The Lyst Index is a quarterly ranking of fashion’s hottest brands and products. To compile the results, global fashion search platform Lyst analyses the online shopping behaviour of more than 5 million shoppers a month searching, browsing and buying fashion across 12,000 designers and stores online. The formula behind the Index takes into account global Lyst and Google search data, conversion rates and sales, as well as brand and product social media mentions and engagement statistics worldwide over a 3 month period.
For the first time, this report now factors in rich social media metrics, from brand follower growth to multi-platform product mentions and sentiment analysis. The results show the phenomenal power of social media to generate brand impact and drive sales. During a long, warm Summer, the labels that got people talking (and shopping) were boosted by moments of internet-melting virality.
This quarter Virgil Abloh dropped sell-out sneakers, dressed Serena Williams for the US Open, released the second ‘For All’ capsule, a Mykonos inspired swim line, an Ikea rug pop-up, plus projects with retailers SSENSE, Selfridges and TheDoubleF, ahead of a thrilling athletics-inspired SS19 show in Paris.2
This quarter Gucci launched new campaigns for the Fall18, Sylvie bag and Cruise collection, and released the hotly-anticipated first collaboration with legendary Harlem couturier Dapper Dan. Alongside current season product, shoppers are searching for Tom Ford-era Gucci pieces on luxury resale sites.1
Demna Gvasalia’s much-memed aesthetic continues to disrupt timelines and dress codes, with sneakers the most wanted products. This quarter Balenciaga unveiled a new Track shoe exclusive with Selfridges, and updated the popular Speed sneaker and the Volt Triple S for new releases.3
The sportswear and leisure giant won the world cup, sponsoring both soccer teams in the final for the first time in the brand’s history. The collaborations with Virgil Abloh, plus the explosive Just Do It campaign starring Colin Kaepernick, created impactful brand moments this quarter.9
Patrizio Bertelli recently declared that “a new phase of progress has begun in which Prada can deliver its full potential”. Data shows that the refreshed product offer, in particular the nylon pieces and the relaunched Linea Rossa line, is resonating well with new and returning customers online.10
Bought by Michael Kors for $2.1bn this quarter, the Medusa’s renaissance continues apace. Celebrity endorsement from Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj and Blake Lively have spiked searches, while a collaboration with Kith, launched at NYFW, will further expose the brand to the powerful streetwear customer.7
Kanye and the West family’s antics, coupled with his brand’s select distribution strategy, make for a mighty Yeezy hype machine. The Yeezy 350 ‘Butter’ colourway sneakers were responsible for a huge spike in demand this quarter.12
Vetements and Reebok continued their partnership by releasing a new take on the ever popular Sock Runner boot, and teasing the next ‘Spike’ collaboration shoe at the SS19 ready-to-wear show. Further collaborations with Alpha Industries and SWEAR kept social media mentions high.6
The Fendi comeback continues, with Fendi Fila logo mashup pieces trending worldwide. This summer the brand celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Peekaboo bag, released the high-tech Fancy sneaker, and excited social media users at the prospect of the return of the baguette bag via the SS19 runway.8
Pierpaolo Piccioli’s dramatic couture collection has been a red carpet hit. Lady Gaga’s pink feathered gown at the Venice Film Festival, and Tracee Ellis Ross’ pink Emmy’s dress both spiked social mentions for the brand, while Valentino accessories are driving searches in the US.13
Off-WhiteTM is officially the hottest brand on the planet. Over the last year the cult streetwear label has risen 33 places in the Index, now surpassing Gucci and Balenciaga at the top of the table for the first time. Thanks to a quarter packed with globally-hyped launches and collaborations, the brand buzz surrounding Virgil Abloh and his disruptive creative aesthetic continues to grow. Searches for Off-White across Lyst’s partner retailers are up 14% quarter on quarter, and Off-White is responsible for 3 out of 20 products in the hottest products lists.
One of Off-White’s biggest drivers of social engagement remains Abloh’s ongoing collaboration with Nike. Alongside the monumental success of “THE TEN” sneaker collaboration series, Virgil Abloh and Nike teamed up again this quarter to dress Serena Williams for the 50th edition of the US Open in New York. Seeing the “QUEEN” collection on court created a must-share moment for both brands involved, driving more than a million social mentions and introducing Off-White to new audiences worldwide. Traffic to Off-White products online increased 10% in August.
August also saw the release of Nike’s new Just Do It ad starring Colin Kaepernick, inciting Twitter commentary from President Trump, and the threat of a #JustBurnIt backlash. Nike was mentioned in digital and offline media more than 10 million times in the 24 hours that followed, and while some analysts initially pointed out a slump in share prices, others predicted sales would rise. According to the Lyst Index data, Nike’s internet melting campaign paid off - total search traffic to Nike related pages grew by 13% quarter on quarter, and the brand has moved 5 places up the Index. 4 out of the 20 hottest products this quarter are Nike.
