Special Report

The 20 Most Successful American Fashion Brands

Source: Scott Olson / Getty Images

15. Eddie Bauer
> Founded: 1920
> Parent Company: Golden Gate Capital (not publicly traded)
> What it sells: Outerwear
> Stores worldwide: 275+
> Revenue: $745 million

Outdoorsman Eddie Bauer opened his first sporting goods store in 1920 and in 1936 he created the “Skyliner,” a quilted goose down jacket that revolutionized outerwear.

Source: Pablo Cuadra / Getty Images

14. Vans
> Founded: 1966
> Parent Company: V.F. Corporation
> What it sells: Footwear, outerwear
> Stores worldwide: 1,151 parent company stores
> Revenue: $13.8 billion (parent company)

Vans was founded by brothers Paul and Jim Van Doren along with Gordon Lee and Serge Delia in Anaheim, California, and its sporty shoes have become favored by skateboarders because they are durable and have sticky soles.

Source: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

13. Under Armour
> Founded: 1996
> Parent Company: Under Armour Inc.
> What it sells: Performance apparel
> Stores worldwide: 179
> Revenue: $5.19 billion

The preferred undergarment for athletes had its origins with Kevin A. Plank, a former special teams captain of the University of Maryland football team. Plank grew tired of constantly changing the cotton T-shirt under his jersey as it became wet and heavy during the game. So he devised a garment that would remain drier and lighter and in the process created the performance apparel category.

Source: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

12. J.Crew
> Founded: 1983
> Parent Company: J.Crew Group Inc.
> What it sells: Upscale casual apparel
> Stores worldwide: 369
> Revenue: $1.77 billion

Jenna Lyons started at J. Crew in 1990 as an assistant designer in menswear after she graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York City and helped transform the company under the leadership of legendary merchant Mickey Drexler by creating colorful shoes, pencil skirts, and patterned fabrics.

Source: anouchka / Getty Images

11. Polo Ralph Lauren
> Founded: 1967
> Parent Company: Ralph Lauren Corporation
> What it sells: Country-club prep style clothes
> Stores worldwide: 510
> Revenue: $6.31 billion (parent company)

After a stint in the Army, Bronx-born Ralph Lauren (née Ralph Lifshitz) persuaded New York City clothier Beau Brummel to invest in wider neck ties in the late 1960s. The ties sold well and Lauren’s clothing empire had begun.

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