The Lyst Index is a quarterly retail ranking of the most searched for brands and most-wanted products. Never mind fashion editors telling you to invest in square-toed shoes and to ditch your favourite pair of boyfriend jeans, Lyst uses Google search data, conversions and social media mentions to record and rank the fluctuating sales and desirability of everything from Ugg slippers to Gucci belts. It’s therefore wonderfully unbiased. Q4 of 2019, the final quarter of the decade, demonstrated that Off-White has kept its top spot on the hottest brands list (thanks, in part, to a new store in Miami and Hailey Baldwin wearing a custom-made Off-White gown for her wedding), with Gucci and Balenciaga narrowly following behind. Refreshingly, the Lyst list isn’t all luxury - this quarter saw a big jump for Dr. Martens (from 31 to position 19 on the hottest brands list), and the Arket Down Puffer came in at number 10 on the most-wanted products list for women. We dig deeper between the lines of the data and discover what was a major win in 2019’s final quarter.
Is streetwear the trend that defined the decade? Hoodies, sneakers and a general overhaul of comfort for your wardrobe? Yes, we welcomed it with open arms. But according to Virgil Abloh, the sportswear-inspired trend will soon end from saturation (“how many T-shirts can we own, how many more hoodies?” he mused to Dazed). This change may be coming, but it hasn’t happened yet, with streetwear labels such as Stone Island, Nike, Moncler and Yeezy all holding firm positions in the top 20 brands.
Certain celebrities have such a loyal following that when they wear something, the world wants it (cue iconic Mean Girls quote, “I saw Regina George wearing army pants and flip flops, so I bought army pants and flip flops”). In this sense, Dua Lipa, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Chiara Ferrangi and Bella Hadid are the Regina Georges of style. When Kendall and Hailey wore the crystal Gilda sandals by Middle Eastern footwear designer Amina Muaddi Gilda, on average 65,000 of us decided to hunt them out each month. Moreover, when the designer announced Rihanna approached her for a Fenty collaboration, her sales doubled.
Similarly the very dress that created Google Image in 2000, J-Lo’s Versace jungle number, was worn again by the singer/actress when she closed the Versace spring/summer 2020 show, as well as on Saturday Night Live, giving the brand major a ‘break the internet’ opportunity, which sparked sales in its newly launched jungle-printed sneakers. But what’s the biggest celebrity endorsement of all? Erm, donning a designer on your wedding day, perhaps? Hailey Baldwin wore a custom Off-White gown when she married Justin Bieber and the dress, with its Abloh-tastic “Till Death Do Us Part” quote on the train, trended more than the news of their marriage itself.
image | the realreal
From Gucci’s carbon neutral challenge to Prada hosting a sustainability conference, brands are going out of their way to do their bit when it comes to climate change. Moncler dropped a plant-based jacket (sounds delicious, doesn’t it?), Givenchy launched its line of upcycled jeans made from vintage denim (again, sounds delicious), and Burberry launched a partnership with TheRealReal, a resale site that slowly moves us away from a ‘buy, buy, buy’ mentality.
Remember a time when you’d eagerly await Kate Moss for Topshop collections? And who else waited in line for Rihanna x River Island? Whilst we still go wild for collaborations, the retail model has evolved dramatically in the last decade. Moving on from paying mega bucks for a celebrity partnership, brands are much more experimental with their choice; Star Wars x Vetements, for example (really reinventing that whole nerd-chic thing). Lyst also noted that Gucci’s merchandise for Harry Styles’ latest album was one of the brand’s biggest moments, and as for Fendi, they offered a scented Baguette bag in partnership with Francis Kurkdjian.
Call us spoilt, but we millennials and gen Zers want so much more than physical stores and online stockists, we want experiences. We want photo opportunities fit for our Instagram feeds, because (let’s be honest), if it didn’t happen on Instagram, did it even happen at all? According to the Lyst Index, brands that have invested in pop-up shops, exhibitions and Insta-friendly events are those that have found most success. Loewe, Bottega Veneta, Gucci and Balenciaga were among the many designers that exhibited installations, one-off art pieces, collaborations and spaces at Art Basel Miami in December, which garnered a huge social media presence.
On the list for the 9th time in 3 years, the Gucci monogram belt has held the top spot for the last three quarters of 2019. It averaged over 165,000 monthly searches between October-December for women alone, but is also a popular accessory for men (although it didn’t make the men's top 10 list). Which begs the question, what product, if any, will ever overtake the Gucci belt?
images | shutterstock