The 20 Most Creative Companies in the World


This year, GQ's Global Creativity Awards are focused on recognizing companies that are harnessing creativity to drive business growth and make a positive impact on the world. When we talk about creativity, we mean ingenuity, innovation, originality, and fearlessness. We've surveyed businesses across various industries that impact GQ readers, and we've spoken to the leaders and innovators who are spearheading new projects, developing fresh products, and leading bold initiatives to address significant challenges and revolutionize traditional norms. Throughout our research, we've found that creativity is the prevailing cultural force of our era.  

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Photo Illustrations by Keir Novesky; Photographs: see additional credits at the bottom of the page.


The enormous turnaround at Microsoft—today the world’s most valuable company—has been powered by shrewd investments in AI. But to hear Ashley Llorens, a managing director at Microsoft Research, tell it, the company is just getting started. Llorens oversees creative partnerships with outside researchers and is especially excited by a group called AI4Science at Microsoft. “Imagine large AI models that can speak the language of nature,” he says. Using AI to decipher those languages opens the door to discoveries galore—medicines, sustainable materials, you name it. “There's a real chance,” he says, “that in a decade, when we look back, we'll see AI for science as the real killer app for artificial intelligence.”

The New York Times Company

Imagination isn’t merely the watchword of startups. The venerable New York Times—172 years young—is rethinking its role in readers’ lives, and thus the pool of customers it can reach. “We think the Times should be the essential subscription for every curious English-speaking person around the world,” says chief product officer Alex Hardiman, explaining that the Times wants to build creative new “on-ramps”—things such as recipes; podcasts; games like Wordle, Connections, and the crosswords, which last year were played more than 8 billion times. It’s working. The Times now earns more than $2 billion a year from its 10 million subscribers.


The most radical thing about Hermès is also the most old-school: Since its founding in 1837, each object—every saddle, Birkin bag, and silk scarf—has been made by hand. That means even celebrities and the über-wealthy often have to wait months for a handbag, and Hermès’s ability to keep its hero products just out of reach is driving outsize sales, even at a bumpy time for the once-invincible luxury market. Just look at its stock price: Hermès is trading at an all-time high and up nearly tenfold from a decade ago.

Silent House Group

A couple decades ago, Baz Halpin, a classical musician, went on tour for the first time. “That opened my eyes,” he says. Soon, he built Silent House Group to consolidate the creative chores a touring act must manage—choreography, set design, wardrobe, and so on. Now, in this golden age of the mega-concert, Silent House is staging some of the grandest events on earth, including tours by Harry Styles, Pink, and, yes, Taylor Swift. “Touring has gotten so intense and complicated that the risk of failure is much higher,” says Halpin. But when it works, it’s magic. “The live experience is one of the last bastions of human community.”


The founders of Hoka—runners Nico Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard—wanted a shoe that could tackle the rugged French Alps. This was 2009, when superminimalist footwear was hitting big. Hoka went the other direction, embracing an oversized midsole that was almost cartoonish. “There's just something incredible in terms of how they feel,” says Erika Gabrielli, vice president of global marketing at Hoka. It’s “something that people feel the need to tell their friends and family about.” Now, in addition to winning over athletes (Hoka is the official shoe of Ironman Triathlons), the brand is hot with the fashion set—they’re doling out buzzy collabs with streetwear darlings Brain Dead and lining the shelves of boutiques like Nepenthes in New York and The Broken Arm in Paris. Oh, and they’re selling about a billion and a half dollars in shoes every year.

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Photo Illustrations by Keir Novesky; Photographs: see additional credits at the bottom of the page.


Every so often, Apple delivers a product that remakes our world. The tech giant’s latest creation, the Vision Pro augmented-reality headset, has been heralded by early adopters as utterly transformative; director James Cameron called it “a religious experience.” The graphics, rendered in 23 million pixels, approximate what it would be like to have a 4K TV in each of your eyeballs. The Vision Pro has already changed the parameters for what’s possible with devices like this—and demonstrated that whatever future we’re hurtling toward, it’s being dreamed up in Cupertino.

Boom Supersonic

Commercial airline travel that’s faster than the speed of sound is possible—the Concorde proved that before being grounded in 2003—it just has never been all that practical, profitable, or sustainable. Boom wants to change all that, by modernizing how planes get built and pledging to achieve carbon neutrality through the use of sustainable jet fuels and carbon offsets. So far, Boom has secured more than 130 orders for jets that could be aloft within six years. “The goal,” says founder Blake Scholl, “is to build something that people want to fly over and over again, where they’ll almost wish the flight were longer.”


