The Top Haute Couture Designers of the FHCM
You’ve very likely heard the term “Haute Couture” if you enjoy fashion and design as much as we do! It sounds very fancy and elegant, but how much do you know about it all? Or, most importantly, the amazingly talented creators and brands behind the elite haute couture label? Literally “high sewing” in French, the term is defined by the work of the high fashion houses and designers invited by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode to don the prestigious name and walk their runways each Winter and Summer.
From the iconic to up-and-coming, read on to meet the top haute couture designers and their inspiring fashion brands. And for those of you who want a bit more insight into the world of haute couture, see below for a bit of history.
Behind the Scenes of Haute Couture
Haute couture first started becoming a “thing” in 1858 with Charles Frederick Worth. Worth became known as the father of haute couture when he started with ionic, one-of-a-kind pieces for each client. From there, he formed the first Couture House. The term “haute couture” became a legal term on January 23rd, 1945.
Since Charles Frederick Worth’s time, rules have been established for any true haute couture Houses. These rules are established by the FHCM. Those that produce true haute couture are known as “grand couturiers”. This is a big deal. Only the best of the best achieve this status. To be an Haute Couture Member designer, the fashion brand must have a workshop in Paris and a minimum of 15 full-time workers, as well as 20 full-time technical workers. These workers (i.e. artisans!), along with the designer, must produce two collections a year with multiple kinds of looks in each collection. However, there is also Correspondent Membership to those outside of Paris. As well there are Guest Members, but they may only use the term “couture” instead of haute couture if they have not been a guest for more than two years.
Haute couture pieces take months to create. They are incredibly intricate, and those that want to wear these items will pay a hefty price. A piece may cost a minimum of $8,000. However, these haute couture fashion brands’ items are worth every penny if you love fashion and craftsmanship, and artistry, all bundled into something you can wear out! Some of the most iconic red carpet looks are thanks to haute couture fashion brands. Now that all the bases are covered, here are the top haute couture designers! We will start with the core Members of the Fédération.
For more on The Art of Haute Couture, read HERE.
The 16 Top Haute Couture Members
Adeline Andre is one of the head grand couturiers and has been for many years. To say that Andre learned from the best would be an understatement. Before going to school for Haute couture, Andre studied under Salvador Dali. In addition, she also studied in the House of Christian Dior. In terms of achievements, Adeline Andre has plenty. She was the first to create and patent the three-sleeve-hole garment, which became an incredibly trendy dress following. All of her designs are very flowy, usually with organza or silk. Andre prefers “natural shapes” of fabric, which may be why the New York Times called her the “mother of minimalism”. Andre has been part of the haute couture life since 1997, and ever since then, she has been creating beautiful organic pieces.
If you know anything about celebrity designers, then this name might be familiar to you. While Vauthier has not been around for as many years as Andre, he has apprenticed under some very big names. Vauthier worked with Thierry Mugler, who is very well-known in the couture universe, as well as Jean-Paul Gaultier, who created some of Madonna’s looks. Vauthier has been a member since 2014 and has had many haute couture collections for the Federation. One word to describe his haute couture looks is sharp. His last collection featured handmade fringe and sequins, as well as very sleek and sharp looks.
Like Vauthier, Mabille is a newer member of the Federation, but he has certainly made a unique name for himself. Mabille graduated early from his schooling in couture and, almost immediately following, worked for very big, very old French haute designers like Nina Ricci and Emanuel Ungaro. He also worked for Dior, like Adeline Andre, before creating his own line. One of his creations that got him on the map in the haute couture world was his bowties. It sounds unbelievable, but Mabille’s bowties blew up around the world. Mabille’s unisex clothing line also got the attention of many haute couture designers and fashion brands. He has been a member since 2012. In last year’s haute couture collection, Mabille’s line featured daring silhouettes, metallic materials, as well as a mixture of old and new fashion.
Bouchra Jarrar has been around the block a few times. Even though her membership with the Federation has only been since 2013, her work inside the French couture scene has been extensive. Jarrar also worked with Jean Paul Gaultier, like Vauthier, but also worked with Christian Lacroix. Since the start, Jarrar has prided herself in becoming an expert of French designs and French fashion. Before going on her own, Jarrar was the head of the Balenciaga studio. In her latest collection, Jarrar has played around with traditional French silhouettes while combining new ideas like sheer pieces and feathered headpieces. In addition, Jarrar dabbles in photography, which plays a major part in her haute couture shows.
