Gucci may have been one of the hit hardest luxury brands when tourism spending took a nose dive at the start of the pandemic, but the Italian fashion house—and the moves Alessandro Michele is making to stay relevant with aspirational Gen Z consumers—still has star power.
The Kering-owned brand nabbed the No. 1 spot on The Lyst Index ranking of the hottest brands of Q3 2020. The Lyst Index takes into account Lyst shopper behavior, including conversion rates and sales. It also includes Google search data, social media mentions and engagement statistics worldwide over a three-month period.
Gucci, which climbed two spots on the index from Q2, more than made up for its absence at Spring/Summer 2021 fashion week by livestreaming its Epilogue collection in July to a worldwide audience that exceeded 35 million views, Lyst reported.
The brand also caught the attention of industry watchers with a Fall/Winter 2020 campaign featuring self-portraits of models in their own spaces—a creative direction that resonates with the current times—and by introducing its first line of accessories made with recycled, organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials. And though Gucci has been worn by consumers in genderless ways, the brand bowed its first official genderless assortment called Mx on its website in the third quarter.
Overall, Lyst page views for Gucci were up 52 percent in the third quarter year-on-year.
Off-White maintained its No. 2 position by pushing forward with expansion plans in Q3. The luxury streetwear label opened new stores in London, Miami and Milan, as well as helped kick off the latest hypebeast trend by collaborating with Mercedes-Benz on a concept car. Founder Virgil Abloh also established a $1 million scholarship fund for Black fashion students during the quarter—a narrative that was echoed across several brands on the index.
Nike, which dropped from first place in Q2 to No. 3 in Q3, committed with Michael Jordan $140 million to further social justice and racial equality. In terms of sales, the stalwart continued to benefit from the pandemic boon in activewear and online shopping. Digital sales increased 82 percent in the quarter. The brand also sparked buzz by launching its first dedicated maternity line, Lyst reported.
Build-up to the first collection co-designed by Raf Simons gave Prada a boost. The No. 4 luxury label reported triple-digit e-commerce sales growth and in an act of goodwill, partnered with Sotheby’s to raise funds for Covid-19 efforts.
Music supplied Balenciaga with inventive ways to draw attention in Q3. The No. 5 hottest brand teamed with Apple Music to drum up buzz for product drops by curating accompanied playlists for each release, Lyst noted. Meanwhile, Cardi B’s turn as the face of its F/W ’20 campaign turned heads, especially the brand’s billboard on the outside of the Louvre museum in Paris.
Balenciaga also revealed plans to introduce the Pink Ribbon capsule in S/S ’21, a line of jewelry and tees and hoodies with the slogan “We are pink” that will partly benefit breast cancer research programs.
No. 6 Fendi had a busy quarter. The Italian label named Kim Jones its artistic director of womenswear—a vacancy that has been open since Karl Lagerfeld’s death in 2019. Fendi plugged into pop culture as well by tapping Chloe x Halle for the campaign for its Peekaboo bag and filling the front row of its S/S ’21 runway show with celebrities like singer Rita Ora and actor Paul Mescal.
Versace maintained its No. 7 position in Q3 by presenting one of the most escapist collections for S/S ’21. The fashion house livestreamed its underwater-themed runway show attended only by Versace employees that had a hand in making the collection. A new beach-themed campaign for its Dylan Blue fragrance starring Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber kept the brand’s escapist theme going. And to tap into the demand for elevated at-home fashion, Versace launched a personalization service for Versace Home bathrobes.
Along with launching an art project with Helmut Lang to provide raw materials for sculptures, Lyst noted that No. 8 Saint Laurent had a strong quarter thanks in part to its advertising campaigns. Its F/W ’20 women’s campaign was shot by Juergen Teller around Paris, while director John Waters fronted its men’s campaign.
Bottega Veneta nabbed the No. 9 spot for nearly tripling its e-commerce business in first half of year, Lyst reported. But it was the sustainable makeover of its most iconic handbag styles that caught attention online. In August, Bottega Veneta debuted the Kraft Paper collection, a line of bags made with 100 percent recycled and FSC certified paper.
Valentino rounded out the top 10 list. Its creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli won CFDA international women’s designer award. The brand also debuted a fragrance campaign with Lady Gaga and a high-low collaboration with Levi’s. The luxury label also donated 1 million euros to a Rome hospital as part of the F/W ’20 Empathy campaign that shines a spotlight on community-building.
A mix of designer labels and brands with a streetwear edge filled out the index. No. 11 Jacquemus’ S/S ’21 runway show set in a French wheat field reminded fashion watchers of the romance and allure of fashion week.
Burberry, which teamed with live streaming platform for gamers on Twitch to stream its S/S ’21 catwalk staged in the woods, ranked No. 12 in part for expanding its creative scholarships to support under-represented students.
No. 13 Moncler unveiled plans to double its online business over the next three years and debuted a gender-fluid line for fall with JW Anderson.
Alexander McQueen moved up one spot to No. 14 in Q3 following the launch of a new label powered by blockchain and for nabbing some scarce red carpet time in 2020 by dressing Cate Blanchett for the Venice Film Festival in September.
No. 15 Loewe impressed with its S/S ’21 “show in a box” that was sent to editors and shared across social media. Meanwhile, Balmain landed at No. 16 by generating buzz with its fashion show on a boat in Paris’ River Seine.
A line of resuable face masks was among the biggest drops by Adidas, which slipped four spots in Q3 to No. 17. The brand also unveiled its second collaboration with Prada.
No. 18 Givenchy debuted its first collection under creative director Matthew M. Williams, revealing a new look for the storied fashion house. The brand also dabbled in gaming by partnering with Animal Crossing to launch virtual makeup.
Fear of God moved up one place to become the No. 19 hottest brand after entering The Lyst Index for the first time in Q2 this year. The brand showed another side of its aesthetic with a partnership with Ermenegildo Zegna.
And at No. 20 Marine Serre made its first appearance on the index. Boosted by celebrities like Beyoncé and Sevdaliza donning the brand, Lyst noted that it is the fastest rising brand in Q3, having climbed 10 places.