US sporting goods giant Nike has retained its position as the world's most valuable apparel brand after a 13% rise in brand value to US$32bn, new figures show.

According to valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance, Nike is the most powerful brand in the sector and third most powerful across all sectors, with its strength partially attributable to its ability to "continuously innovate and deliver state-of-the-art products" to a range of consumer demographics.

Every year, Brand Finance values the brands of thousands of the world's biggest companies. Brands are first evaluated to determine their power or strength (based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation) and given a corresponding letter grade up to AAA+.

Brand strength is then used to determine what proportion of a business's revenue is contributed by the brand, which is projected into perpetuity to determine the brand's value. The world's most valuable apparel brands are ranked and included in the Brand Finance Apparel 50 2017.

Closely behind Nike is Swedish fashion retailer H&M, with a brand value of $19bn after 24% growth. While the Swedish company continues to expand its network of physical stores, it is redirecting some of its efforts towards expanding its e-commerce operations to cater to the rising popularity of online shopping. The competitive business model and its investments in IT will aid it in generating future returns as it develops in emerging markets, says Brand Finance.

Meanwhile, Inditex-owned Zara is the third most valuable brand, valued at $14.4bn after an "impressive" 43% growth. Unlike the more rigid business models of other apparel brands, Brand Finance says the flexibility that comes with Zara's fast fashion model allows it to adapt its clothing to unpredictable circumstances such as unusual changes in weather, allowing the brand's value to flourish as a result.

In addition, Marc Jacobs is the fastest growing brand in the table, its brand value growing 84%, while Chinese sports and footwear brand, Anta, is the second fastest - its value up 67% to $2bn.