Now, this designer needs no introduction. Chanel has been a fashion brand icon for decades, but what about the haute couture lines? Well, Gabrielle Chanel started in the fashion world with hats and then jersey materials in the early 1900s. From there, it was perfumes and colognes, makeup, skincare, and just about everything else. Because Chanel was so recognized when the Federation of haute couture, as well as the term itself, came to be, it has always been included as a member. Even though Gabrielle Chanel has long passed, the Chanel house has been creating some beautiful haute couture pieces in recent years. In the spring collection of 2022, there were geometric designs and beading, intricate flowers, as well as new takes on the classic Chanel suit. A fashion emblem on the list of top haute couture designers.
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This is an old haute couture brand that knows a thing or two about classic fashion pieces. Dior has been designing since the 1940s, so the House has seen fads come and go in haute couture. Christian Dior, the founder, was very interested in art galleries, which may help in the more artistic side of the haute couture industry. The House of Dior has made itself known for breaking the stereotypes in fashion, like shorter skirts and tighter silhouettes. Since its creation, the House has worked with some of the greatest haute designers known to man to create inspiring and elegant collections. Like Chanel, Dior has been included in the Federation membership since the word came to be. Last year’s haute couture collection emphasized the designers and their craftsmanship. The Summer 2022 haute couture collection featured neutral tones while also having different silhouettes, necklines, and fabrics.
Franck Sorbier and the House that he oversees is the only designer to have not one but two honorary awards in France. In addition to these accolades, Sorbier has 20 years of haute couture experience. If that doesn’t say “one of the best”, then what will? Sorbier has made its name on craftsmanship, one of the main tenets of haute couture. In the past, Sorbier and his team have been known to use different techniques like needlework and blowtorching metals to create exquisite collections. In past haute couture collections, the House has had themes that usually have a philanthropic vibe while also crafting true worn artwork. The Summer 2022 haute couture collection had a theme of life and how to reflect the gifts of life into fashion. Some looks featured feathers, primary colors, and flowers.
Even though Giambattista Valli is an Italian designer, he and his House have made great strides in the French haute couture world. In fact, it is his Italian background that lends him to create new and innovative designs. Before moving to Paris and becoming a member of the Federation, Valli studied under some amazing houses, like Fendi and Emanuel Ungaro. Also, his travels overseas had many different artistic influences, like singers, illustrators, and actors. It was Valli’s connections to high-end women all over the world that started a new term known as ‘Valli Girls’. In regards to his haute couture creations, his go-to is big. His first haute couture collection featured very, very, very large dresses. Valli and his house really became haute couture members around 2013. The fashion brand’s latest haute couture collection still featured gigantic tulle dresses but also had big bows, sequins, and cinched waists.
When it comes to top haute couture designers, the French designer brand Givenchy, created by Hubert Givenchy, is a name to note. Hubert Givenchy left home as a child to try his hand at fashion, and try he did. He started working with Elsa Schiaparelli, an icon. If the name Givenchy doesn’t ring any bells, then maybe you remember the black dress Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? That’s Givenchy’s design. Everything Givenchy touched blew up from there. But what about the haute couture line? Well, artistic influences and craftsmanship have always been a tenant of Givenchy. They even designed Meghan Markle’s wedding dress! In haute couture, they have been creating collections for the past 30 years and have full membership. Last year’s haute couture collection featured corsets, leather dresses, and bold colors.
Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier is like no other. Gaultier and his house have made their name in the haute couture world. Gaultier studied under Pierre Cardin, as well as many other world-known designers, before breaking out on his own in the late 1970s. Afterward, he studied with the House of Hermes. However, his first haute couture line was in 1997, and full membership followed. Some of his collections were more unisexual and had pop culture elements, while others were very feminine yet hypersexual. In either realm, Gaultier blurred the lines. He also tended to make many upset with his themes of religion and the lines he crossed there. Gaultier’s haute couture line made people uncomfortable in the most iconic of ways. His newest collection brought some elements from the past while bringing in something new. This haute couture collection featured similar outerwear/underwear blends, cutouts, and even pregnant models.
