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The Latest Lyst Index Report Reflects a Shift Toward Sustainable Fashion

The holiday season was good to high-end outerwear, sneakers and small luxury accessories.

Global fashion search platform Lyst today released the latest installment of The Lyst Index, the quarterly report ranking fashion’s hottest brands and products. Based on the online shopping behavior of more than nine million shoppers a month searching, browsing and buying fashion across 12,000 designers and stores online, as well as Google search data and social media metrics, the Index serves as a barometer of what’s in and what’s out.

Off-White, Gucci, Balenciaga, Moncler and Versace landed the first five spots on Lyst’s Index of the hottest brands for Q4 2019, with Fendi, Prada, Valentino, Saint Laurent and Burberry rounding out the top 10.

Small accessories like Gucci’s men’s wool jacquard scarf and women’s GG logo belt, which ranked on the Lyst Index for the ninth time in less than three years, were among the most wanted products. Averaging more than 165,000 online monthly searches between October and December, the best-selling belt is a serious contender for hottest product of the decade, Lyst said.

Other notable items include Bottega Veneta’s newly launched mini version of “The Pouch” leather clutch, which nabbed the fifth place on the women’s hottest products list this quarter. The popular bag franchise has helped raise the heritage brand’s profile, with searches for the label increasing 32 percent in Q4.

On the men’s side, Yeezy made a powerful return. The brand’s 500 Stone ranked fifth on the men’s hottest products list. Yeezy re-entered the 20 hottest brands list in Q4, climbing nine places to 16th position, with searches and social mentions boosted after designer Kanye West unveiled the foam runner clog made from an algae-derived material, Lyst reported.

And good news for retailers: Along with ‘It’ item status, these brands and products had sales power, Lyst said.

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Though Q4 is a key quarter for markdowns and aggressive discounting around Singles Day and Black Friday, Lyst said full price sales “propelled” many of the quarter’s hottest brands within The Lyst Index.

“Shoppers gravitated towards recognizable ‘core’ or non-seasonal products that are not marked down, or searched for a brand on sale but then bought full price,” Lyst stated.

Lyst names the hottest brands of Q4 2019
Courtesy of Lyst Courtesy

Is sustainability the new streetwear?

Vetements fell five places to 15th position in Q4, following the announcement earlier in 2019 that designer Demna Gvasalia would step down. Gvasalia arguably helped put luxury streetwear on the map with his voluminous deconstructed denim silhouettes and off-beat collaborations.

The dearth of streetwear brands and products on the just-launched Lyst Index Q4 2019 report shows an industry in flux. This quarter, Lyst said, saw brands shift their narrative from streetwear-focused fashion to sustainability and enduring designs. The quarter was a prime time for brands to end the year on a positive note and to announce sustainable initiatives and brand-purpose activities.

“From Prada signing a loan that will see interest rates lowered in exchange for meeting sustainability targets, to Burberry announcing a partnership with resale site The RealReal, to Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri launching the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge, these initiatives offset the traditional ‘buy, buy, buy’ mentality of the quarter—and point towards a wider shift in the industry,” Lyst stated.

Even one of streetwear’s figure heads begin to doubt the category’s future. Though streetwear purveyor Off-White retained its number one spot in Index as the hottest brand in the world in Q4, its founder and creative director Virgil Abloh predicted the death of streetwear in the coming decade. In an interview with Dazed, he said, “In my mind, how many more T-shirts can we own, how many more hoodies, how many sneakers?”

Still, T-shirts, hoodies and sneakers remained some of the most coveted products on the Lyst Index. Search volume for Off-White hoodies grew 90 percent over the quarter, which saw the brand’s graphic Waterfall design enter the hottest men’s products list in ninth place.

Outerwear rallies

Q4 is an opportunity for outerwear brands to step up their game, and they did so this quarter with sustainable materials and high-shine fabrics. “Mostly composed of technical, practical and high-performance clothing, this quarter’s hottest men’s products list features notably dark and muted pieces, with black being the most searched for color during that time,” Lyst reported.

Luxury puffer coats lead the men’s wear category. Moncler’s Maya jacket was the hottest men’s product in Q4 with searches for the jacket increasing by 199 percent in Q4. The ’80s-inspired puffer coat is made with Moncler’s signature quilted nylon laqué. The brand’s Gui vest nabbed fourth place.

Overall demand for the luxury outerwear brand remained strong throughout the quarter, Lyst reported. Moncler’s page views increased by 196 percent, boosting the label 10 places up into fourth position in the hottest brands list.

Other brands outshined the competition with their sustainable products. Arket’s down puffer coat is the only outerwear piece to have made the hottest women’s products list this quarter, Lyst said. Made of 100 percent recycled down and feathers, it contributed to a 695 percent spike in page views for the brand in October.

The quarter was also good to 126-year-old British heritage label Barbour, which entered the Lyst Index for the first time with its $141 Chelsea Sportsquilt jacket. The jacket was the tenth hottest men’s product, while searches for the brand itself increased 143 percent quarter on quarter.

And Canada Goose climbed up 14 places to No. 18 on the hottest brand list, making it the biggest mover this quarter, Lyst reported. This marked the brand’s first appearance in The Lyst Index hottest brands ranking.