Glamorous Battle: French vs Italian luxury houses — who leads in fashion?

February 29 2024 – Jean-Philippe Fugère

Glamorous Battle: French vs Italian luxury houses — who leads in fashion?

Glamorous Battle: French vs Italian luxury houses — who leads in fashion?

In the flamboyant arena of European luxury, an epic competition of prestige plays out between two queens: France and Italy.

Boutique LUC.S invites you to the show.

These countries, cradles of fashion and refinement, are home to the world's most iconic luxury houses, engaged in a historical rivalry that shapes the industry.

Much like our beloved drag queens, they share the stage to dazzle us with creativity and glamour... and they are ready to defend their title as queens of luxury.

LUC.S introduces you to the queens, French Touch and Passione Italiana!

Imagine a runway where strategic presence and catwalks of elegance and innovation are found. On one side, French Touch, the French houses – our visionaries Kering, Hermès, LVMH, and the divine Chanel – strut with grace and assurance, establishing themselves as the GAFAM of luxury. They unfold their creativity and mastery without limits, loudly affirming their place on the global chic podium.

On the other side, the Italian seductresses – Prada, Armani, and their sister Valentino – haven’t had their last word and promise an unforgettable show, displaying bold strategies and irresistible charms to seduce an international audience.

Beyond their cultural glow, these luxury empires are economic pillars for their respective countries. The French and Italian luxury industries are not only ambassadors of elegance but also engines of economic growth, innovation, and employment, illustrating the vital importance of these sectors for both the local economy and global trade.

In a context marked by the challenges of globalization and economic turmoil, notably accentuated by the pandemic, the resilience and adaptability of these haute couture giants underline their crucial role in the French and Italian economies.

So, who will win this duel at the top? In a world where luxury is an affirmation of style and status, which queen of haute couture will you cheer on?

Attention, Ladies and Gentlemen! The stage is set, the spotlights are on.

The show begins, and in this luxury battle royale, all glamor strikes are allowed. Choose your queen and let's enter together into this chic competition where tradition and modernity dance an explosive choreography to create the future of haute couture.

This is the must-see show for every haute couture enthusiast!

The French figures in ball gowns

  • LVMH, the supreme diva, enters the scene with a market capitalization of 518 billion CAD, revealing a portfolio of 76 prestigious brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi, Céline, Givenchy, Bulgari, and Tiffany & Co, and displaying an annual growth of 16.5% from 2016 to 2019. LVMH perfectly illustrates the diversification and expansion strategy that characterizes French excellence in luxury.
  • Hermès dazzles with a market capitalization of 221 billion CAD. The house is a symbol of exquisite craftsmanship and timeless luxury. It focuses on organic growth. Specializing in leather goods, Hermès has also successfully diversified into clothing, accessories, silk, perfumes, and horology. The brand is famous for its aura of exclusivity and its attachment to traditional craftsmanship values, while catering to the desires of a modern clientele.
  • Kering, in its fabulous ball gown, follows with 120 billion CAD, ready to surprise with its creative choices and expansion strategy. It demonstrates its power through dynamic external growth, integrating luxury houses with international influence. With strategic acquisitions such as Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga, Kering shapes an empire where creativity and innovation are at the heart of its vision. The outstanding rise of Gucci,  becoming the main engine of the group, testifies to Kering's ability to transform its brands into global fashion icons.
  • And what about Chanel, this independent star, whose light shines brightly under the direction of the Wertheimer family since the 50s. Chanel has maintained a remarkable compound annual growth, affirming its status as a luxury brand by excellence in fashion, perfumes, and jewelry. Its approach, focused on quality and innovation while preserving its unique heritage, continues to entice fashion enthusiasts like you.

The rivalry! The drama!

The French and Italian luxury houses, with their rich and distinct heritages, have shaped the luxury world through the centuries.

In France, the luxury story takes root in the court of Louis XIV, where fashion and elegance are instruments of power and cultural influence. Houses such as Louis Vuitton, founded in 1854, and Hermès, in 1837, emerged from this context, establishing standards of excellence and craftsmanship that endure today.

LVMH and Kering, contemporary luxury giants, continue to follow this tradition, combining know-how and innovation, to maintain their supremacy – and keep their crown – on the global market.

Cross the Alps, and you're in Italy, where luxury also has a long history, deeply rooted in the Renaissance, a period of artistic and cultural renewal.

The 22 Italian luxury houses, like Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Valentino, are true fashion muses, dictate trends and reflect this tradition of excellence, blending boundless creativity and artisanal quality, to enchant you, fashionistas of the world.

Italy plays the card of creative audacity and independence. Prada's avant-garde approach to fashion continues to redefine trends and reported an 18% sales increase in the 3rd quarter of 2021, aiming for growth to 6.5 billion CAD, doubling its online investment, all without help from a global conglomerate.

Armani, as a symbol of timeless elegance, has established an empire where sophistication and simplicity meet. Armani's successful diversification, encompassing haute couture, accessories, beauty, and even hospitality, testifies to the brand's ambition and global vision.