Like Gaultier, Julien Fournie made his name known for creating haute couture collections. Unlike the other haute designers listed, Fournie did not know that fashion was his passion from birth. He actually studied medicine before shifting gears to the fashion universe. Fournie worked under amazing designers like Dior, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Torrente. It was not until 2009 that his first haute couture line premiered in Paris. A few years later, he and his house were granted full membership. Fournie always has some sort of overarching theme or word that connects each and every look. The latest collection was titled “First Creatures”, which drew inspiration from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the sea. In this collection, there were silk dresses, puffy tulle, and organic silhouettes.
Maison Margiela is a house launched by a Belgian designer Martin Margiela. Like many top haute couture designers, Margiela got his training from one of the best, Jean Paul Gaultier. However, Margiela worked for both his own house, as well as with Hermes. Eventually, Margiela left to work for himself and his own collections full-time. One interesting idea from the House of Margiela is that there is not one head of the house but a team of anonymous directors. For the haute couture line, the word that many use to describe the collections is “unconventional”. The house has been a member of the Federation since 2012. In last year’s collection, there was a film shown before the collection premiered, which seems to be a tagline for the house. The newest collection featured metallic prints, gorgeous cowboys, and even props.
Maison Rabih Kayrouz
Even though this Lebanese designer has been designing since 1999, their haute couture status was not achieved until 2019. In the 20 years in between, the House has established multiple couture houses and was a guest member many times during Haute Couture Week. Rabih Kayrouz, the head designer, moved to Paris at 16 to study fashion. Kayrouz has studied under Chanel and Dior. Both Lebanese and Paris fashion has influenced Kayrouz’s collections. The house has made its name in haute couture for being incredibly organic and flowing, especially in ways that enhance the feminine body. The latest haute couture collection by Maison Rabih Kayrouz had a very ethereal vibe to it. The material was very soft yet bold.
Like some of the others, Maurizio Galante is a designer known and respected for his haute couture collections. Becoming a full member in 2008, Galante is different than some of his fellow haute designers because of his architectural elements. Galante was trained to be an architect before using this skill in the haute couture world. First teaming up with Lasvit glassmakers in 2013, there were many different architectural elements that the models wore that not only elevated the original look but tied together the collection itself. In regards to the house’s haute couture collections, it has been described by The New York Times as “one of the most poetic collections to be revealed in Paris”. Last year’s collection featured gold accents, metal headpieces, and high collars.
Schiaparelli is an iconic fashion house and a Lh top haute couture brand favorite. Elsa Schiaparelli, the House founder, started in the early 1920s. During Elsa Schiaparelli’s time, she worked with some of the most famous artists, like Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dali, to get inspiration for her pieces. From then, it was very surrealist vibes. Schiaparelli was making haute couture collections before the term was even a legal term! The legal term was given to the line in 2017. The latest haute couture collection, titled “Born Again,” features a myriad of hats, sheer sections, and flowers. If you want more Schiaparelli, read The Legacy of Elsa Schiaparelli Reignited!
Rolland’s first sketch was only at 4 years old! And by 20, the talented designer was working under Balenciaga. During those years before opening his own house, Rolland claims that his travels worldwide have influenced the haute couture that he creates today. Like Galante, Rolland also looks at different architectural trends and is inspired by international architecture, as well as photography. Rolland started his own house and presented his own collection in 2007, and then became a full member of the Federation in the following years. In the latest haute couture collection, Rolland featured asymmetrical dresses, sculpted breastplates, and pillowlike fabrics.
The 9 FHCM Correspondent Members
Ateliers Versace is the specific line that creates haute couture, which is under the umbrella house, Versace. Italian designer Gianni Versace first created Versace. The house has created iconic and famous looks for Elton John and Michael Jackson, as well as some English princesses. Versace is a very famous brand, both for their ready-to-wear creations as well as the controversy surrounding the murder of Gianni Versace. Atelier Versace and the designs have played a major role at red carpet events like the Met Gala, The Grammy Awards, and The Oscars for many years. The latest collections have featured leg slits, intricate beading, and daring patterns.
