In the world of menswear, there are hundreds of designer labels angling for your clothing and lifestyle dollars. While many of these brands are long-established luxury houses with a pedigree of excellence, many more are fly-by-night clothiers who will be gone as fast as they came in the first place.
To help you make heads or tails of these brands, we’ve put together an exhaustive list of the best designer brands for men. Read on as we discuss.
One of the younger brands on our list, Alexander McQueen, began his eponymous fashion house in 1992. During the brand’s infancy, McQueen cultivated a reputation as a controversial clothier that helped cement the brand’s footing in the industry. Following the success of his women’s line, McQueen expanded to include menswear in 2005.
McQueen is known for impeccable tailoring, thought-provoking runway shows, and clothing that explores the past, most notably the Victorian Era. While his couture shows regularly push the envelope, his ready-to-wear menswear is more well-known for exquisite tailoring and sharp silhouettes.
A legendary Spanish fashion house over 100 years old, Balenciaga was one of the most revered womenswear designers of the 50s and 60s before closing the fashion house in 1968, shortly before his passing. The House of Balenciaga was revived in 1986 and is now owned by the Kerig Group with creative direction from controversial Vetements designer Demna Gvasalia.
Balenciaga’s menswear is characterized by its wide and boxy fit and an emphasis on comfort and technical functionality. Balenciaga offers a wide range of athleisure wear, and they’re well known for their sock-style running shoes and chunky trainers with large soles.
This Italian designer was well known for producing some of Italy’s most beautiful leather goods for decades before entering the clothing world. After establishing its prowess in leather goods, the brand began producing menswear in the late 90s.
Their Intecatto woven leather products remain the brand’s most iconic product, but their menswear collection includes everything from suits to beachwear. The brand is characterized by its use of luxury fabrics, muted colors, and timeless tailoring unaffected by trends.
One of the most legendary names in men’s suiting, Brioni has been tailoring some of the finest suits, topcoats, and menswear staples since 1945. The shop opened its doors in 1945 as a custom tailor, and it rose to acclaim because of Brioni’s innovative takes on menswear: lighter fabrics, natural shoulders, and much bolder colors than what was standard at the time.
Over 75 years later, Brioni remains one of the best luxury men’s clothing brands. Beyond suiting and their made-to-measure offerings, the brand has a full line of casual clothing, shoes and sneakers, fragrances, and impeccably made leather accessories.
Before the name Brunello Cucinelli was synonymous with high-end Italian tailoring, the fashion house first made waves with its Mongolian cashmere garments for women. Cucinelli parlayed that success into the growth of his brand, branching off into menswear shortly after. Today the brand manufactures formal and casualwear, footwear, leather accessories, and eyewear.
What separates Brunello Cucinelli from most other fashion houses is their commitment to charity and their employees. Each year, 20% of yearly profits are donated to charity, while the employees are paid 20% above the market average, and overtime is forbidden. Despite these concessions, Brunello Cucinelli is still one of the most profitable brands in menswear.
Bruno Magli formed a business with his brother and sister in 1936 in Bologna, Italy. The Magli’s began with handmade women’s footwear, opening their first factory after World War II. Around this time, Italian footwear became synonymous with quality and craftsmanship, and the Magli’s were among the first to capitalize on global demand for Italian leather.
Over the years, Bruno Magli has expanded to deliver men’s footwear, small leather goods, and clothing for men and women. The brand focuses on footwear, producing some of the most exquisitely made loafers, oxfords, and casual shoes of any brand available today.
This notorious English fashion house has been in business since 1856, when a young Thomas Burberry opened an outerwear store in Basingstoke, England. Burberry became well-known for its water-resistant coats and trenches and existed primarily as an outerwear manufacturer until the 1970s when they began producing apparel for men and women.
Despite some growing pains in the early 2000s, today Burberry is one of the most prestigious English fashion houses. They produce a full line of menswear ranging from suits to business casual to active and beach wear. The brand has also taken strides to reduce its environmental impact, pledging to become a climate-positive company by 2040.
