Remember that legendary The Devil Wears Prada quote in which Meryl Streep’s diatribe to Anne Hathaway is, in fact, a concise and informed exploration of high fashion’s influence on even the most unwilling participants’ wardrobes? It’s the same with celebrity. While you might want Timothée Chalamet to be your boyfriend, you probably don’t consider that your actual boyfriend bought a harness to be worn over a shirt because of him - and neither does he. What used to be a trickle-down effect from catwalks is now more of a gush in the age of social media. While Lyst’s annual report details everything from key movements (sustainability and inclusivity, pleasingly) to viral products (THAT Zara dress and Lady Hale’s spider brooch), it’s the cult of celebrity that’s largely driving fashion traffic. Here are the celebrities whose sartorial decisions sent us straight to the internet in 2019:
Back when she was an influencer with a mere million Instagram followers, Cardi B started a relationship with the affordable fast fashion label Fashion Nova. As her career grew, so did the brand’s influence. In 2018, it was the most-searched fashion brand on Google - we probably don’t need to explain how successful Cardi B has become. While she stays faithful to Fashion Nova, her status has now placed her in the lap of luxury labels. A 17% rise in Richard Quinn searches on Lyst can be credited to the ensemble she wore at Paris Fashion Week and, needless to say, interest in her certainly didn’t wane when she sat next to Anna Wintour at the Thom Browne show, wearing Thom Browne, or when she attended Chanel in full-look Chanel. The Grammy Awards saw her resplendent in vintage Thierry Mugler couture and searches for the designer rise by 169% - in four hours.
If you thought Timothée Chalamet was all cheekbones and excellent acting then you’d be correct! But we’d like to introduce you to the notion that his cheekbones and acting skills make him a fashion influencer simply for the fact they enable him to wear anything and everything well. It was his black embellished Louis Vuitton harness (he claimed he thought it was a ‘bib’ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show) that won the Golden Globes and a hoodie (this time with more than 3000 Swarovski crystals and 15000 sequins) by the same brand that ignited a 192% rise in searches for menswear hoodies. After he spent a day of the Venice Film Festival in sartorial devotion to Haider Ackermann, there was a 806% increase in searches for the brand.
While we adored that slo-mo video of her in ASAI Resort 2019, Rihanna didn’t actually make it into the list of ‘10 celebrities whose personal style choices drove the biggest spikes in searches, sales, news coverage and social media mentions’. But what does she care? This year saw her become the first-ever woman - and person of colour - to create an original brand at LVMH. When Fenty launched, it garnered more than 5000 media articles and over seven million social media impressions. Later in the year, the Savage x Fenty show put its dated Victoria’s Secret counterpart to rest with diverse casting (including the transgender actress Laverne Cox) and a dynamic set. It was streamed exclusively on Amazon Prime and searches for the lingerie label rose by 43%.
At Milan Fashion Week, J-Lo walked the Versace show in a new version of the infamous dress that led to the launch of Google Images in 2001. Her appearance counted for $9.4 million worth of social media mentions and online engagement. It all comes back round again, doesn’t it?
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