Renowned for his stunning wearable works of art, each Elie Saab design is masterfully crafted with exquisite details through magical medleys of silk, sequins, feathers, lace, crystals, gemstones, pearls, and embroidery. It’s no wonder brides and black tie event guests, in particular, swoon at his designs worldwide! Born and raised sewing in Damour, Lebanon, Elie Saab launched his own label in Beirut at just 18. In 2003 Elie Saab joined the FHCM, making him the first Arab to be part of the governing body of French fashion houses. At Lh, we can NEVER get enough of Elie Saab!
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Like Atelier Versace, Fendi Couture is a sub-category of haute couture under the Fendi House. Adele and Edoardo Fendi created the house in the early 1920s in Rome. In the early 1960s, the house had Karl Lagerfeld, who later went on to run Chanel. It was Karl Lagerfeld and the Fendi family that put haute couture coats on the map internationally. Many people know the ready-to-wear brand as bright and daring, and Fendi Couture is even more daring. In recent collections, there have been multiple themes of light, rebirth, and a conglomeration of old and new styles. Fendi Couture also featured hand-stitched embroidery, blue-grays, and sheer fabrics.
Giorgio Armani Privé
Giorgio Armani Prive is another haute couture line under the Giorgio Armani House. Prive launched their first haute couture collection in 2005, but the Armani fashion brand has existed for many years. The founder, Giorgio Armani, also thought about becoming a doctor before turning to the fashion world. Armani’s original style was for the laid-back consumer in the ready-to-wear lines. The haute couture line, well, that is a different beast itself. Giorgio Armani Prive has featured many different styles and themes. In recent collections, the color scheme was metallic, with silvers and gold at the forefront. The collection also saw a lot of pantsuits, silk organza, and interesting patterns.
Iris Van Herpen
While this list contains many designer fashion brands known by the masses, this one is a top haute couture designer to note. Iris Van Herpen, the founder, is a Dutch designer. Her haute couture looks are known for being 3D and daring, which is why she has dressed celebrities like Lady Gaga and Björk. Herpen taught herself some of the basic principles of fashion as a child, like embroidery and sewing. Herpen studied under Alexander McQueen and Claudy Jongstra. In previous collections, Herpen has featured some of the oddest materials and designs, like using acrylic, silicone, metals, and even reprinted materials. The house has been showing collections during Haute Couture Week since 2011. The newest collection, titled “Meta Morphism,” had very intricate silhouettes, stringy wings, and cutouts that looked angelic.
Miu Miu is an off-shoot of the Prada House. It is originally known as “Prada’s little sister” because it was marketed to younger clients, and the price tag reflected the clients. However, this has changed since Miu Miu’s creation. The founder, Miuccia Prada, was running both Miu Miu and Prada at the same time. Miu Miu stepped away from Prada in terms of fashion content. Miu Miu was much more adventurous and experimental, both then and now. Recent collections had a theme of reality and the universe around us. While some of the pieces are classic, like trousers and blazers, it is the styling that makes it unique and haute.
Ulyana Sergeenko is a Russian designer who first was in the field of Philology field before turning to fashion. Before creating her own brand, Sergeenko collected antique clothes and accessories that she styled in unique ways. Sergeenko also struggled with getting credit for her creations before her own brand, but once the label came to be, everyone knew when it was her collection. Now, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and even Kim Kardashian have worn the Sergeenko. Recent haute couture collections have featured tennis rackets and bedazzled swimming caps. In addition, the line has also seen billowing fur coats, angel wings, and ruffles.
Now, Valentino is a tried and true fashion brand for ready-to-wear, but what about haute couture? Well, Valentino was created by Valentino Garavani in Rome. The company’s claim to fame was bridal gowns, specifically Elizabeth Taylor’s. While the bridal line still continues and grows, Valentino has its foot in just about every different category. In recent haute couture collections, there has been a theme of beauty and its timeline. Some looks featured roses, and bright color contrasts like purple and green, and fishnets. When it comes to top haute couture designers, Valentino is a true classic.
Viktor & Rolf
Viktor and Rolf is one of the only haute couture lines that has two different voices. The creators, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, have worked together since the early 1990s to create experimental looks both in the ready-to-wear lines and haute couture lines. They met studying art and design in college, and their partnership has continued ever since. Their first haute couture line was in 1993, and the duo took a thirteen-year hiatus from the haute couture world. Viktor and Rolf returned in 2013 with very strong themes in their work. In recent collections, the pair had a theme of “Surreal Shoulder”, which may have been inspired by Dracula movies. In addition to the high shoulders, the collection featured suits, asymmetrical necklines, and form-fitting silhouettes.
