Are brands really important?

Hi guys, so I was surfing the web and enjoying the pictures of the passed New York fashion week, seeing chic hit the streets in their different designer brands ( which I prayed silently I'll be able to afford someday) but then it hit me, do brands really matter, I mean, does it have to be Giuseppe zanotti before its chic or is it just the feeling of confidence when you come out looking fab, I'll go for the latter and do not say it is because I cannot afford them, oh no, But I see fashion as an expression of oneself, but what do you think, do brands really matter?