Brands’ behavior—good and bad—is shaping what’s in and what’s out of fashion.
The Lyst Index Q2 2020, a quarterly ranking of fashion’s hottest brands and products based on the online searches of more than 9 million shoppers a month, reveals how closely consumers were watching fashion brands adapt to the new realities forced by the coronavirus and how they responded to the turmoil brought on by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers.
While some brands struggled to demonstrate how they would evolve with the changing landscape, others showed compassion, support and creativity under duress—qualities that helped land brands on The Lyst Index Q2 2020 Hottest Brands list.
During the quarter, Nike climbed two places to become the hottest brand in the world, and marking the first time since The Lyst Index began that a luxury fashion brand has not taken the top spot. Part of Nike’s success is owed to its prior investments in building its digital business and having the right product for a consumer base cooped up at homes. An anomaly in pandemic retail, Nike saw digital sales revenue climb 75 percent and achieved a 2023 goal to reach 30 percent digital sales, Lyst said.
“Nike was propelled by a 106 percent increase in demand for loungewear and activewear, as consumers sought comfortable clothes to wear at home, as well as attire for exercise and outdoor activities,” Lyst stated.
Nike also earned high marks for a video with the anti-racism message ‘Don’t Do It’ and for pledging $40 million to organizations furthering social justice.
Brands that toe the line between luxury and streetwear filled the top five. Off-White slipped from the top spot in Q2, but continued to see strong interest in its face masks and the ’90s-inspired capsule collection it launched with retailer TSUM.
No. 3 Gucci captured the attention of consumers and the fashion industry when creative director Alessandro Michele announced he would bring the brand’s show season from five a year to two seasonless collections.
Balenciaga, which pledged to make an annual donation to the NAACP, landed in fourth place, while Prada nabbed fifth place, capturing the attention of consumers with virtual reality shopping.
Saint Laurent, Versace, Burberry, Fendi and Bottega Veneta rounded out the top 10. Like Gucci, Saint Laurent announced it would abandon the traditional fashion calendar and begin to follow its “own rhythm.” Both Versace and Bottega Veneta found ways to stay connected with consumers online through Instagram and YouTube campaigns, respectively. Meanwhile, special collections boosted Fendi’s and Burberry’s profiles during the quarter.
Jacquemus—the brand responsible for the ongoing mini handbag trend—ranked No. 11, followed by Valentino, which fell four spots to No. 12. Buzz from a collaboration with sustainable sneaker brand Allbirds helped Adidas climb eight spots to No. 13, however.
Though Moncler had its best showing yet on The Lyst Index in Q1 2020, the luxury outerwear brand dropped eight spots to No. 14. While it’s too early to know how the coronavirus will affect winter fashion, Moncler fans have something to look forward: the brand announced it will launch its first fragrance in 2022.
Closing out the list are Alexander McQueen, Loewe, Balmain, Vetements, Stone Island and Fear of God, which made its first appearance in the 20 hottest brands list, having risen nine places since the previous ranking.