Guest Members We Love
The next designers featured are current and past Guest members presenting during Haute Couture Weeks. While they are not official members, their existence in the Top 50 is not to be questioned!
Georges Hobeika is a Lebanese designer that started in 1995. While the name might not sound familiar to Americans, Hobeika is very well known in the Arabian region. Hobeika studied at Chanel before opening his own house. Because of both his training under Chanel, as well as his Lebanese roots, Hobeika’s haute couture lines feature a blend of classic French fashion and Arabic trends. Beyonce has worn some of Hobeika’s designs as well. The house’s latest collection was titled “Eternal Gifts”. Some of the looks featured bird-like textures, many primary colors, and looks that evoke the natural world.
Rahul Mishra is the first Indian designer to be invited at Haute Couture Week, and he is a very decorated designer. Mishra got a degree in physics and turned to design. Before Haute Couture Week, Mishra showcased collections in countries like England, United Arab Emirates, and Australia. Some of his previous designs feature different fabrics and traditional Indian materials. Mishra’s latest collection was titled “the Tree of Life” and featured the joys of nature. As you may expect, the collection featured golds and yellows, hand-stitched flowers, and even traditional Indian wear. Being able to experience talents like this while creating this list of top haute couture designers is a true delight!
RVDK Ronald Van Der Kemp
RVDK is the first sustainable couture label, which is quite important today. It was founded in 2014 by Ronald Van Der Kemp. Van Der Kemp studied under Bill Blass, Guy Laroche, and Michael Kors before launching RVDK. Their mission is to show other haute couture designers that they can create wearable artwork while still being ethical and clean. Latest collections feature mosaic skirts, an array of colors, and jaw-dropping patterns.
Yuima Nakazato came into this world with artistic influences from both of his parents and then founded his own brand in 2009. Nakazato is one of the only Tokyo-based designers that has been featured in Haute Couture Week, and Tokyo has a very big influence on his haute couture creations. Nakazato believes that his dreams also have a role in the creations, specifically in terms of theme. His most recent collection surrounded the color blue, both in the physical color and the emotions that the color blue evokes. The collection was made completely out of dead-stock materials from years past that have lost their value to the general customer and had been repurposed to create something beautiful.
Julie de Libran
Like RVDK, Julie de Libran loves repurposing materials and having vintage items in her haute couture collections. A Paris native, de Libran has worked under some of the most famous haute couture designers on this list, like Dior, Versace, Prada, Marc Jacobs, Miuccia Prada, and Louis Vuitton. She launched her own label in 2019, making her quite new on the haute couture scene. Her newest collection was a story, according to de Libran, where she and her team wove together different fabrics to tell an elaborate story. de Libran also believes in the value of a team, which can be seen in the modge-podge of styles in the 2022 collection. In the latest collection, the mixture of modern Paris street-style and classic pieces also featured feathers, embroidery, and two-piece ensembles.
This is a very old, very timeless fashion brand that has dominated red carpets around the world. In haute couture, it is no different. Zuhair Murad is a Lebanese designer who started designing dresses at just 14 years old! His first haute couture collection was in 2002, but Murad has taken multiple hiatuses and breaks from the haute couture world to focus on other lines and growing his label. Many A-list celebrities have worn his haute couture pieces on red-carpet situations. In recent haute couture collections, Murad’s focus has been on showcasing luxury through different lenses, as well as showing off the hours of work that his team puts in. Last year’s collection featured daring cutouts, a lot of reds and blues, and interesting new materials.
Sofia Crociani first started Aelis Couture in 2017. The Italian designer, like some of the newer arrivals, has her heart set on creating more environmentally friendly haute couture, as well as introducing NFT currency into the haute couture universe. Crociani looks to nature and natural shapes to influence her while trying to promote sustainability. In recent collections, the silhouettes are not tight but flowing and organic shapes. The color palate is also softer, creating a more elegant and ethereal tone to the entire look. Even though Crociani only has a couple of years in the haute couture business, it is both her mission as well as her unique looks that give her credibility.
