, Chanel is clearly leading in terms of total sales. Giorgio Armani had very high revenues in 2018, but by 2021, Dior has slowly overtaken the brand. However, these revenues reflect the total business sales of the houses, including ready-to-wear lines and other product ranges.

Click here to see the detailed financial performance of the fashion houses.

Cover Image: Giambattista Valli N24 Haute Couture collection, Courtesy Giambattista Valli Paris Facebook page