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7 fashion brands over a century old

The biggest fashion labels that have endured the test of time.

Remember German supermodel-host Heidi Klum’s tagline in Project Runway, “in fashion, one day you’re in, and the next you’re out”?

These words are an accurate description when you’re talking about the fickle world of fashion. With ever-changing trends, its cyclical nature (i.e. resurgence of retro styles) and rise of social media, fashion labels can easily rise from obscurity but can equally quickly return to dust.

Here, we’re highlighting seven fashion labels that have impressively withstood the test of time and have hit the century mark — some even more. From Balenciaga, who turns 100 this year, to household names such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton, these are some of the biggest, most popular labels to know, and to own.

 

  • Balenciaga - Shaping Fashion

    Balenciaga

    The mention of Balenciaga conjures to mind cool street style pieces and trendy, often perplexing, creations conjured from the imagination of its creative designer, Demna Gvasalia. Case in point: Balenciaga’s Croc-inspired stilettos or the bags inspired by a furniture retailer (we’re talking about you, US$2,000 version of an Ikea bag). Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that Balenciaga is adept at polarising the fashion world. The Spanish label, which celebrates its centennial this year, was founded by Cristóbal Balenciaga, a couturier who had won favours from the likes of the Spanish royal court to the late Coco Chanel and Grace Kelly. In fact, it could be said that the brand’s DNA is very much one that challenges fashion norms. One example was Balenciaga’s insistence towards using voluminous and oversized silhouettes — as seen with the bubble skirt and the sack and cocoon dresses — that differed from the style de rigueur, which was Christian Dior’s postwar form-fitting New Look.

    After a 14-year closure due to Balenciaga’s passing, the label was re-launched in 1986 and was helmed by a series of designers including current Louis Vuitton head designer, Nicolas Ghesquière (’97 to ’12) and Alexander Wang (’13 to ’15). A 2018 report in the Business of Fashion named Balenciaga as the fastest growing label within the Kering conglomerate.

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