From Loro Piana cashmere to Tiffany silver, Dior suits to Dom Pérignon Champagne, luxury juggernaut LVMH manufactures finery of practically every form. And, in recent years, the company has expanded to the realm of experiences, acquiring dozens of hotels and resorts and a bevy of restaurants, all potentially useful in achieving a grandly cohesive objective: to envelop the discerning customer in a world of pure luxury.

Klutch Sports Group

When the sports agent Rich Paul left CAA to found his own firm, in 2012, he brought with him one particularly high-profile client—LeBron James—and a plan to shake things up. In the years since, he’s built Klutch Sports Group into the ultimate embodiment of the player empowerment era, as well as a company that elevates a different set of values. “We’re probably the most diverse agency as it pertains to gender and race and balance across the board,” Paul says. “There’s some people that have gone to University of Michigan and Penn, and there’s some kids that pretty much came in off the street.” One of Klutch’s newest focuses is on NCAA NIL opportunities—deals that the agency hopes to broker for college players that can extend into their subsequent pro career. Of course, Paul likes to think he’s not only offering clients endorsements, but also the savvy to spend the money well.

Major Food Group

MFG always goes BIG. Big flavors, big dishes, huge menus, ridiculously big prices, and unmatched ambition. They built the hottest restaurant in the world at a tiny space in Greenwich Village and used the momentum like rocket fuel. Now with 40 restaurants around the globe, they’ve launched another hit in NYC (Torrisi) and an obscenely opulent private club. The mood is somehow both old-world and red-hot. “We’re nostalgic at heart,” says Mario Carbone, “but still young enough to connect with the current generation.” Their next grand hospitality play? Real estate development. All that world-building, launched off the back of a really tasty plate of rigatoni.

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Photo Illustrations by Keir Novesky; Photographs: see additional credits at the bottom of the page.

Our Habitas

Aman and Mandarin Oriental have a nimble new competitor in the luxury hotel space. Our Habitas is betting that wanderlust-y millennials care way more about experiences than about simply getting access to yet another marble bathroom. Using low-impact modular construction, Habitas is able to build properties swiftly and put them in places you’d never expect: a Moroccan lagoon, an encampment in Chile’s Atacama Desert, a forthcoming getaway in the mountains of Bhutan. At the center of each one are communal spaces: fire pits, long dining-room tables. The goal, says CEO Oliver Ripley: “A space that brings people together.”

Paulin, Paulin, Paulin

Pierre Paulin, the great French furniture designer, was known for his range: grand interiors for presidents, funky lounge chairs. But at the time of his death, in 2009, he was haunted by one unfinished project: a utopian system of furniture for Herman Miller that could shift to outfit any home. “I grew up on the rejected pieces,” says Paulin’s son, Benjamin, who partnered with his wife and mother to create Paulin, Paulin, Paulin, and bring the designer’s unrealized visions to life. It’s been a huge hit: Now Instagram is flooded with the likes of Hailey Bieber and Rich the Kid lounging on Pierre Paulin sofas. For Benjamin, bringing the Herman Miller set to life was especially gratifying. “It was a very avant-garde and crazy idea,” Benjamin says. Now it’s also real.


The film studio has established itself as an imprimatur of cool—a producer of the buzziest movies on the planet. Now, its TV shows (HBO’s Euphoria, Netflix’s Beef) have caught fire as well. From the start, the company’s focus has been to champion the offbeat story. Be a home for fresh voices. And think expansively about what a studio ought to do. Innovations include consumer products like a makeup brand (Half Magic), killer merch, a membership program—they’ve even purchased the off-Broadway Cherry Lane Theatre in New York. The most creative film studio on the planet won’t settle for simply being a film studio.


Since its days as a playing card company founded way back in 1889, Nintendo has reinvented itself continually, building on what works, chasing the next new thing. Last year it turned fresh takes on classic franchises—Zelda, Super Mario Bros.—into new games and movies that generated more than a billion dollars in sales. It also opened Super Nintendo World, a Hollywood theme park. The push into new terrain proves it’s not content to let the game end anytime soon.

Mischief @ No Fixed Address

When Mischief cofounder Greg Hahn helped form the company in 2020, his goal, he says, was to create a “safe place for dangerous ideas.” The agency got to work helping brands redefine themselves. For video-streaming service Tubi, a Super Bowl ad made it seem as if someone had taken over the remote and began scrolling through Tubi’s interface. For Tinder, a series of cinematic spots showed the potential of a one-night stand. With every client—whether its Capri Sun or Coors Light—Mischief starts with two questions: “What are we trying to say? What's the most unignorable way to say that?”