It was a perfect match when brothers Giovanni and Giacomo Canali entered business in 1934. Giovanni was an esteemed fabric buyer, and his brother was an excellent tailor. The brothers established Canali as one of the world’s top men’s suiting brands before passing the brand on to the next generation of the family.
Now in their third generation, Canali continues its legacy as one of the top producers of men’s suits and formalwear. Following the coronavirus pandemic, Canali has expanded its focus to include more casual and cozy designs to serve the needs of professionals working from home.
Arguably the most storied French fashion house ever, Christian Dior began as a fashion designer in 1937 when he took a job under the direction of French designer Robert Piguet. After honing his craft for nearly a decade, Dior left in 1946 to form the House of Dior, designing clothing for women with his signature drapery and silhouettes.
Today, the House of Dior is still best known as one of the leading women’s clothiers, and Dior has given rise to several other legendary designers, including Yves Saint Laurent. Under creative direction from Heidi Slimane, Dior Homme released its first collection in 2001. The brand currently makes a full line of menswear, from suits to leisurewear, footwear, and accessories.
Diesel is a legendary denim brand that has been one of the most influential brands of the 21st century. Founder Renzo Rosso began his career in denim at age 15, using a home sewing machine to produce low-rise bell bottoms for himself and his friends. While working for legendary Italian denim designer Adriano Goldschmied, the pair founded Diesel in 1978.
Diesel is known for their trendy denim for men and women, and their bold advertising campaigns. Outside of denim, the brand produces a full line of casual menswear, footwear, and fragrances. Always on the cutting edge of what’s cool in denim, Diesel remains one of the most iconic denim brands available for today’s man.
When Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana met in a Milan club in 1982, they probably weren’t thinking about their future brand‘s global impact on both men’s and women’s fashion. By 1985, the pair presented their first women’s collection, and by 1990, they began producing menswear.
Dolce and Gabbana’s menswear includes everything from suits to outerwear to casual and leisurewear, footwear, fragrances, and much more. The brand is best known in the men’s space for its bold prints, which often include animal motifs and classic Italian tailoring.
Toronto isn’t known as a fashion design hotbed, but twin brothers Dean and Dan Caten helped put the city on the map with their menswear label Dsquared2. After briefly attending Parsons School of Design, the twin brothers left North America for Italy, taking design jobs for Versace and Diesel.
With backing from Diesel’s Renzo Rosso, the pair debuted their first menswear collection in 1994. The company has since expanded into womenswear, but its men’s line is still the brand’s heart. Dsquared2’s clothing is characterized by bold color blocking, luxury fabrics, and an underlying punk rock sensibility that has helped make the brand one of the most iconic destinations for casual menswear.
Gerolamo Etro founded Etro in 1968 as a fabric design company before quickly branching out into menswear. Gerolamo grew Etro as a menswear and textile furnishing empire before passing the business on to his four children.
Etro’s menswear line, under the creative direction of Kean Etro, continues the brand’s heritage of bold prints, especially paisley. Etro makes a full line of menswear, but they’re most well-known for their suits and bold dress shirts. If you’re looking to make a statement, Etro is one of the most daring men’s brands around.
Since 1925, Fendi has been synonymous with Italian luxury, and the brand’s appeal is only growing. Husband and wife Edoardo and Adele Fendi opened their doors in 1925 as a fur and leather shop, with Adele opening her first boutique shortly after in 1932. Famed designer Karl Lagerfeld joined the brand in 1965, creating their signature double ‘F’ logo in 1966.
With Lagerfeld at the helm, Fendi began producing menswear in the 80s. Fendi’s menswear designs often feature their signature monogram, which has helped them become one of the most popular designers of the label-conscious 21st-century consumer. Fendi produces a full line of formalwear, casual clothing, outerwear, leather footwear, accessories, and fragrances.
Like many Italians, Salvatore Ferragamo emigrated from his home to America in the early 1900s. He found work as a shoemaker before joining his brothers on the west coast and opening a boot shop in Hollywood, which was a popular destination among movie stars. Taking what he learned in the States, Ferragamo returned to Italy in 1927 to open a shoe business.
