The perception that American fashion brands lags behind European standards is changing. Typically thought of as a few steps behind Europe, American fashion brands are making giant strides when it comes to competing in popularity, pricing and quality. Companies like Victoria’s Secret, helmed by Sharen Turney, and names like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger are known the world over. They have not only strengthened the reputation of American fashion brands, but they’ve also challenged tradition.

Fashion in America is different than fashion anywhere else in the world. Most American fashion brands find ways to combine innovation with timeless classic styling. J. Crew does just that. Featuring colorful classic designs for men, women and children, J. Crew started out as a simple mail order store. The company opened its first brick and mortar store in Manhattan in 1989. Now with retail outlets all over the United States, J. Crew is expanding into global markets.

L.L.Bean is an American original. Founded by Leon Leonwood Bean in 1912, the Maine-based company is known for its high quality classic outdoor clothing and equipment. Now a global enterprise, L.L.Bean employs nearly 5,000 people year-round and more than 9,000 during the busy holiday season. The company has 115 retail store locations, runs an award–winning e-commerce website and still publishes its long-established mail order catalog.

What’s more American than a classic leather jacket from Schott N.Y.C.? What started as a dream when two brothers, Irving and Jack Schott, began a raincoat-making business in 1913, is now an over 100-year old icon. It’s where movie legends buy their motorcycle jackets and bomber jackets were manufactured to protect flyers during Word War II. The company is still run by the Schott family, and uses trained craftspeople to put duffle coats, flight jackets, Peacoats and, of course, motorcycle jackets together with true American spirit.

Lands’ End is another company founded on the American spirit of adventure. Founder Gary Comer opened the first retail outlet, Lands’ End Yacht Store, in Chicago in 1963. A year later, the company published its first mail order catalog. Initially the company sold boat, yacht and racing equipment, but shifted its focus to clothing in 1976. In 1995, Lands’ End became one of the first retailers in the United States to launch an e-commerce site. Sears acquired Lands’ End in 2002, which led to a much larger retail presence.

American fashion brands aren’t just casual and outdoorsy. Fleurette is a company that designs and handcrafts high-fashion coats for women. Started in Los Angeles by a small band of designers in 1949, the Fleurette group philosophy was that form and function should always meet and the combination should end in beauty. Quickly rising in popularity because of the unsurpassed craftsmanship and superb fit, the Fleurette brand is now designed and manufactured in New York City.

American fashion is rising to meet the challenge of competing in a global marketplace. Continued sales growth, both at home and globally, gives American-based fashion companies the power to employ more workers and further strengthen the nation’s economy.