If someone can do it all, then Imane Ayissi is the person for it. When you google Ayissi, he is known as not just a designer but also a dancer and model! Ayissi is Cameroonian and grew up dancing and working at the Cameroun Ballet. Then, he moved to France for fashion and studied under Dior, Givenchy, and Lanvin.
In 2004, Ayissi started his own label, and since then, he has been a guest member during Haute Couture Week, and celebrities like Zendaya have worn his designs. Ayissi is one of the first black African designers to be a guest member during Haute Couture Week. His Cameroonian roots have great influence in his haute couture collections, and he claims that African culture is very important to him. His newer collection, titled “Foufoullou”, means both mixed and together in Ewondo. The collection features many fringe pieces, words on the pieces, and large earrings.
If you want a fresh face, then Juana Martin is the one to watch out for. 2022 was her first collection in Paris, even though her career started in 1999. Martin hails from Cordoba and is very influenced by her gypsy heritage. Even though her appearance on Haute Couture Week is new, Martin has been involved in many fashion shows, like the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. For last year’s haute couture collection, it was a fusion of Parisian haute couture and gypsy fashion staples. Her collection featured Cordoba leather, silver jewelry, and a sustainable theme. Top haute couture designers like Juana are so inspiring.
Gaurav Gupta is an Indian designer who has dressed some of the biggest celebrities like Lizzo, Priyanka Chopra, and Mary J. Blige. Gupta started the label in 2005 and, since then, has been working and building the fashion brand, from haute couture and bridal to men’s ready-to-wear. Gupta has received multiple awards for his compositions and collections and has even been called the “Future of Couture”. His recent collections have had themes of the imagination, the dreamworld, and almost like looking in a kaleidoscope. Gupta and his team created hand-stitched beading, sculptures, and lots of 3D lines.
Maison Sara Chraibi
Maison Sara Chraibi is a label based in Morocco. The house was started by its namesake, Sara Chraibi. Chraibi was once an architect and turned to design, which can be seen in her haute couture collections. Chraibi lived in Paris and studied before returning to Morocco, which was really the place of inspiration. She uses a lot of Moroccan fashion trends but also has Islamic influences as well. She wishes to create not just a collection of dresses and ensembles but a whole experience that uses senses, smells, and an entire story. Maison Sara Chraibi’s recent collections have featured geometrical shapes, flowing silhouettes, and gold accents.
Robert Wun is a London-based designer who is showcasing his first haute couture show this year! Even though this is his first collection during Haute Couture Week, Wun’s designs have often been featured on red-carpet events. Wun’s designs have been worn by Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, and Erykah Badu. Born in Hong Kong, Wun first worked with Joyce Boutique and then launched his own label with a very sci-fi inspiration. His first haute couture collection featured pleats, large veils, and very mechanical pieces.
A.W.A.K.E Mode, which stands for All Wonderful Adventures Kindle Enthusiasm, was founded by Natalia Alaverdian. Alaverdian believes that cultural pieces from the past can be used as inspiration for collections today. Alaverdian was the fashion director of Harper’s Bazaar in Russia before leaving to form her own label. Some of her inspiration comes from Japanese culture, dreams, and having things that no one has seen before. Her latest collection was about “Viking Warrior Women on a Mission In Space”. The collection featured asymmetry, unique shoes, and textures.
Antonio Grimaldi is the founder of his label, Antonio Grimaldi. Grimaldi is an Italian designer that has been a guest member of Haute Couture Week since 2017. He studied with tailors before working with Fernanda Gattinoni. Grimaldi has also befriended icon designer Emanuel Ungaro. Grimaldi’s haute couture collections are all about the feminine body and celebrating feminine beauty. The latest collection featured a lot of contrast in colors, elegant silhouettes, and silk organza capes.
Balenciaga is another one of those incredibly old brands. Founded in 1919 by a Spanish designer named Cristobal Balenciaga, Balenciaga has been the place where all the greats go to study. people like Oscar de la Renta, Emanuel Ungaro, and Hubert de Givenchy. While the brand has had issues with controversies over the years, its collections keep coming out and keep setting the bar. The only reason that the status of membership is not given to Balenciaga is that the fashion brand does not agree with some of the rules and regulations that the Haute Couture Federation sets. The latest collection featured bike helmets, a lot of black, and skin-tight pieces.
