Face masks have given celebrities a new level of anonymity in 2020. For some famous faces, however, their personal style is a dead giveaway. In the “Year in Fashion 2020” report, fashion search platform Lyst named the 10 celebrities whose personal style drove the biggest spikes in searches, sales, news coverage and social media mentions over the past 12 months.
Celebrities didn’t shy away from making bold style choices, be it through music videos, brand collaborations or non-binary fashion.
British pop star Harry Styles ranked No. 1 on Lyst’s Power Dressers list, making him the first male celebrity to nab the top spot. Styles’ vintage-inspired aesthetic, such as his signature strand of pearls, landed on the radar of fashionistas this year.
This month, Styles also made fashion history by being the first man to land a solo Vogue cover. “There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes,” Styles told Vogue. “I’ve never thought too much about what it means—it just becomes this extended part of creating something.”
Dressed in a Gucci gown and blazer on the cover, as well as pieces like a Chopova Lowena skirt, a Harris Reed crinoline, custom Bode trousers and a JW Anderson check coat in an accompanying editorial, the styling has been criticized by conservatives like author Ben Shapiro and pundit Candace Owens who on Twitter likened the editorial to an attack on “manly men.” Fans, however, think otherwise, with the image receiving more than 6 million likes on Styles’ Instagram profile.
Music videos for his 2019 album “Fine Line” were a runway of sorts for Styles to flex his individualistic look. His ’70s-inspired beach ensemble for “Watermelon Sugar” made a strong case for crochet, Bode tops and watermelon-printed fashion. Searches for blue and turquoise suits increased 52 percent on Lyst following the release “Golden,” a video that shows Styles dressed in a blue Gucci blazer running along the Italian coastline. Meanwhile, his JW Anderson cardigan sparked a viral #HarryStylesCardigan challenge on TikTok, leading to an unseasonal 166 percent spike in searches for the patchwork knit in June.
Likewise, music videos (or musical sagas, more like it) catapulted Beyoncé’s multi-faceted style back into the spotlight and to the No. 2 spot on the list. Her three Ivy Park x Adidas collections—the latest promoted with a retro aerobics social media campaign—enjoyed sell-outs, and her costumes for Disney’s “Black Is King” film gave other designers a boost. A Marine Serre catsuit worn by Beyoncé in the film helped put the designer’s signature crescent moon print on the map. Searches for the French brand spiked 426 percent and in the following days, more than 3,000 shoppers looked for “crescent moon top,” Lyst reported.
Searches for Alessandra Rich also rose 78 percent after Beyoncé posted an Instagram photo wearing one of the designer’s suits.
K-pop sensation BTS became part of the Gucci effect in 2020. Following the band’s performance at the 2020 MTV VMAs dressed in full Gucci looks, Lyst said searches for Gucci ties rose 28 percent and three-piece suits increased 12 percent within 24 hours. The group’s pastel-hued video for “Dynamite” as well as a fondness for ’90s-inspired headwear by Kangol also fired-up trends in 2020.
BTS leader, Kim Namjoon (also known as RM), especially caught the attention of style watchers. Nabbing the No. 3 spot, Namjoon’s choice of a white turtleneck and white jacket in February led to a 67 percent spike in searches for similar men’s wear pieces.
At No. 4, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proved that politicians can have as much of an impact on fashion as influencers, Lyst stated. Following her speech condemning sexism within the U.S. Congress in July, searches for red suits climbed 74 percent over the following five days. And Ocasio-Cortez’s ringing endorsement for fellow New Yorker and Telfar designer Telfar Clemens’ signature shopping bag led to a 163 percent increase in searches for the brand.
When he wasn’t touting curated McDonald’s meals, rapper Travis Scott was drumming up interest for Nike. Ranking No. 5 on the “Power Dressers” list, Scott’s collaboration with the sneaker powerhouse led to a 128 percent month-on-month increase in searches for Nike. The term “Travis Scott x Nike” spiked 168 percent within 24 hours of the release of the Nike Air Max 270 sneaker, Lyst reported.
“Normal People” actor Paul Mescal ranked No. 6, in part for his preference for short shorts. The actor was seen several times over the summer wearing the leg-baring style. Lyst said searches for “short” shorts grew 51 percent month-on-month.
Lizzo’s stage wear landed her at No. 7 on the list. Following her Grammys performance in a neon bodysuit, searches for that same item increased 37 percent in a span of 24 hours. Her appearance in the Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 also inspired a 96 percent increase in blue lingerie.
No. 8 TikToker Charli D’Amelio’s 99.4 million followers took note of the pink Prada handbag she wore while attending the fashion house’s show in Milan earlier this year. Searches for the accessory spiked 90 percent within 24 hours, Lyst reported. A similar effect happened for the pandemic tie-dye mega trend. When D’Amelio donned a tie-dye cropped tee in a video to celebrate her 72 million followers, searches for tie-dye tees jumped 73 percent in 48 hours.
From Meghan Markle’s sleek farewell wardrobe to season four of “The Crown” reminding everyone why Princess Diana is a fashion icon, the British royal family’s fashion choices were back in the spotlight in a big way this year. No. 9 “Power Dresser” the Duchess of Cambridge, however, made a splash with just a simple face mask. Less than one day after Kate Middleton sported a floral face mask in August, Lyst said searches for the style surged 185 percent in the U.K. Meanwhile, her Breton top worn during a BBC interview inspired consumers to search for a similar look. Searches for the classic pattern increased 36 percent in 24 hours.
Italian fashion influencer/entrepreneur/designer Chiara Ferragni quelled any talk about the waning power of influencers by rounding out the list at No. 10. After Ferragni collaborated with Champion in April, searches for the athletic wear brand spiked 108 percent that same month. Her quarantine fashion choices also influenced global searches, including her Versace bathrobe and Louis Vuitton fur slippers.