The unpredictability of 2020 has touched every aspect of life, including the items consumers coveted this year. In Lyst’s “Year in Fashion 2020” review, the global fashion search platform names the world’s most-wanted products—a coterie of ‘It’ items and staples that made up consumers’ quarantine uniforms.
In a year that sparked the old-timey aesthetic called cottagecore and brought relaxed loungewear styling to the fore, as well as a survivalist mood that called for protective face masks, durable leather and sustainably-made products, each product has an underlying story.
Ranked No. 1, Off-White’s face mask quickly ascended in popularity when the pandemic broke early in the year. Off-White’s logo face mask was the hottest item with a 496 percent increase in searches from January to March, Lyst reported. Masks, in general, became the must-have accessory across the globe and searches increased 502 percent year-on-year.
Designer collaboration with names like Valentino and Rick Owens elevated the profile of Birkenstock’s Arizona sandal, but its comfort factor help land the 47-year old design on Lyst’s list at No. 2. The iconic unisex shoe—known for its double-strap upper and contoured footbeds—saw a 225 percent spike in searches during the second quarter of 2020, a time when consumers looked for easy slip-on footwear for their at-home lifestyles.
When The Cut’s editorial about Telfar dubbed the brand’s signature faux-leather shopping bag the “Bushwick Birken” in January, style watchers took note of the tote’s accessible price point ($150-$257), unisex design and influential designer Telfar Clemens. As the No. 3 item, Lyst said the shopping satchel “redefined the traditional luxury-status accessories with its ‘It’ status and limited inventory.
Searches for the bag increased 163 percent week-on-week after congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave the brand a shout-out on Instagram. The bag got another celebrity seal of approval this month from Oprah, landing on the tastemaker and media mogul’s coveted “Favorite Things” list for the holidays.
When consumers called for comfortable-yet-cool loungewear, Nike stepped up to the plate. The performance apparel giant saw the greatest increase in loungewear searches, Lyst reported. Though Nike sneakers typically dominate, the brand’s most popular item in 2020 was the jogger pant (No. 4), which searches spiking 213 percent year-on-year.
The summertime brought a flood of house or “nap dresses” to the market as consumers felt the urge to abandon sweats and yoga pants. Defined by a breezy silhouette, poplin fabrications and cottagecore details like square necklines and ditsy floral prints, the frocks offered wearers a touch of escapism. The most popular, Lyst reported, was No. 5 H&M’s puff-sleeve dresses.
At No. 6, House of Sunny’s green knitted dress became a pandemic sensation after celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid were photographed in it. Searches for the London-based, sustainability-minded brand hit its peak from May to July.
As consumers began to explore new loungewear shapes and silhouettes, boxing shorts saw an increase in searches during Q2. The most-wanted style was No. 7 Prada’s nylon gabardine shorts, which accumulated more than 10,000 page views over the past six months, Lyst stated.
Crocs continued to defy the fashion gods by being the statement shoe of choice in 2020. Average monthly searches for Crocs total 135,000, and the brand hit its peak in the spring after boasting in January that it was producing the season’s “must-have” silhouette. The EVA foam style receive received several makeovers this year thanks to a myriad of collaborators including Vera Bradley, Peeps and KFC. Justin Bieber is teed up to be the brand’s next creative contributor.
A close cousin to Crocs, Ugg slippers and boots nabbed the No. 9 spot. “Ugg’s cozy slippers and boots are some of the top-searched products for the brand, which garner 201,000 and 90,500 average monthly searches, respectively,” Lyst stated.
Frankie Shop’s Eva muscle tee rounded-out the list at No. 10. The $75 sleeveless T-shirt with shoulder pads cemented the New York boutique’s transition from retailer to bonafide ‘It’ brand, selling out multiple times during the year. The strong silhouette inspired a slew of copies by fast-fashion brands like Mango, Zara, Asos and more, Lyst noted.