Blending the artisanal craftsmanship of his home country with the efficient techniques he learned in America helped put Ferragamo on the map. The brand began making womenswear in 1965 before branching into menswear in the late 70s.
Ferragamo is still best known for their footwear, leather, and silk accessories like ties and pocket squares. Still, the brand has an extensive menswear collection that includes outerwear, suits, casualwear, and accessories.
The most prolific Italian designer of all time, Giorgio Armani, spent decades in the fashion world before incorporating the House of Armani in 1975 and releasing his first men’s and women’s collections that same year. Armani’s formalwear became the most in-demand in the industry, and he’s considered a pioneer of red-carpet fashion.
Today, Giorgio Armani is responsible for several of the most popular menswear brands in the industry, including his eponymous brand, Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans, Armani Exchange, and a home and hotel brand. From formalwear to sleepwear, Armani produces a broad range of clothing at various price points.
Hubert de Givenchy launched House of Givenchy in 1952 to immediate acclaim from critics and the fashion elite. The brand became well known for its shirt and sack dresses and the use of shirting fabrics to develop couture for women. In 1969, the brand expanded to include a line of menswear.
Givenchy offers a complete line of men’s clothing, from suits and jackets to loungewear. Under creative director Riccardo Tisci, the brand began incorporating streetwear into its collections, and they’ve courted a broad celebrity following.
Gucci is one of the largest and most storied Italian fashion houses in Italy, and Guccio Gucci founded the brand as a small Tuscan leather shop in 1921. With World War II on the horizon, leather became difficult to import, and Gucci was forced to pivot to other leather-like fabrics that would later become the brand’s signature.
The House of Gucci began producing ready-to-wear clothing in the 1980s, during a decade of turmoil for the Gucci family. The brand was revitalized under creative director Tom Ford and became synonymous with glamor and sex appeal.
Gucci manufactures a full line of menswear, from suits and formalwear to casualwear, denim, athletic clothing, footwear, and accessories.
Helmut Lang is an Austrian-born fashion designer whose French fashion house helped define the aesthetic of the 1980s. Lang began as a made-to-measure tailor in Vienna, operating for several years before debuting a women’s collection in Paris in 1986, with a men’s collection the following year.
Lang has always embraced experimental fabrics and techniques in runway shows, but his menswear skews towards functional and minimalist with a focus on tailoring. While Lang left the brand in 2005 and has retired, the brand carries on the minimalist aesthetic. Helmut Lang offers a complete menswear line, including outerwear, clothing, and accessories.
Hugo Boss is a menswear brand that’s been in business since 1924, and they’re also a rare example of a fashion house from Germany. Founder Hugo Boss opened his doors in 1924 to produce workwear, general-purpose clothing, and outerwear for men before he was forced out of business due to economic conditions arising from World War II.
Wartime conditions turned out to be a boom for the Boss company, as they began producing uniforms for the National Socialist Party, a dark point in their history they continue to grapple with today.
After the war, Boss returned to the casualwear they produced in their infancy and added a line of ready-to-wear men’s suits in 1960. Boss suits became a hallmark of quality, and their popularity continues today. Boss manufactures a full line of men’s suiting, jackets, coats, casualwear, fragrances, footwear, and accessories.
Japanese designer Issey Miyake was one of the most influential designers of the 20th century, and his focus on technology helped inform his designs throughout the years. Miyake originally studied graphic design before attending fashion school in Paris and apprenticing under Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy before founding Miyake Design Studio in Japan in 1970.
Miyake released his first men’s collection in 1978 and began incorporating technical details and cutting-edge fabrics into his designs that would become a signature of his clothing. Modern and minimalist, Miyake’s designs were a favorite of Steve Jobs, who wore an Issey Miyake mock neck turtleneck as if it were a uniform.
Despite his passing in 2022 after a battle with liver cancer, Issey Miyake continues to produce a full line of menswear, including suits and formalwear, fragrances, watches, and accessories.
