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FashionUnited launches Global Top 200 Fashion Companies

By FashionUnited

1 Dec 2015


FashionUnited has launched the first of its semi-annual list, Global Top 200 Fashion Companies, highlighting the top players in fashion worldwide. The comprehensive ranking includes the biggest 200 fashion companies by market capitalisation and includes both public and privately held companies.

At a glance, public companies top the charts of fashion around the globe. On average, the privately held fashion companies score 30 percent less in terms of market value than their publicly traded peers due to a liquidity discount.

90 percent of the top 10 fashion companies are publicly traded

In fact, out of the top ten companies comprehended within the FashionUnited Global Top 200 Fashion Companies, nine companies are public companies. Analysis points out at the liquidity discount as the main factor for this composition of the top ten.

Taking a look at the niche market within the fashion world, another trend shows clearly: public fashion companies leading the list include luxury conglomerates such as LVMH or Kering; fast fashion companies (Inditex, H&M); sports brands (Nike, Under Armour, Adidas), and diversified companies (VF, L Brands).

Meanwhile, the most prominent private companies are mostly luxury firms such as Chanel, Montres Tudor, Lao Feng Xiang, Swarovski or Armani, or the parent groups to well-known fast fashion companies including Primark, C&A, and Arcadia. There are hardly any privately held sports fashion companies to be found within the leaders of the fashion world.

USA, Italy and France: havens for fashion companies, both public and private

Most companies conforming the list are based in the US. In fact, a 38 percent of the entire list happens to be a North American company. The most successful sub-industries within the US market offer a good balance of department stores, sportswear, luxury fashion and fast fashion. “There is not a dominant sub-industry within fashion in this country,” highlights the FashionUnited Business Intelligence Unit.

The second most represented county in the FashionUnited Global Top 200 Fashion Companies list is Italy, with a total of 23 national companies making it to the list (12 percent of the total). 74 percent (17 out of 23) of the Italy-based companies, both publicly and privately held, are luxury fashion mono-brands or conglomerates. Mono-brands such as Armani and Cavalli are part of the majority of Italian fashion houses (70.6 percent.)

The UK has made it to the third position, with a total of 21 companies of the 200 included in the list (10.5 percent.) Luxury is the leading sub-industry in the UK with a total of seven companies out of 21 (33.3 percent). Meanwhile, five fast fashion retailers make the 23.8 percent. The rest of the British labels forming part of the FashionUnited Global Top 200 Fashion Companies are diversified fashion companies and department stores operators.

With 17 entries or 8.5 percent, France is the fourth country represented in the Global Fashion Top 200. France is a safe haven for luxury brands, which make the 64.7 percent of the French fashion industry.

Something that stands out is that 76.5 percent of the fashion companies in France are private. In fact, France is just second to Switzerland for that matter, where seven out of the nine Swiss brands included within this list are privately held. Apart from Tally Weijl and Charles Vogele, all Swiss companies (again 77.8 percent) cater to luxury customers.

The fifth largest country in this list in Germany with 14 companies (7 percent), of which four are sports companies and three are fast fashion companies.


The privately held companies are selected by analysing all companies in our database (Company directory) and filings at the local Chamber of Commerce or public disclosures. Due to limited disclosed information on privately held entities, the market value of these companies remains to be an estimate.

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