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Apparel and accessories

Gucci, Nike still dominate Lyst Index of hottest brands

April 29, 2021

The North Face x Gucci collaboration proved extremely popular this year. Image credit: Gucci


Italian fashion label Gucci has retained the top spot on the Lyst Index of hottest fashion brands, amid signs there is pent-up demand for clothing outside the loungewear sphere.

New collaborations and digital offerings drove much of the growth for brands on the latest quarterly Lyst Index. According to the global fashion search platform, fashion spending does not appear to be slowing as the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations increases as consumers are ready to add to their closets and redefine their personal style.

The Lyst Index for the first quarter of 2021 is based on 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.

Luxury leaders
Between a popular collaboration with outerwear brand The North Face, a digital sneaker release and award show stylings for star musicians Billie Eilish and Harry Styles, it is no wonder Gucci remained at the top of the Lyst Index for a third consecutive quarter.

This strong momentum also coincides with Gucci’s return to growth in Q1 2021 after a rocky 2020 (see story).

Notably, in addition to Gucci’s own marketing and centennial celebrations, an Instagram post from Lady Gaga generated social media engagement with 4.3 million likes and millions more impressions. The post featured Lady Gaga and actor Adam Driver in costume for their roles as Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci in the forthcoming, and unaffiliated, biopic House of Gucci.


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A post shared by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga)

Lady Gaga and Adam Driver will star in The House of Gucci

Similarly, Nike also saw unintentional high levels of social media engagement after suing rapper Lil Nas X and art collective MSCHF for selling unauthorized “Satan” sneakers that modified Nike Air Max 97s. The brand climbed 10 spots to take second place on the Lyst Index, and became the first mass market brand to top the list in Q2 2020 (see story).

French luxury labels Dior and Louis Vuitton also made their first appearances on the Lyst Index, after previously being excluded due to limited distribution through the platform. Dior debuted at the third spot while Louis Vuitton ranked seventh, and both labels drew attention with new brand ambassadors and virtual presentations.

Balenciaga, Moncler, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and Off-White also landed in the top 10 of the Lyst Index.

Off-White saw the largest fall from Q4 2020, slipping six spots to tenth, followed by Valentino and Jacquemus which both fell five places to 14th and 18th, respectively. Adidas and Fear of God fell out of the top 20 entirely, in part because of the addition of Dior and Louis Vuitton as well as consumer interest beyond casualwear.

Dior and Snapchat introduced an AR filter for the B27 sneakers. Image credit: Dior/Snapchat

Shoppers seem reinspired to purchase pieces other than joggers, as searches for dresses and high heels jumped a respective 222 and 163 percent quarter-over-quarter. Demand was also up for pre-owned handbags and pre-owned luxury watches.

Among the quarter’s most sought-after products for women are The North Face x Gucci GG canvas bomber jacket, Hermes pre-owned Kelly bags and Bottega Veneta Lug boots. Men were on the lookout for pieces including the Moncler Gui vest, Prada logo bucket hat and Brunello Cucinelli button-down denim shirts.

Consumers are not about to give up their sneakers entirely, with Adidas Yeezy 450 sneakers, Nike Go FlyEase racers and Nike Dunk Low sneakers among the kicks appearing on the Index.

The inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden also proved to be a fashionable moment (see story), with searches spiking for the Prada red satin headband worn by American poet Amanda Gorman as well as the Burton Edgecomb jacket worn by Senator Bernie Sanders.

Bouncing back
While experiential spending is ticking up as COVID-19 cases steadily fall in some countries, affluent shoppers seem content to continue spending on fashion as well.

Some retail and fashion experts expect a new era of expressive style and consumer behavior to emerge, as consumers look to balance glamour and comfort. In both their runway collections and marketing campaigns, fashion houses have been exploring the idea of a modern elegance (see story).

Lyst also expects Gucci to continue driving social conversations, particularly in light of its new effort fellow Kering-owned label Balenciaga.

For the Aria collection and show honoring Gucci’s 100th anniversary, creative director Alessandro Michele “hacked” Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia, swiping a selection of his designs. Cross-branded pieces include coats, bags and various accessories (see story).

Gucci also recently revealed a star-studded campaign that captured the attention of fashion and pop culture fans.

Hosted by British comedian and talk show host James Corden, Gucci’s “Beloved Talk Show” stars musician and actor Harry Styles, tennis icon Serena Williams and actors Awkwafina, Diane Keaton, Sienna Miller and Dakota Johnson (see story).