John Varvatos is one of the most prolific American designers of all time, well known for his creative vision and rock-and-roll-inspired designs. Varvatos’ start in fashion came in high school, when he worked at a local menswear store. After graduating, he co-founded Fitzgerald’s Men’s Store in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Varvatos spent much of the 80s and 90s bouncing between design jobs with Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. He famously created the boxer brief for Calvin Klien in 1992 before finally staking out on his own in 1999. Varvatos left his own company in 2020 to form a new company, On This Day, which also produces men’s and women’s clothing.
The John Varvatos brand produces a full line of menswear including suiting, casualwear, accessories, footwear, and fragrances. His clothing can be described as classic with a modern fit and a rock and roll sensibility that separates Varvatos from other classic American brands like Polo or Calvin Klein.
The most valuable luxury brand in the world, Louis Vuitton is known globally as a maker of the world’s finest luggage and leather goods. The brand began in 1854 as a manufacturer of high-end trunks and bags for the wealthy travelers of the day. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that the brand would diversify its product line to include clothing, luggage, and bags.
When it was time to expand, Vuitton tapped visionary fashion designer Marc Jacobs to oversee the new venture. Jacobs developed a full line of men’s and women’s clothing. Louis Vuitton menswear includes a full line of men’s suiting and formalwear, and that’s what the brand is best known for. Outside of suits and tuxedos, the brand also manufactures a full casualwear line.
Arguably the most prolific fashion designer of the 20th century, Karl Lagerfeld helmed several of the most prominent fashion houses for many decades while also running his own highly successful label. Lagerfeld was born to German parents in 1933 and showed an eye for design at an early age. Following high school, he entered several design competitions to provide his initial footing in fashion.
Lagerfeld’s first job in fashion was as an apprentice for Pierre Balmain, and he spent much of his first decades in fashion as a freelancer, working for brands including Chloe and Fendi. Lagerfeld’s work for Fendi was highly influential, and he remained a part of the brand until his passing. Lagerfeld also revitalized the House of Chanel, bringing the brand back from the verge of death.
With his brand, Lagerfeld makes refined menswear, including suits and formalwear, denim and casualwear, and accessories. He’s regarded as one of the finest designers of denim, and after his passing, the Lagerfeld brand has continued to produce exemplary menswear for any occasion.
Visionary Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada moved to Paris in 1964 to begin his label, initially calling the brand Jungle Jap and designing custom handmade womenswear. As the brand grew, the name was changed to Kenzo, as it was more accessible to a modern audience. By 1983, Kenzo produced his first menswear collection.
Kenzo is best known for its sweaters and sweatshirts, which feature a giant tiger emblazoned across the front. Beyond that, the brand also produces a full line of casual menswear as well as a few more formal pieces including suit jackets and blazers. These days, legendary streetwear designer Nigo, formerly of A Bathing Ape, handles creative direction.
Fashion designer Maison Margiela began his career in fashion design as a freelancer based in Milan, Italy. Margiela’s early compositions, were often deconstructed with exposed lining and seams. His work caught the eye of Jean Paul Gaultier, and he took a job as his design assistant for several years before opening Maison Martin Margiela in 1988.
Margiela was notoriously averse to photos and press, preferring to allow his clothing to speak for him. Margiela’s first men’s collection, Line 10, debuted in 1998. Martin Margiela left the brand in 2009, and the brand continued without a creative director until appointing famed designer John Galliano in 2015. Since his appointment, the brand has experienced a renaissance.
Maison Margiela produces a full line of menswear, including a particularly striking collection of outerwear and coats. The brand also offers suiting, casualwear, footwear, fragrances, and accessories.
While Franco Moschino’s father hoped his son would follow in his footsteps as an ironworker, his clear eye for design and creativity sent young Franco in a different direction. After studying fashion in school, Moschino took jobs with Versace and Cadete before opening the doors to his own shop in 1983.
Ever the outsider, Moschino’s designs poked fun at the fashion industry and consumerism. His colorful and witty designs helped fuel Moschino’s popularity. Following Moschino’s passing, he was succeeded by Rossella Jardini and later Jeremy Scott, who has kept the brand’s DNA strong.