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Photo Illustrations by Keir Novesky; Photographs: see additional credits at the bottom of the page.

Teenage Engineering

Jesper Kouthoofd, cofounder of the Swedish consumer-electronics company, says its much-adored retro aesthetic owes to simple rules: Adhere to basic geometry (circles, squares, triangles), use a few classic colors, and stick to one font. “When you’re efficient and restricted you get more creative,” Kouthoofd says. His company makes everything from synthesizers and drum machines to speakers and audio recorders, a range of products that have attracted high-wattage admirers like Travis Scott, Skrillex, and Trent Reznor. Now Teenage Engineering imagines even bigger things: Later this year a handheld AI device that it helped build with Rabbit will begin shipping.


Four years ago, Miuccia Prada shocked the fashion world when she announced that the designer Raf Simons would be joining her as the luxury house’s co–creative director—a highly unusual sharing of power. But Mrs. Prada, known for her beguiling jolie laide aesthetic, has never been one to abide by convention. And the unorthodox appointment seemed to reflect the creative spirit of Prada itself, a brand that has commissioned architect Rem Koolhaas to design its show space and stores and that bankrolls the arts through the Prada Foundation. As CEO Gianfranco D’Attis puts it, “Prada is more than a lifestyle. It is a vehicle to communicate our unique perspective on the world.” The company has posted booming earnings of late—and per the influential Lyst Index, Prada is also once again the world’s hottest fashion brand—impressive for a house that’s defined by its elegance of mind.

Kéré Architecture

At a time when big-name architects are consumed with skyscrapers for plutocrats, Francis Kéré dreams of something different: a building that “embraces a totally human being,” he says. That humanistic approach has made him a star, celebrated for marrying modern techniques with traditional forms and local materials. One recent project, for an arts center in Fishtail, Montana, features a canopy of heavy logs made to appear weightless; another, for the new National Assembly building in the Republic of Benin, was made to look like a palaver tree, a traditional gathering spot in West Africa. “Sometimes,” Kéré says, “I'm coming out with ideas, if you heard about it, you think, ‘It's impossible.’ But then I turn it to reality.”


Tesla’s cars are energy efficient and fun to drive, but a big part of the appeal is the automaker’s rotating suite of clever, creative, and pragmatic features. There’s “Caraoke” or gaming to pass the time while you charge; “Dog” mode, which maintains a comfortable temperature for your pet when you step out for an errand. These ideas can come from within Tesla or without; many have originated from customers via whatever we’re supposed to call tweets now. But whatever these innovations are, they reflect a culture of unfettered creativity that the big carmakers can’t seem to touch. As head engineer Lars Moravy has put it, “You don’t get to say, well, we’ve done that for 50 years, so that’s the way we’re gonna do it for the next 50.”

Athletic Brewing Company

Since the dawn of the craft beer revolution, there was no challenge so outrageous that craft brewers wouldn’t at least try it, but one proved almost impossible: brewing a nonalcoholic beer that wasn’t sad and disgusting. “The adult beverage world, if you're not drinking, was brutal,” says Bill Shufelt. So he quit his job on Wall Street, teamed with John Walker, a brewer he’d met online, and in 2018 launched Athletic to reimagine the fundamentals of beer drinking. Today, Athletic controls 20 percent of the NA beer market. Maybe more impressively, the brewer is beating out craft beers that contain alcohol for awards. Sometimes an idea is so simple, smart, and well executed that it doesn’t just launch a great company—it opens up a whole new category.

A version of this story originally appeared in the April/May 2024 issue of GQ with the title “The World’s Most Creative Companies 2024”


Opening photo illustration: Mischief rocket, Nintendo’s Yoshi, Boom Supersonic, Prada runway model, Athletic Brewing, Tesla, and Teenage Engineering Frekvens: courtesy of the brands. Jeremy Allen White: Devin Yalkin/courtesy of A24. Our Habitas, Bacalar: courtesy of Tanveer Badal for Our Habitas. Taylor Swift: Buda Mendes/Getty Images. Sarbale Ké at Coachella: Iwan Baan. Apple Vision Pro: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images. Michelle Yeoh: Everett Collection/courtesy of A24. Paulin, Paulin & Paulin: Stéphane Aboudaram/courtesy of Paulin, Paulin & Paulin. Background and planet Earth: Getty Images. All logos: courtesy of the brands.

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