The total value of the world’s top 50 most valuable apparel brands has declined by 8% to US$276.4bn in 2021 – but US sporting goods giant Nike has hung on to its top spot for the seventh consecutive year.
Despite a 13% drop in brand value to $30.4bn, Nike regained its title as the world’s most valuable apparel brand, according to figures released by valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance.
Nike’s sales took a hit last year as the brand was forced to shut the majority of its stores across North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific due to the pandemic. The brand saw an impressive uptick in online sales, however, which almost doubled in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Brand Finance said.
Nike’s success came as the total value of the world’s top 50 brands tumbled from $301.9bn in 2020, with all brand values correct as of 1 January 2021.
“2020 was undoubtedly a tough year for the apparel sector,” said Richard Haigh, managing director, Brand Finance. “Global and widespread economic disruption caused a sharp decrease in demand and lockdown-induced store closures forced brands to digitalise quickly or face dire consequences to sales and profits.”
Haigh added, however, on the whole, the firm has witnessed remarkable agility and innovation across the sector, which will no doubt stand brands in good stead in the coming year.
The apparel ranking is divided into sub sectors: luxury; sportswear; fast fashion; watches, accessories and jewellery; high street designer; underwear; and footwear. Of these sub sectors footwear is the only one to record an increase in brand value year-on-year, posting a 9% increase in brand value on average. New entrants Timberland and Converse have performed particularly well this year, recording a 47% and 8% brand value increase, respectively. Nike-owned Converse saw a modest uplift in sales last year, due to an increase in demand in Europe, as well as higher global digital sales.
In contrast, underwear brands have suffered the most significantly this year, with the two brands featured in the ranking losing an average of 19% of brand value.
Fila is the fastest growing brand in this year’s Brand Finance Apparel 50 ranking following a 68% brand value increase to $2.7bn.
New entrants Timberland and Bosideng are the second and third fastest-growing brands, up 47% and 39% respectively. China’s Bosideng has entered the ranking in 50th position, with a brand value of $1.5bn.
Meanwhile, UK online retailer Asos sits just outside the ranking with the brand valued at $1.5bn, growing 39% year-on-year.
“We predict that its brand value will only increase further as they continue to successfully leverage the results of the pandemic,” Haigh said.