As December wanes and the year’s end is just around the corner, looking back at 2018’s top Google searches provides a glimpse of what mattered most to Americans.
Among consumers’ top interests? Sports, storms and saying goodbye to luminaries like Anthony Bourdain and the iconic Kate Spade.
Google’s Year in Search 2018 reveals that the late American fashion designer was the fourth-most searched termed for the entire year, alongside interest in the World Cup and devastating weather events like Hurricane Florence. The 55-year-old’s unexpected passing grabbed the attention of everyone who treasured her signature, timeless handbags or loved her bright, playful style.
But America’s interest in fashion doesn’t end there. Fashion Nova topped the list of the most-searched-for fashion brands, edging out luxury players Louis Vuitton, Versace, Givenchy and Gucci, which filled out the remainder of the top five. The Los Angeles-based fast-fashion darling’s ubiquitous Instagram presence and sprawling squad of #NovaBabes—including rapper Cardi B and mogul Kylie Jenner—have helped the brand gain a ride-or-die following. Its popularity might have something to do with its loud-and-proud inclusiveness. Unlike most other mainstream brands, Fashion Nova designs for curvaceous women of color and notably, it’s marketing mirrors its diverse customer base.
When it comes to fashion trends, people are all about bringing the past into the present. Fashion from the ‘80s lead searches in the trend category, though people in the U.S. showed strong interest in grunge fashion, too. Decade-specific style is very much alive and well; consumers looked for examples of what people were wearing in the 1990s and 2000s, which could be part of what’s returned brands like Champion and Fila to prominence.
Meanwhile, newly minted royal Meghan Markle also captivated Americans with her chic ensembles and, of course, her turn as a blushing bride. Like many high-profile royals and First Wives before her—a la Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama—the Duchess of Sussex’s effect on retail sales is undeniable. If people like what she wears, product sales soar.