Backstage at Gucci RTW Spring 2019

MILAN — Gucci is the world’s most desirable brand, according to global fashion search platform Lyst’s fourth-quarter ranking of the industry’s hottest names and products in 2018.

After giving away the top spot to Off-White over the summer, the Italian fashion house regained its position as the most researched label online from October to December.

Analyzing the shopping behavior of more than five million monthly customers browsing and buying items across 12,000 designers and online stores, Lyst compiled its quarterly index, taking into account Google search data, conversion rates and sales, as well as social media metrics, including brand and product mentions and engagement statics.

“We’ve added social media as one of the factors because it’s so influential now,” said Lyst’s chief partnerships officer Jenny Cossons.

“I am sure that most of the success Gucci is having is the fact that at all price points and at all ages, people want to share it. The fact that my children know Gucci but don’t know some of these other bigger, established brands is super interesting. It’s also an adjective in London, people are like ‘That’s so Gucci’ even if it’s not Gucci, so it has transformed culture, it’s beyond fashion now, and I think that’s crazy,” she continued, underscoring that part of the brand’s appeal lies in its “different and unique aesthetic” which “felt like there was something for everyone.”

The demand for Gucci items pertained especially to the accessory category, as the brand’s Soho Disco leather bag and signature belt bearing the GG logo were the top two products out of the 10 most desired items by women globally. In the period from October to December, these Gucci accessories generated double the orders of the ranking’s remaining eight products combined.

Gucci red Soho Disco shoulder bag.

Gucci’s Soho Disco shoulder bag.  Courtesy of Lyst

While Off-White slipped to second, Demna Gvasalia’s influence remained consistent as Balenciaga and Vetements retained their third and eighth positions in the ranking of hottest brands, respectively.

The rest of the top 10 chart speaks Italian, as Cossons noticed this is “the most interesting market at the moment.” Capsule collections and trends such as logomania and activewear contributed to the result.

Moncler jumped from the 16th to the fourth position, mainly due to the social media engagement and the spike in research volume sparked by its Genius collections developed in collaboration with eight guest designers, including Pierpaolo Piccioli, Simone Rocha, Craig Green and Francesco Ragazzi.

The Fendi Mania capsule collection and the tie-in with Fila elevated Fendi from the ninth position to the fifth, while Versace consolidated its spot as the sixth most desirable brand globally.

Propelled by the ath-leisure trend, research for Stone Island grew 122 percent over the last quarter of 2018 and the brand was mentioned 327,000 times on social media, securing the seventh position in the ranking.

“The love and excitement surrounding Valentino is crazy,” said Cossons about the ninth most desirable brand on the chart, while she credited Burberry’s Italian chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci and chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti for refreshing the appeal of the English label. Burberry’s limited-edition capsule collections launched monthly and exclusively available on Instagram and WeChat boosted the overall sales of the company, which is the 10th hottest brand, according to Lyst.

In addition to the capsule collections, the activewear trend and Nineties inspiration contributed to the popularity of brands such as North Face and Patagonia among male consumers. North Face’s signature Nuptse puffer down jacket and Patagonia Classic Retro-X fleece jacket were second and third, respectively, in the ranking of hottest men’s products, following the Nike Air Force 1 ’07 LV8 Utility Volt sneaker style.

Nike Air Force 1 '07 LV8 Utility Volt.

Nike Air Force 1 ’07 LV8 Utility Volt.  Courtesy of Lyst

Sneakers proved to be (still) strong both for men and women, with the former seeking the Converse x Off-White Chuck 70 and Puma RS-X Reinvention styles, and the latter looking for the Versace Chain Reaction, Balenciaga Speed and Fila Ray sneakers.

The role of “real influencers” is also pivotal for the category, as French brand Veja made its debut on the list of the women’s hottest products with its eco-friendly V10 style after Meghan Markle sported it in October, causing online research to jump 113 percent.

More recently, male consumers had a similar approach when soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo arrived in court in Madrid to answer charges of evading taxes wearing Alexander McQueen white sneakers, causing researches for the style to climb 42 percent.

The power of influencers also affected the sales of Versace’s baroque-embroidered robe, as researches for the product increased 240 percent after Instagram feeds showed Kanye West, Drake and Kevin Hart wearing the design.

Given the relevance of Italian brands, in September Lyst unveiled a localized site in the country after “seeing a big opportunity here, since it’s number three [in] our non-English speaking markets,” said Cossons.

Founded in 2010 by Chris Morton and Sebastjan Trepca, Lyst counts more than 100 employees across its London and New York offices and registered revenues of $325 million in 2018.