The economical aftershocks of the Great Recession may have trickled into the 2010s, but consumers’ lust for aspirational fashion, designer products and ‘It’ items did not wane.
In a new report, “2010s: A Decade in Fashion,” global fashion search platform Lyst revisited its fashion insights to look back at the hottest shoes, bags and cult products that defined the past decade of fashion and shopping. The products were chosen based on the quantity of fashion articles, global fashion search, sales data and social media mentions.
The result shows how luxury brands diversified their aesthetic to incorporate more streetwear-inspired pieces, consumers’ shifted to products that provided comfort, and Instagram helped influence their purchases.
“Over the past decade, our shopping got greener and our clothes more political; our skirts got longer and our bags smaller; streetwear and athleisure moved from the periphery of the fashion industry to its core; sweatshirts went fashion, sneakers got weirder, everything went millennial pink and leggings got (very) expensive,” Lyst said.
Here’s a look back at the shoes, handbags and the hero items that ruled the decade.
2010: Throwing it back to start of the decade, the fashion world was reeling from the premature death of designer Alexander McQueen in February 2010. News of his death led to a 1,400 percent sales increase for his signature skull print scarf, Lyst reported, even though the accessible accessory launched in 2003.
The rest of the fashion world was following the lead of two very different influencers: the Kardashians and Alexa Chung. Worn by Kourtney and Kim Kardashian, the Tribute, a sexy double-platform stiletto by Saint Laurent was the shoe of the year. Meanwhile, the traditional Alexa bag, a school-like satchel by British label Mulberry, became the bag of the year.
2011: Valentino sparked women’s obsession for studs in 2011 with its Rockstud heel, leaving many to wonder if there would one day be a shortage of the trim. The much-copied slingback became the most-wanted shoe in 2011, helping drive the brand’s revenue and introducing the classic luxury brand to a younger demographic.
Céline—during its Phoebe Philo and accent over the ‘e’ era—caught onto consumers’ growing interest in simple and functional bags early with the Trio, a shoulder bag made up of three zipped pouches. Meanwhile, the year’s hero product was Miu Miu’s glitter heels. The round-toe platform pump came in array of sugary colors that appealed to the millennial demographic.
2012: Before launching her own brand with LVMH and staging ground-breaking fashion shows for her lingerie line, Rihanna stepped out as a fashion mogul to watch in 2012 when she fronted Armani’s denim campaign.
Consumers took note of the songstress’ casual yet luxurious wardrobe. Rihanna frequently used Lyst’s bag of the year, Goyard’s Saint-Louis tote. And the shoe of the year for 2012—Isabel Marant’s wedge sneaker—summed up the high-meets-low aesthetic. The hybrid silhouette became a signature of cool girls around the world. Likewise, fellow French label Kenzo stepped into the fore with Lyst’s hero item of 2012, a tiger-embroidered sweatshirt.
2013: The sneaker trend evolved in 2013 with Lyst’s shoe of the year, Céline’s luxurious take on a slip-on skate sneaker. With elevated upper materials like croc, pony hair, snake and satin, fashionistsa began to permanently trade in their stilettos for sneakers. The 2013 bag of the year, Alexander Wang’s Rocco satchel, offered women the same level of practicality with its thick leather and a bed of metal grommets on the bottom that doubled as protective feet.
Lyst’s hero item of 2013, Givenchy’s Bambi sweatshirt, may have been the first inkling of the slew of luxury sweats to come. The neoprene top feature two contrasting prints—a frolicking Bambi and nude portrait.
2014: By 2014, sportive luxury items had taken off. Lyst’s shoe of the year, Dior’s Fusion slip-on sneaker, married both worlds with a technical canvas upper and chunky outsole and decadent crystal embellishment. Dior’s Tribales pearl earrings also captivated fashionistas, becoming Lyst’s hero item of the year.
And Gucci began its ascent into cult item territory with its Soho Disco shoulder bag. The bag of the year was distinguished by an oversized leather tassel—a design element that would be picked up by jewelry, handbag and footwear designers in the year to come.
2015: In 2015, fashionistas discovered they needed a furry slide in their lives. Under the new vision of creative director Alessandro Michele, Gucci introduced its Princetown fur loafer, which became the most-wanted shoe, Lyst reported.
Bucket bags also became a must-have in 2015 when then newcomer Mansur Gavriel introduced its version made with smooth black leather. Like the sole of a Christian Louboutin shoe, the bag’s red interior became associated with ‘It’ girls around the world. Similarly, stylish ladies flocked to Lyst’s hero item of the year, Self Portrait’s Azalea dress. Made with delicate lace and a fitted bodice, the ultra-feminine frock’s winningest quality may have been its on-seam pockets.
2016: By 2016, Rihanna was a fixture in fashion, thanks to her collaboration with Puma. Despite only being a shower slide covered with faux fur, the Fenty x Puma sandal was the shoe of the year, Lyst said. Meanwhile, the bag of the year combined lady-like fashion with a touch of subversive flair. JW Anderson’s Pierce bag—a leather shoulder bag with a chain strap—featured a bold barbell-style ring piercing.
The year also marked the start of millennials and Gen Z coveting polarizing fashion. The hero item of the year, Vetements DHL T-shirt, became the fashion story of the year, Lyst said.
2017: Following the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the emergence of the #MeToo movement, fashion became “woke.” Slogan T-shirt searches increased 105 percent year on year, Lyst reported, with Dior’s “We Should All Be Feminists” tee becoming the most wanted item of 2017.
Designer sneakers continued to intrigue men and women alike. Lyst’s shoe of the year, Balenciaga’s Speed, led the trend for athletic-inspired shoes with knit sock uppers and chunky bottoms. Handbags, on the other hand, became more elegant. They also began to shrink. Lyst’s bag of the year, Chloé’s Nile, was recognizable by its bracelet top handle.
2018: Just when we thought sneakers could not become any chunkier, Balenciaga stepped out with Lyst’s shoe of the year, the Triple S. A sneaker that became the benchmark for the ugly shoe fad, Lyst said the Triple S “drove thousands of searches and set the fashion agenda for months after its release.”
Despite being a fanny pack, Lyst’s handbag of the year was less polarizing. With its Chevron stitch work and double G emblem, the Gucci GG Marmont emerged as a chic way to rock the functional bag trend.
2019: Bottega Veneta ended the decade on a high note, becoming Lyst’s “breakout brand of the year.” The heritage brand’s revival was led, in part, by the popularity of its Stretch sandal. The shoe of the year features skinny straps and an elongated square toe.
With meme fashion causing a stir online, it should come as no surprise that Jacquemus’ Le Chiquito handbag was named Lyst’s bag of the year. Standing roughly 4 inches high, the $248 miniature bag became a novel way to signify that you’re in on the joke.
But no item was more coveted in 2019—and perhaps the decade—than Gucci’s Double G belt. In Q3, the “blockbuster” buckle belt picked up momentum in the men’s category, following years as a mainstay in women’s. The belt entered the men’s ranking of Lyst’s hottest items in Q3 with an average of 110,000 global online searches a month.