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Top 5 Publicly-Traded Global Apparel Brands


Nike, which tops the list, just launched a $300-plus sneaker.


MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Nike (NKE) tops the list of the most valuable publicly-traded global apparel brands, according to Millward Brown's BrandZ list of Top 100 Global Brands. Research agency Millward Brown has been compiling its list since 1998 and rates brand metrics on image, personality, corporate reputation, and other factors. The company assigned Nike a brand value of $16.255 billion although the publicly traded company has a market capitalization of $43.70 billion.

In a "What recession?" move, Nike's new LeBron sneakers will retail up to $315, which will be the brand's most expensive pair ever. These sneakers will include motion sensors to measure how high users jump. In 1985, the company debuted the Air Jordan, which retailed for $64.99, or about $140 in today's dollars.

H&M, Zara, UNIQLO, and Calvin Klein, which is a division of PVH Corp. (PVH), were all on the top 10, but are not individually publicly traded.

After Nike, Ralph Lauren (RL) was second among publicly traded companies with a brand value of $5.086 billion and a market capitalization of $14.26 billion. Ralph Lauren bought back its franchises and increased sharply in brand value as affluent shoppers in the US returned. Of the more than 100 full-price Ralph Lauren Brand Stores worldwide, 60 are located in North America. Around 10,000 department stores carry the brand and about 6,000 of those are in the US.

Adidas (ADDDF) came in third with a brand value of $3.863 billion and a market cap of $16.37 billion. Based in Germany, Adidas has been linked to hip-hop culture since Run-DMC rapped about "My Adidas" in 1986. Flash forward to the present and the brand is featuring Nicki Minaj in its latest Adidas Originals commercial.

The Hugo Boss (HUGPF) brand was valued at $3.257 billion, according to Millward Brown, and had a market capitalization of $6.34 billion. The rise in Hugo Boss's valuation reflected the brand's strong financial performance, with worldwide sales up 19%, led by a 34% increase in Asia and a 24% increase in the Americas. Sales rose by a healthy 15% even in the troubled economy of Europe. Like Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss bought back franchise operations and ended the year with 622 stores. Founded in 1924, Hugo Boss is the oldest apparel brand in the top five.

Last on the list of the top five was UK-based Next (NXT.L), which is valued at $2.973 billion with a market cap of $5.93 billion. China's Metersbonwe (002269.SZ) was also in the top 10. Britain's second-biggest clothing retailer has 500 stores in the UK and Ireland and 200 stores in 30 countries overseas. The company's total sales rose 4.5% in the first six months of this year. The brand likely got a boost from the Olympics as it was the official clothing and homeware supplier of the 2012 Games.

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