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The Lyst Index Q1 2021 Shows Signs of Life After Loungewear

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In a quarter that marked the first anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce continued to be a bright spot for the fashion industry, according to Lyst.

On Wednesday, the global fashion shopping platform released the latest installment of The Lyst Index report on fashion’s hottest brands and products. Based on the browsing and buying habits of 150 million annual shoppers, Google search data, as well as social media mentions and engagement statistics worldwide over a three-month period, the Index offers a peek into the brands and trends resonating with consumers.

“The things shoppers have been browsing, saving and buying in the Lyst app suggest an imminent return to going-out wear,” said Bridget Mills-Powell, Lyst content director. “Sweats have seen us through the past year, but many fashion-lovers are now looking to set aside the sweatpants and rediscover the joy of dressing up.”

Hottest brands

While the types of products that consumers searched for in Q1 evolved, a roster of luxury power players continued to command attention.

Gucci ranked No. 1 for a consecutive quarter. The Italian fashion house cultivated interest among both luxury lovers and outdoor consumers with its The North Face collaboration. It also dressed two high-profile singers for the Grammy’s in February: Billie Eilish and Harry Styles, whose look stoked fandom for feather boas.

Satan shoes couldn’t keep Nike down. The sneaker giant ranked second on the Index, boosted by a reported 59 percent increase in digital sales.

New to the Index, Dior made a solid debut at No. 3. Along with presenting its F/W 21-22 collection virtually at Versailles, the French label tapped into Gen Z by nabbing Blackpink singer Kim Ji-soo as a global ambassador and launching a Snapchat lens to try on sneakers in AR.

The novelty of a glow-in-the-dark capsule collection helped Balenciaga stay in the top five at No. 4, down two positions from last quarter. No. 5 Moncler also dropped two places, though it made headway on the sustainability front by introducing jackets made from recycled materials during Q1.

Prada (No. 6), Louis Vuitton (No. 7), Bottega Veneta (No. 8), Saint Laurent (No. 9) and Off-White (No. 10) rounded out the top 10 hottest brands. Louis Vuitton, which made a splash with its virtual F/W 21-22 runway show filmed in the Louvre museum, was a new addition to the Index.

The Lyst Index Q1 2021 suggests an imminent return to going-out wear and a slowdown in demand for designer loungewear.
Louis Vuitton WWD

Hottest products

And they said it couldn’t be done.

Though comfort has been touted as a non-negotiable that will impact purchasing decisions long after the pandemic, not a single jogger, bike short or sweatshirt landed on The Lyst Index’s ranking of the hottest products in men’s and women’s fashion for Q1 2021, signaling a shift back to pre-pandemic proclivities.

“As the industry looks ahead, there are signs of consumer optimism and pent-up demand being released for items beyond loungewear,” Lyst stated.

Despite being in various states of lockdown, global consumers fine-tuned their taste for both clout-chasing and vintage luxury goods during the quarter. They also continued to source inspiration from Gen Z style icons like Kylie Jenner and Hailey Bieber as well as poet, activist and Vogue cover star Amanda Gorman.

The North Face x Gucci GG canvas bomber jacket—the signature piece in the buzzed-about collaboration—nabbed the No. 1 spot on the women’s list, followed by pre-owned Hermes Kelly bags and Bottega Veneta’s lug boots.

At No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, Prada’s re-edition 2005 nylon bag and The Attico’s Devon mule echo the latest reports of a Y2K fashion revival. Meanwhile, the red satin Prada headband Gorman wore to the U.S. Presidential Inauguration ranked No. 6.

Amanda Gorman
Amanda Gorman ASSOCIATED PRESS

Items like Nike’s Go FlyEase sneakers (No. 7) and the Adidas x Ivy Park monogram bucket hat (No. 8) are proof that female consumers still have casual fashion on their minds, but they’re also thinking about investment pieces. Pre-owned Rolex 40mm Submariners—a watch traditionally marketed to men—landed at No. 9. In general, Lyst reported that searches for pre-owned luxury timepieces were up 47 percent in Q1.

Demand for “going out” pieces such as dresses are steadily rising as well, up 222 percent in Q1. At No. 10, one dress in particular is grabbing attention: Nensi Dojaka’s influencer-approved asymmetric mini dress.

Footwear and versatile outerwear dominated the men’s list, as well as a mix of heritage names and brands on the rise.

Adidas Yeezy 450 sneakers topped the list at No. 1. “The new futuristic-looking silhouette polarised opinions on social media, but searches for Yeezy spiked 121 percent around their launch in early March, with re-sellers now asking at least double their original price,” Lyst stated.

Nike’s Dunk Low sneakers (No. 4), Salomon XT-Wings 2 Advance sneakers (No. 8) and Rick Owens’ Geobasket sneakers (No. 10) also made the Index.

Moncler’s Gui vest ranked No. 2, followed by Prada’s logo bucket hat—two items that speak to streetwear’s staying power in the luxury market.

The Index also confirmed the rise of “gorpcore” with items like Arc’teryx’s Beta AR jacket (No. 5), Patagonia’s Classic Retro X fleece (No. 7) and Burton’s Edgecomb jacket—Bernie Sanders’ go-to style—landing at No. 9. Lyst stated that outdoor gear was “felt particularly strongly in men’s wear throughout the quarter, as sportswear and activewear continued to be in high demand.”

Even a touch of Italian denim made the Index. Brunello Cucinelli’s button-down denim shirt ranked No. 6.