Gucci retained its position as the hottest brand in the world, having honed a pandemic-era playbook of reaching consumers across multiple channels with a strong emphasis on digital, according to The Lyst Index, a quarterly ranking of fashion’s hottest brands and products. Italy’s Moncler is the quarter’s biggest rising brand, moving up 10 places into 3rd place.
In the second place was Spanish brand Balenciaga, and Off-White and Prada took the fourth and fifth positions respectively in the 2020 fourth quarter (Q4) index.
Gucci excelled at capturing imaginations and generating conversation. From running an online fashion and film festival, promoted not just on social media but also on billboards in key cities, to outfitting Harry Styles for his American Vogue cover, Gucci generated a drumbeat of moments to keep shoppers engaged, at a time with most physical events still off, and some stores shuttered, The Lyst Index said on its website.
Throughout a tumultuous year, ecommerce has been one of the bright spots for the fashion industry, with the pandemic accelerating the adoption of online shopping. During the final quarter, brands continued to invest in digital-first initiatives, from Balenciaga’s video game launch of its Fall/Winter ‘21 collection, to Valentino’s virtual and shoppable Insights villa.
At the same time, flagship store openings continued in major cities—Loewe, Moncler and Versace all opened new doors in Paris—suggesting that brands see a multi-channel future, albeit one where digital occupies a larger space than pre-pandemic.
During the quarter, Kering announced its results for the preceding one: e-commerce grew by 102 per cent overall, making up just under a quarter of direct sales in North America for its brands, including Balenciaga and Saint Laurent.
Moncler was boosted partly by seasonality and the growth of puffer jackets as a category, but also by the launch of a collection with Rick Owens and the news that the firm would acquire Stone Island in a deal worth €1.15 billion.
With eight of the 20 hottest brands belonging to the Kering or LVMH conglomerates, and several others forming part of smaller luxury groups, The Lyst Index supports the theory that scale helps brands to succeed today.
Coronavirus is likely to accelerate further consolidation. As the industry looks ahead to 2021, normalcy may not be on the cards straight away, but there is much to be optimistic about.
In the final quarter of 2020, shoppers sought comfort and protection. Puffer jackets are a breakout category, with searches increasing by 174 per cent, driven by an increase in walking and outdoor socialising.
For the first time, the same product topped the women’s and men’s rankings: The North Face’s 1996 retro Nuptse jacket, with its distinctive colour-block design, is the hottest product in the world. Combining technical performance with a more accessible price than styles by Moncler and Canada Goose—both of which also appear in the rankings—the Nuptse jacket fits with the trend for ‘90s nostalgia, and took social media by storm.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)
Gucci retained its position as the hottest brand in the world, having honed a pandemic-era playbook of reaching consumers across multiple channels with a strong emphasis on digital, according to The Lyst Index, a quarterly ranking of fashion’s hottest brands and products. Moncler is the quarter’s biggest rising brand, moving up 10 places into 3rd place.