However, the Italian luxury industry is not immune to global dynamics, notably the impact of foreign acquisitions. Many Italian gems have joined the ranks of international conglomerates, like Gucci, Brioni, and Bottega Veneta under the wings of Kering, or Bulgari and Loro Piana integrated into the LVMH portfolio.

These operations highlight the global value of Italian brands while sparking debates on the preservation of their identity and independence.

Despite these changes, the essence of Italian luxury, centered on creativity, exclusivity, and unparalleled artisanal craftsmanship, remains intact.

Italian brands continue to play a crucial role in the global luxury industry, witnessing the vitality and resilience of the Italian heritage in an ever-evolving market.

These traditions, rooted in the past and looking towards the future, have shaped the identity of French and Italian luxury houses. Their shared history, marked by rivalry but also by mutual admiration, testifies to the undeniable impact of their culture and history on the luxury industry.

These two nations continue to write the chapters of this prestigious story, constantly innovating while preserving their unique heritage.

Sustainable Development Initiatives

Sustainable development has become a central pillar for luxury brands, striving to address their customers' environmental concerns.

Kering has taken the lead with ambitious initiatives aimed at reducing its carbon footprint and promoting sustainability across all its brands, including Gucci and Bottega Veneta. These efforts reflect a growing awareness of the environmental impact of the fashion industry and a commitment to protecting our planet.

Make your ethical choice today and become queens of change for a greener future, one luxury piece at a time. 

Discover our exclusive selection of second-hand luxury clothing, and engage in more responsible fashion. Be inspired by the initiatives of haute couture leaders. 

Click here to explore our collection at LUC.S.

Queens collaborate

Collaborations between luxury brands and creators from other fields, such as art, music, and street culture, have become a key strategy for attracting younger consumers.

LVMH, with its diversified portfolio, has excelled in this approach, notably through Louis Vuitton's collaborations with artists and streetwear brands. These partnerships have not only generated considerable buzz but also opened luxury brands to new audiences, merging high-end styles with urban and contemporary influences.

And, the winner is…

At Boutique LUC.S, we believe the question isn't who will win, but rather how this competition will continue to shape a future in which luxury remains synonymous with excellence, innovation, elegance, and dream.

It's not about lip-syncing here; the queens are singing for real, and they rarely hit a false note!

If France seems to dominate the runway with its financial power and expansion strategy, Italy, with its creativity and agility, holds a special place in the hearts of luxury lovers.

In the hands of these haute couture goddesses, French and Italian, the future shines, announcing creations ever more fierce that, we are sure, will make your fashionista heartbeat a little stronger. 😍

Moreover, Kering's acquisition of Gucci is the perfect example of Franco-Italian synergy, with explosive growth and bold positioning.   


The growing importance of the Asian market, particularly China, promises to continue to be a significant growth driver, while the adoption of online commerce and sustainable development initiatives are now essential to meet consumer expectations.

The sector must also navigate the troubled waters of global crises, like the COVID-19 pandemic, which tested the resilience and adaptability of brands.

The historical rivalry between French and Italian luxury houses, far from being just a struggle for supremacy, acts as a key instigator for pioneering ideas and unparalleled excellence

This competitive environment has fostered a surge of creativity, accelerated the swift integration of cutting-edge technologies, and the commitment to more sustainable practices.

It has shaped a more dynamic and responsive sector, capable of reinventing itself and remaining relevant in the face of changing consumer tastes and demands.

Why does this rivalry fascinate us?

It's not just about numbers.

It's the story of two haute couture philosophies meeting, challenging each other, but above all, inspiring each other.

The union of Italian tradition with French strategy creates a dynamic and innovative luxury ecosystem.

And, that's crucial!

Beyond competition, it's the passion for fashion that unites these luxury queens and their fans.

That's important, too.

So, whether you're team French Touch or team Passione Italiana, the choice is yours, but one thing is for sure: luxury is a realm where passion, beauty, innovation, and boldness are the true queens.

So, sit back comfortably, dear readers, because as you've understood, the show is just beginning.

In the world of luxury, the only certainty is that beauty, elegance, and ingenuity will continue to dress us and make us totally obsessed, season after season.

May the best queen win! 

Or better yet, may their competition continue to elevate the art of luxury to unexplored heights!

And, let's be honest, it's you, the fashion enthusiasts, who will benefit! No matter which team you’re rooting for, at LUC.S, you're guaranteed to experience a rich blend of emotions and elegance.

So, want to stride with flair, like a second-hand luxury queen – or king – and discover the hits from French and Italian houses?

At Boutiques LUC.S, we open the doors to an exceptional selection.

Come explore our collections for women and men, along with our shoes, bags, accessories, jewelry and watches. Let yourself be seduced by the best of second-hand luxury fashion.

Click here for a unique experience and let the art of haute couture sweep you away.


Hanania, Y., Musnik, I., & Gaillochet, P. (2022). Le luxe contre-attaque: accélérations et disruptions. Édition Dunod. 368 p.


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