Charles De Vilmorin
Charles De Vilmorin is one of the youngest people to showcase during Haute Couture Week. He first showed his designs on Instagram during the Covid-19 pandemic very soon after he launched the label. Interestingly enough, de Vilmorin’s parents are botanists, so one may find floral designs all in the haute couture collection. In the last two years, the collections are very abstract and bright. The shapes are quite organic and feature a lot of different eye shapes. When it comes to up-and-coming top haute couture designers and brands, Charles is a name to note.
Coperni is a label co-founded by Arnaud Valliant and Sebastien Meyer. Valliant is the CEO of Coperni, while Meyer is the creative director of the label. Together, they have created some of the most innovative designs and pieces in haute couture history. Coperni’s go-to is seeing how technology and fashion can come together to create something beautiful. The duo has used apple leather and antibacterial fabric and even has scannable QR codes in their dresses. The latest collection featured lighted classes, neon colors, and asymmetrical necklines.
Ernest W. Baker
Ernest W. Baker is a label mostly for couture menswear. Reid Baker and Ines Amorim founded the label. Baker is from the United States, while Amorim is from Portugal, and they met in fashion school. The name for the label stems from Baker’s grandfather, who also inspires many of the different collections. Ernest W. Baker takes a lot of older menswear and recreates something couture and beautiful while also fusing together their separate cultures. The pair’s latest collection features multiple fabrics like leather and polyester, patterns, and different takes on the classic suit. Menswear is often highly underrepresented in haute couture, so sharing this name on our list of top designers and fashion brands is a must.
Guo Pei is the founder of her label and is the first guest member that was born and raised in Asia. Not only has she designed dresses for Chinese celebrities, as well as American celebrities, but she has also been listed as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People by Time Magazine. From the get-go, Pei has been challenging fashion norms. Her latest collections have drawn inspiration from nature and her roots in Asia. The last collection, titled “Couture Fantasy,” featured shadow dancers, cobalt blue, and elegant necklines.
Ralph Rucci is an American fashion designer who created the label Chado Ralph Rucci. Rucci studied with Halston and Balenciaga before launching his own label. He is one of the only American-based designers to be a guest member of Haute Couture Week. Some of Rucci’s inspirations come from painters, abstract art, and Japanese culture. The latest collection featured very large coats, iridescent fabrics, and spiral embroidery.
Vaishali Shadangule, a Mumbai-based designer, founded Vaishali S. She has been working with hand-weaving and different textiles since her childhood; however, she worked as a trainer before fashion full-time. Shadangule draws inspiration from both Indian culture, but also something that tells a story. She was the first female Indian designer fashion brand to present during Haute Couture Week in 2022. The latest collection focused on sustainability and couture being environmentally friendly. The collection also featured circular handwork, off-the-shoulder look, and ancestral roots.
Victoria Beckham is not just the loveable Posh Spice but is also an haute couture designer. Beckham knows a thing or two about fashion, as she was also a model before designing. Alexander Fury believed that Beckham fully shifted into the fashion universe and was making strides in her work, not just her celebrity status. Last year, Beckham unveiled her first haute couture collection. Not only did the new collection feature an appreciation of femininity but an array of handbags and many different silhouettes.
Winnie is a label founded by Winnie Yeung. Yeung is a Japanese designer who has studied both French and Japanese couture. her experience in haute couture, as well as the fashion industry, spans back 35 years. One of Yeung’s specialties is bridal couture and taking haute couture to the bridal industry. Her bridal designs were even worn at American actor Taylor Lautner’s wedding. The latest collection featured large headpieces, colored wedding dresses, and intricate beading.
Last but certainly not least on this list of top haute couture designers, Zimmermann is an Australian fashion brand founded by Nicky and Simone Zimmermann. The company first started when the duo was selling designs from their parent’s garage. Since then, the Zimmermann sisters have received the attention of many American celebrities, like Beyonce, the Hadid sisters, and Karlie Kloss. This is the first time this top haute couture brand will present at Paris Haute Couture Week, but previous collections have had tiered ruffles, bell sleeves, and bright colors.
Words by Ali Morrison
Feature Image: Maty Fall walks the runway during the Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2022 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 24, 2022, in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)