Moschino makes a full line of menswear ranging from suits to casualwear, denim, footwear, and fragrances. Never for the faint of heart, Moschino’s garments are as colorful and bold as ever before, and they’re perfect for the man looking to stand out.
One of the most exciting new brands of the 21st century, Virgil Abloh founded Off-White in 2012, initially calling the brand Pyrex Vision before rebranding to Off-White shortly after. After attending architecture school, Abloh interned for Fendi alongside Kanye West in 2009. The two formed a collaborative friendship, with Abloh being named creative director of West’s Donda Agency shortly after.
Abloh launched Off-White as Pyrex Vision in 2012, and the brand quickly became one of the most influential companies in the streetwear space. Off-White has collaborated with Ikea, Nike, Levi’s, and Jimmy Choo. The brand also offers a complete line of casual menswear and footwear.
Mario Prada founded the brand in 1913, initially as an outpost for leather bags, imported luggage, and travel accessories. The brand was relatively popular, but it wasn’t until Mario’s granddaughter Miuccia took the reigns in the late 70s that the brand began to take its current shape. Miuccia stopped the import of English goods and took all production in-house.
Footwear and women’s collections followed, and in 1998, the brand released its first menswear collection. Prada’s popularity exploded throughout the 90s and 00s, and today they’re one of the world’s largest luxury brands. Prada is known for clean lines, ultra-premium fabrics, and an understated chic that seems to project relaxed confidence on the wearer.
Prada produces a full line of menswear, including suits and formalwear, denim, shirts, trousers, leather goods, accessories, and fragrances.
Raf Simons is a Belgian fashion designer who has been one of the most prolific menswear designers of the 21st century. Simons studied industrial and furniture design and worked for the Walter Van Beirendonck design studio before being inspired to pursue fashion after seeing a Martin Margiela show at Paris Fashion Week.
Simons launched his label in 1995, drawing influence from youth culture worldwide. Outside of his brand, Simons has served as creative director for Jil Sander, Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, and Prada.
While Simons’ early collections drew influence from youth culture and bordered on streetwear, his more recent collections play heavily on shape and form. His line includes casual menswear, outerwear, accessories, and footwear, with his footwear line and collaborations with Adidas becoming especially popular.
Ralph Lauren was born into the same Bronx community that would birth other American designers like Calvin Klein and Robert Stock. One of Lauren’s first jobs in the industry was working for tie manufacturer Beau Brummell. With the company’s blessing, Lauren began making ties under the Ralph Lauren label and selling them personally to NYC department stores.
By the early 70s, Ralph Lauren was off and running, and the release of the polo shirt in 1972 put the brand on the map. Since those early days, Ralph Lauren has grown into a full-line men’s and women’s clothier with several sub-lines ranging from mid-market to ultra-premium. The brand’s stylistic DNA is distinctly American, harking back to Ivy League Universities and the iconic “prep” look.
Known for producing some of the most dramatic menswear garments in the industry, Rick Owens is one of the most influential American designers of the 21st century. After attending high school in Porterville, California, Rick moved to Los Angeles after school to pursue a career in fashion design.
Rick Owens launched his clothing line in 1994, and the brand picked up steam after supermodel Kate Moss was photographed in one of his signature leather jackets. Owens’ clothing can be described as post-apocalyptic with rock-and-roll sensibilities. Most pieces are black or white, with some muted colors thrown into the mix.
Owens is well known for his use of drapery and bias cutting, which create very dramatic garments that give a sense of gravitas to the wearer.
Robert Graham is the brainchild of clothing designer Robert Stock and textile designer Graham Fowler, and the pair launched the brand in 2001. The team hoped to fill a niche for men looking for bold, heavily patterned, and well-tailored clothing. Fowler departed shortly after the brand’s formation, leaving Graham at the helm to develop the company.
The bold and eclectic shirts were a huge hit, allowing the Robert Graham brand to grow. While the company is still best known for its richly patterned dress shirts, the brand produces a full line of menswear, including sport coats, pants, jeans, casual shirts, and accessories.
