“Virgil Abloh’s Off-White is officially the hottest brand on the planet.” This is the key takeaway from Lyst’s quarterly index of fashion’s “hottest brands and products.” According to the fashion discovery platform, which recently received a reported $50 million in financial backing from LVMH, “To compile the results, global fashion search platform Lyst analyses the online shopping behavior of more than 5 million shoppers a month searching, browsing and buying fashion across 12,000 designers and stores online.”
Describing its calculation method, Lyst further notes, “The formula behind the Index also 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 third quarter (i.e., June to September 2018), Lyst revealed that “thanks to a quarter packed with globally-hyped launches and collaborations,” including but not limited to a collab with Serena Williams for the 50th edition of the U.S. Open, “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.”
“Over the last year the cult streetwear label [that is Off-White] has risen 33 places in the Index, now surpassing Gucci and Balenciaga at the top of the table for the first time.”
Off-White, which ranked at number 2 for Q2 of 2018, is followed by Gucci in the number 2 spot (down from the top spot last quarter), Balenciaga, Nike, Prada, Versace, Yeezy, Vetements an interesting addition given the brand’s purported fall from relevance at retail, as set forth by Highsnobiety this spring), Fendi (thanks to its “Fendi Fila logo mashup pieces, [which are] trending worldwide”), and Valentino (Lyst notes that Valentino’s “dramatic couture collection has been a red carpet hit”).
Lyst notes that while Yeezy dropped off of its Ten 10 last quarter, it is back for Q3 in the number 7 position. “The Yeezy 350 ‘Butter’ colourway sneakers were responsible for a huge spike in demand this quarter,” some 265,000 social mentions, the site notes, but so, too, is Yeezy founder Kanye West’s “personal profile, which helps to peak and sustain the hype around the brand.”
While West’s profile in the U.S. is largely marred in controversy in connection with his ongoing endorsement of Donald Trump, this is not something that likely impacts consumer spending. As Bernie Gross, the founder of streetwear + sneaker retailer Extra Butter, said last year, “Our consumer is pretty superficial. They’re driven by hype,” meaning that West’s political views are likely not harming sales.
As for the quarter’s top womenswear products, “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.” An (initially widely undisclosed) social media influencer campaign in July saw “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.”
Other top women’s products for the quarter include Off-White’s logo belt, Birkenstock Madrid sandals, Jonathan Simkhai lace up jeans (as seen on Bella Hadid), Nike M2K Tekno sneakers, Off-White’s lined sleeves denim jacket, Staud’s Shirley bag, Gucci’s Flashtrek sneakers, Ganni’s Danity Georgette wrap skirt, and Saint Laurent’s heart-shaped LouLou sunglasses.