The Lyst Index Q4 2019 report: Designers, trends and social media consumerism

The Lyst Index Q4 2019 report: Designers, trends and social media consumerism

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 nine million shoppers a month searching, browsing and buying fashion across 12,000 designers and stores online. The formula behind The Lyst 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 three month period.

In this key commercial quarter for brands and retailers, festive gifting and seasonal mark-downs boosted sales. But despite a climate of aggressive discounting around Singles Day and Black Friday, full price sales propelled many of the quarter’s hottest brands within The Lyst Index. Shoppers gravitated towards recognisable ‘core’ or non-seasonal products that are not marked down, or searched for a brand on sale but then bought full price.

For many of the hottest brands, Q4 wasn’t just about maximising sales, but was also a moment for announcing sustainability and brand purpose activities. From Prada signing a loan that will see interest rates lowered in exchange for meeting sustainability targets, to Burberry announcing a partnership with resale site The RealReal, to Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri launching the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge, these initiatives offset the traditional ‘buy, buy, buy’ mentality of the quarter – and point towards a wider shift in the industry.

This quarter, Off-White retains its number one spot in The Lyst Index as the hottest brand in the world, buoyed by strong demand for its T-shirts, hoodies, sneakers and accessories. Towards the end of 2019, Off-White’s founder and creative director Virgil Abloh predicted the death of streetwear in the coming decade. But for now at least, streetwear remains the most powerful force in fashion.

Yeezy re-enters the 20 hottest brands list this quarter, climbing 9 places to 16th position, with searches and social mentions boosted after designer Kanye West unveiled a futuristic clog — dubbed ‘foam runner’ — made from an algae-derived material and set to go on sale this year. Stone Island and Nike retain their positions as 11th and 12th hottest brands in the world respectively, and luxury brands including Balenciaga and Fendi, which have adopted a streetwear focus in recent years, continue to place highly in the Index, at 3rd and 6th place respectively.

But some of the moves among the hottest brands suggest change is afoot. Having helped define the luxury streetwear movement, Vetements falls 5 places to 15th position, following the announcement earlier in 2019 that designer Demna Gvasalia would step down. Meanwhile, Bottega Veneta – which offers a non-streetwear take on luxury – continues its ascent, moving up 2 places after searches for the brand increased 32% during the three-month period.

The 3 biggest movers in The Lyst Index this quarter were driven by seasonal demand for insulated outerwear and robust footwear. Moncler rises 10 places into 4th position, Canada Goose climbs 14 places into 18th position and Dr. Martens moves 12 places into 19th position. For Canada Goose and Dr. Martens, this marks their first appearance in The Lyst Index hottest brands ranking. Acne Studios was also boosted by seasonality, re-entering The Lyst Index this quarter in 17th position, propelled by demand for its bold knit accessories.