Gucci, Balenciaga and Moncler Named Hottest Brands At End of 2020


Limei Hoang | January 27, 2021

A billboard in New York advertising Gucci's film festival GucciFest.Credit: Photo: Courtesy

Gucci’s multi-channel approach, from hosting its own fashion and film festival to dressing British singer Harry Styles on the cover of American Vogue has ensured a steady stream of engaging moments for consumers to interact with during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

Italian fashion house Gucci has maintained its position as the “hottest brand”, according to a quarterly report that ranks the most popular brands and products, compiled by fashion search engine Lyst.

The brand’s dominance in digital, hosting its own fashion and film festival “GucciFest” in November, collaborating with outerwear brand The North Face and dressing longtime collaborator British singer Harry Styles in a Gucci dress on the cover of American Vogue had helped Gucci maintain its momentum across multiple channels, providing a steady stream of engaging moments for consumers to interact with at a time when physical events are in short supply.

It was followed by Balenciaga, which maintained its spot in second place, and Moncler - the quarter’s fastest rising brand – which climbed 10 places to claim third place and the highest position the brand has ever held in The Lyst index, helped partly by seasonality and the growth of puffer jackets as category, as well as a collaboration with designer Rick Owens and the recent news that it would acquire Stone Island in a €1.15 billion deal.

Off-White, Prada, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Versace, Valentino and Fendi made up the rest of the top 10 hottest brands in the fourth quarter of the year.

The findings come from the latest Lyst Index, a quarterly report compiled by fashion search engine Lyst, which analyses the online shopping behaviour of more than nine million shoppers a month searching, browsing and buying fashion across 12,000 designers and stores online.

The report also takes Google search data and rich social media metrics into account, which looks at account brand follower growth and multi-platform mentions of products, as well as engagement statistics worldwide and related keywords over a three month period.

"2020’s final quarter was unlike any other in recent history," said Peter Henderson, a spokesperson for Lyst. "The pandemic upended the usual driving forces of gifting, event wear and sale shopping. Although shoppers came online in record numbers, the way they shopped was very different."

"Casual wear and loungewear continued to dominate, and the position of powerful brands was further entrenched with shoppers seeking familiar names at a time of uncertainty. Many larger brands have also been better placed to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, such as bricks-and-mortar store closures and the need for different marketing tactics," he added.

Lyst's Hottest Brands Index Q4 2020Credit: Image: Courtesy

At a time when luxury sales are slowing signs of rebounding, one insight from the report found that scale is helping some brands to success today, with eight of the 20 hottest brands belonging to luxury conglomerates like LVMH and Kering, signalling that further consolidation within the market may be accelerate as the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact world economies.

The report also showed that shoppers are seeking comfort and protection, with puffer jackets becoming a breakout category. Searches increased by 174 percent, driven by an increase in walking and socialising outdoors, with the “Nuptse” - a 1996 retro jacket from The North Face becoming the hottest product in the world, for both women’s and men’s rankings.

Slippers and clogs are also in demand, up 242 percent compared to the same period in 2019, followed by active and casualwear. Lyst found the searches for hoodies rose by 71 percent year-on-year.

Looking forward, Henderson believes that shoppers are likely to retain many of the digital habits gained during the pandemic, with e-commerce continuing to play a significant role.

"There will be an appetite for new experiences both online and offline, with shoppers seeking more energy, creativity and joy from brands," he said. "The investments which brands have made in digital, from multi-channel e-commerce to app will continue to pay dividends."

For the full findings from The Lyst Index, please click here.

Welcome to Data Digest, our breakdown of the latest data releases and reports focused on the luxury industry.

Cover Image: GucciFest

Data Digest | Lyst Index