Prada and Yeezy have also both moved up 5 spots, the latter re-entering the Index after a quarter out of the top ten. Yeezy founder Kanye West’s personal profile helps to peak and sustain the hype around the brand, and combined with his wife’s position as one of the world’s most powerful fashion influencers it’s no surprise that the brand generates major buzz online when a new product or collection drops. The Yeezy V2 350 Butter release, plus the significant online mentions surrounding Kanye’s much-memed ‘tiny slides’ and Kanye’s return to Instagram, helped push the brand back into the Index this quarter.
Indeed, viral social moments have translated into demand for many of the brands in the Index, from Balenciaga’s seven layer coat to Jennifer Lopez’s Versace ‘joots’. In a quarter that covers September, once fashion’s milestone month, it’s a sign of the times that many of the major spikes in search and social traffic sat outside of the traditional fashion calendar, and evolved beyond orchestrated PR moments to become global conversations online. While big marketing budgets and big influencers continue to drive demand worldwide, Millennial and Gen Z customers are creating their own hype cycles for brands and products via memes and social media, in their own words and on their own terms.
To find the world’s hottest products, Lyst’s formula filters 6 million items by volume of social media mentions, searches, page views, interactions and sales across thousands of online stores. We group colours for styles, and take into account global demand per volume of stock available.
The Unstoppable March of the ‘Ugly’ Shoe
This quarter’s the hottest women's products are steeped in early 2000s nostalgia. The new Dior Saddle, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s resurrection of John Galliano’s iconic early-aughts ‘it bag’, was a social media hit from the moment it re-appeared in Dior’s February runway show. Months before its official re-launch, customers were already searching for pre-owned first generation saddle bags on luxury resale sites. When 100 global influencers posted an image modelling the bag on Instagram on July 19, searches for the style online spiked 957% in 48 hours, propelling it to the top of the Hottest Products list despite Dior’s exclusive online distribution model.
Jonathan Simkhai’s lace-up Stove Pipe jeans, as seen on Bella Hadid, have a decidedly throwback feel, while the Nike M2K Tekno is also inspired by a ‘00s design, the Nike Air Monarch cross trainer. Like the Fila Disruptor, which appeared in the hottest products list last quarter, it’s an affordable take on the ‘Dad’ sneaker trend, pioneered by the Balenciaga Triple S (which remains in the men’s hottest products list for a second quarter.) Originally released as a women’s-exclusive, the design was extended into men’s sizing in August and is stocked by a wide range of retailers from sports stores to luxury boutiques. The first product to appear in both the men’s and women’s hottest products lists simultaneously, the Nike MK2 Tekno has generated more than more than 20,000 social media mentions this quarter.
The Gucci Flashtrek and the practical Birkenstock Madrid sandal are more ‘ugly’ shoes to make the list. In an interview with The Cut, Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert revealed that the brand had turned down collaborations with Supreme and Vetements, who wanted to put logos on the sandals. The classic one-strap Madrid shape, while not necessarily ‘made for Instagram’, has delivered on sales this quarter; searches for the style increased 28% over the three month period.
Meanwhile contemporary brands Staud and Ganni enter the hottest products list for the first time with Insta-cult items at accessible price points. LA-label Staud’s PVC Shirley bag, at a relatively affordable $300, has been selling out all Summer, while Danish brand Ganni, one of the fastest rising brands in the Index, can claim the hottest skirt of the summer.
HOTTEST MEN'S PRODUCTS
The Summer of Sportswear
Sneakers and slides dominate the men’s hottest products list once again. The Balenciaga Triple S sneaker, Prada logo slides and Gucci’s web stripe sandal are all re-entrants from last quarter, now driving significant sales over the last 6 months. Sneakers continue to create the biggest spikes in demand for male shoppers worldwide.
This quarter’s hottest sneaker, and product overall, is the Off-White x Nike The Ten: Air Presto. Released on July 27th in black, and 3rd August in white, the shoes generated over 252,000 combined mentions on social media, but with limited supply to meet the huge spike in resulting search demand, only a small number of customers have managed to secure a pair. According to StockX data, average resale prices are currently over 450% higher than the original sales value. The Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 "Butter" is the second hottest product, with 265,000 social media mentions and a 33% spike in searches for the Yeezy sneakers during the much-memed #LikeButter launch campaign.
Sportswear meets streetwear meets merch in the unexpected fourth and fifth place entries; only in a World Cup year could a football shirt make it into a list of the world’s hottest fashion products. Searches for the Nike 2018 England jersey spiked 300% in the week leading up to the semi-finals, selling out across all sizes, across multiple online retailers. While the Nigerian, Belgian and Croatian shirts all excited fans and media, England’s was the world’s most wanted replica kit of the tournament in terms of searches, sales and social combined.
Football’s not the only sport to make it into the hottest products list this quarter. Just Don, the streetwear label by Don C, a longtime creative collaborator of Kanye West, enters the Index for the first time thanks to the power of basketball megastar and fashion influencer LeBron James. Page views for Just Don’s $500 luxury basketball shorts spiked 210% when James wore them for his first public appearance since signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.