One of the most inventive and innovative designers in Italian fashion, Roberto Cavalli, was born in Florence to an artistic family. Roberto enrolled in an art institute and began his career in fashion, concentrating on developing new ways to print on textiles. While still in school, Cavalli’s work caught the eye of several major fashion houses.
Cavalli presented his first collection as a designer in 1972, featuring the wild prints and bold colors he’s been known for his entire career. Beyond his innovations in textile printing, Cavalli was also the first designer to introduce sandblasted denim. Today, Roberto Cavalli and the youth-focused Just Cavalli line offer a full line of menswear from suits to casual pieces.
American designer Thom Browne broke into the industry in 1997, working as a salesman for Giorgio Armani. While at Armani, he was tapped for the creative direction team at Club Monaco before launching his line in 2001.
Thom Browne is known for bridging the gap between the more casual professional clothing of the 21st century and the classic styling of years past. Deconstructed blazers with a casual fit, well-tailored denim, and fitted button-downs are all staples of Browne’s collections, and he’s the perfect designer for today’s modern professional.
Arguably the most impactful American designer of our time, Tom Ford has worked for and helped define several acclaimed fashion houses before launching his label in 2005. Ford grew up in Austin, Texas, and graduated from New York City’s The New School with a degree in architecture. An internship with Chloe during his third year of college helped inspire his career in fashion.
Ford took several jobs as a design assistant in New York before heading to Italy to find his voice as a designer. Around this time, Gucci was searching for a lifeline to revitalize its womenswear, and Ford was offered the job. His work with Gucci is considered legendary and dramatically uplifted the stagnant fashion house.
Ford left Gucci in 2004, launching his eponymous label shortly after. Tom Ford offers a complete line of menswear and accessories, and he’s best known for his suiting and formalwear.
Valentino Garavani was born in Lombardy, Italy, and it wasn’t long before a young Valentino expressed interest in fashion. While still a boy, he apprenticed with a local designer before moving to Paris to pursue his education in fashion. He held various apprenticeships in Paris before returning to Italy to open his eponymous fashion house.
Valentino immediately became known for his couture-like designs and bold red dresses that would later become known as “Valentino Red.” Beginning in 1969, Valentino launched a men’s line. Today, Valentino offers a complete line of menswear including suiting and formal wear, shirts, pants, denim, and accessories.
One of the 20th century’s most iconic fashion houses, Versace was founded by Gianni Versace in 1978, who handled virtually every aspect of running the shop in its early days. His sister Donatella helped expand the brand in the early 80s. The brand exploded in popularity in the early 90s thanks largely to the emergence of the “black dress.”
Versace’s garments are characterized by their bold styling and use of bright, rich colors. The brand remains one of the best men’s designer brands, offering a complete line of menswear, ranging from suits and tuxedos to casualwear, denim, footwear, and accessories.
Yves Saint Laurent
Next on our list of designer brands for men is the French designer Yves Saint Laurent. He opened the doors to his fashion house in 1962 and immediately became a cultural phenomenon. His modern clothing helped popularize the beatnik aesthetic of the 60s, and he’s also one of the first couture designers to develop a ready-to-wear collection.
Saint Laurent passed away in 2008, but the brand continues to produce a full line of inspired menswear ranging from suits and formalwear to casualwear, footwear, and accessories.
The Zegna brand has been a family affair since Ermenegildo Zegna founded the company in 1910. His father, Angelo, a watchmaker who owned a wool mill, lent his son the means of production to launch his menswear brand. Ermenegildo sought to use the highest quality fabrics in his garments and quickly began sourcing materials and equipment globally.
Future generations built upon Ermenegildo’s vision with full in-house production and incredibly high-quality fabrics and materials. Today, Zegna manufactures a full menswear line, including a casual line and an accessories line. Zegna is best known for its exquisite suits, topcoats, and hats.
Top Designer Brands For Men, Closing Thoughts
From Alexander McQueen to Zegna, there’s no shortage of excellent clothiers producing beautiful menswear. Be sure to consider our list of the best designer brands for men the next time you’re wardrobe shopping. At the same time, there’s nothing wrong with straying from the list if you see a particular piece or designer that speaks to your style.