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Source: Brand Finance Apparel 50 2021, © 2021 Brand Finance

Rankings still remain popular as a way to gain fast information about the latest successes and trends. According to the just-published “Brand Finance Apparel 50 2021” report, sporting goods manufacturer Nike has retained its status as the world’s most-bought clothing brand for the seventh year in a row, even with the company’s brand value dropping 13% to USD 30.4 billion. Nike experienced a slump in its business last year when the pandemic forced the brand to close most of its shops in North America, EMEA and the Asia-Pacific region. Simultaneously, however, its online sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have almost doubled. Gucci was runner-up behind Nike with a brand value of USD 15.6 billion, representing a decline of 12% on 2020. Taking the next few places were Louis Vuitton at USD 14.85 billion (–9.8%), Adidas at USD 14.34 billion (–13.0%) and Chanel France at USD 13.24 billion (–3.4%).

The report is divided into the sub-sectors luxury, sportswear, fast fashion, watches, accessories and jewellery, high-street designer, underwear and footwear, with footwear being the only one to record a year-on-year increase in brand value. New entrants Timberland and Converse (the latter owned by Nike) did particularly well this year and were able to achieve growth of 47% and 8% respectively. Fila is the fastest-growing brand according to the current ranking; its brand value rose by 68% to USD 2.7 billion.

In addition to measuring total brand value, Brand Finance also appraises the relative strength of a brand based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation. Rolex is again the world’s strongest clothing brand when applying these criteria, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 89.6 out of 100. The total value of the world’s 50 highest-value clothing brands has decreased by 8% from USD 301.9 billion in 2020 to USD 276.4 billion in 2021.

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