BoF partnered with Lyst, the global fashion search platform, to analyze the behaviour of over 65 million annual consumers, shopping across the world’s largest inventory of luxury and contemporary fashion.
The rankings were formulated using Google and Lyst search data, engagement statistics, conversion rates and sales. However, hype does not always convert into sales. Though the Balenciaga Speed Trainer, which topped the ranking in Q3, is a streetwear product, the influence of the streetwear vertical and by association rappers is far less evident in the Top Product ranking.
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The ranking continues to be dominated by womenswear and is made up of the similar category mix as in Q2. Footwear continues to be the strongest category with five different pairs of shoes featured on the list, including, in fifth place, the Gucci Bloom sliders which topped last quarter’s product ranking (and were the only re-entrant).
Balenciaga has stolen Gucci’s crown to become the hottest brand in fashion.
According to the latest data analysed by BoF in partnership with search platform Lyst — which tracks 4.5 million data points per hour from over 65 million annual consumers, five million products and 12,000 brands — the Demna Gvasalia-designed brand climbed two places to top the hottest brand ranking in the third quarter of 2017.
Gucci dropped one place, coming in second this quarter, but continues to excel as the most consistent performer in the hottest brand ranking to date this year. Between July and September, the label launched Gucci Décor — an eclectic line of home furnishings and treatments — and announced its collaboration with Dapper Dan, driving brand searches across the e-commerce sites Lyst aggregates.
But the real success story this quarter is the impressive ascent of Virgil Abloh’s Off-White, which jumped 31 places to become the third-hottest fashion brand in the world in Q3, knocking Kanye West’s Yeezy — which ranked number two last quarter — out of the top 10.
Abloh, part of a new guard of fashion designers who are elevating streetwear through high-end production and brand positioning, has a notable talent for cross-platform messaging, be it as DJ Flat-White, directing a music video for popular US rapper Lil Uzi Vert, or through his collaboration with Ikea.
Although Off-White is well suited to Millennial and Gen-Z consumers’ internet-driven dress codes, which happily mix high and low price points as well as disparate aesthetic and cultural influences, some industry critics find fault in the brand’s referential nature. Nevertheless, its commercial traction is undeniable; in 2016 Abloh told BoF his business experienced triple-digit growth year on year between 2013 and 2016.
Consumer engagement with Abloh’s brand grew significantly in the third quarter. In July, Off-White partnered with optical disruptor Warby Parker on a line of sunglasses, and in September Abloh paid sartorial homage to Princess Diana during the brand’s Spring/Summer 2018 show, which was closed by Naomi Campbell wearing white cycling shorts and garnered significant press attention.
However, the brand’s biggest driver of engagement by far was Abloh’s collaboration with Nike, which saw him reimagine 10 models from its archive including the Air Jordan 1, Air Max 90, Blazer, Hyperdunk and Air Force 1. Over the period from July to September, page views of Off-White products across Lyst’s partner sites increased by 184 percent, while searches increased by 63 percent quarter on quarter.
Off-White’s presence in the top three underscores the rise of streetwear brands within the realms of high-end fashion. According to consultancy Bain & Company, as Gen-Z consumers’ share of wallet grows, streetwear has helped boost global sales of personal luxury goods by 5 percent to an estimated total of €263 billion ($309 billion) in 2017.
Indeed, digital natives that have grown up in an era of hype-culture and product drops are the perfect conduits to build buzz online. This quarter, four of the five new entrants to the Lyst Index — Off-White, Stone Island, Moncler and Raf Simons — are right in the streetwear sweet spot, making an appearance in the top 10 for the first time.
(Source: The Business of Fashion )