Special Report

The 20 Most Successful American Fashion Brands

John Harrington

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20. Brooks Brothers
> Founded: 1818
> Parent Company: Brooks Brothers Group, Inc. (not publicly traded)
> What it sells: Classic American suits, Oxford shirts
> Stores worldwide: 500+
> Revenue: $1 billion

For more than 200 years, the venerable American clothier has been outfitting almost every U.S. president. The privately held company created its iconic Original Polo Button-Down Oxford shirt in 1900.

Source: Pablo Cuadra / Getty Images

19. Converse
> Founded: 1908
> Parent Company: Nike Inc.
> What it sells: Athletic footwear
> Stores worldwide: 172
> Revenue: $1.9 billion

Converse makes the Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers, iconic street footwear that’s been worn by ballers for decades. The company was founded in 1908 as a maker of galoshes and started making the sneakers that made the company famous in 1915.

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18. Tommy Hilfiger
> Founded: 1985
> Parent Company: PVH Corporation
> What it sells: American-themed apparel, fragrances, eyewear
> Stores worldwide: 1,800+
> Revenue: $4.3 billion

Long before Tommy Hilfiger’s name became synonymous with red, white, and blue American style, the Elmira, New York, native started his retail career at age 18 selling jeans in high school. He opened a store with high school friends that was called the People’s Place.

Source: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

17. Kate Spade
> Founded: 1993
> Parent Company: Tapestry Inc.
> What it sells: Handbags, accessories, home decor
> Stores worldwide: 407
> Revenue: $1.36 billion

Kate Spade, a former accessories editor at Mademoiselle magazine, left the editorial side of fashion and went into retail by designing a handbag. Her creations combined utility and splashy colors. The product became an aspirational brand for young women climbing the corporate ladder.

Source: Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images

16. Calvin Klein
> Founded: 1968
> Parent Company: PVH Corporation
> What it sells: Clothes, accessories, home furnishings
> Stores worldwide: 4,115 (including distributor stores)
> Revenue: $3.7 billion

Calvin Klein was originally recognized for his suits and coats but branched out into sportswear. Ads for his products pushed boundaries, such as the jeans ad with a 15-year-old Brooke Shields, who said in a famous television commercial, “Do you know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”